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COVID-19 Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — After much thought and consideration, and out of an abundance of caution, BusinessWest has made the decision to postpone our 12th annual Difference Makers event, which was scheduled to take place on Thursday, March 19. The event will now take place on Thursday, Sept. 10 at the Log Cabin in Holyoke.

With the growing concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, and under the CDC’s recommendations, we felt this was the most appropriate and responsible action to take. We are grateful to our sponsors for making this event possible and are looking forward to celebrating our 2020 Difference Makers with all of you later this year. Thank you for your understanding.

Event sponsors include Burkhart Pizzanelli, Mercy Medical Center/Trinity Health Of New England, Royal, P.C., and TommyCar Auto Group, while the Tom Cosenzi Driving for the Cure Charity Golf Tournament, MHA, and United Way of Pioneer Valley are partners.

Class of 2020 Difference Makers

Celebrate with Us!

2020 Difference Makers
Thursday, March 19, 2020
5 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
The Log Cabin, Holyoke

This program, initiated in 2009, is a celebration of individuals, groups, organizations, and families that are positively impacting the Pioneer Valley and are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region. As previous classes have shown, there are many ways to do this: through work within the community on one or many initiatives to improve quality of life; through success in business, public service, or education; through contributions that inspire others to get involved; through imaginative efforts to help solve one or more societal issues; or through a combination of the above.

Our 2020 Difference Makers will be announced in the Feb. 3, 2020 issue of BusinessWest

Tickets are $75 per person/$750 for a table of 10.

Purchase Tickets Below:

Difference Makers Event Tickets

  • Price: $75.00 Quantity:
  • $0.00

 2020 Difference Makers Sponsors

 

 

 

 

Pay it Forward Non-Profit Partners

 

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Eleven years ago, BusinessWest created a new recognition program called Difference Makers. That carefully chosen name sums up what this initiative is all about — identifying and then celebrating individuals, groups, and agencies in this region that are making a difference in our communities. And now, it’s time to nominate candidates for the class of 2020.

Nominations must be submitted by Dec. 6. The nomination form can be found by clicking here.

As previous classes have shown, there are many ways to be a Difference Maker: through work within the community on one or many initiatives to improve quality of life; through success in business, public service, or education; through contributions that inspire others to get involved; through imaginative efforts to help solve one or more societal issues; or through a combination of the above. Those nominating candidates are encouraged to make their submissions detailed and explain why the individual or group in question is a true Difference Maker. For a full list of previous winners, click here.

Opinion

Editorial

Just over a decade ago, BusinessWest launched a new recognition program, Difference Makers. And in many ways, the past 10 years have been a celebration of the many different ways groups and individuals can make a difference in their community, and this region as a whole.

Indeed, those making their way to the podium at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke have included a sheriff of Hampden County, a police chief in Holyoke, the president of UMass Amherst, the founder of Rays of Hope, the director of Junior Achievement, the co-founder of Link to Libraries, the creators of Valley Venture Mentors … the list goes on.

And this year’s additions to that list  provide still more evidence that there are countless ways to make a difference, and they all need to be celebrated:

• Let’s start with the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. This Hatfield-based agency, launched in the early ’80s, is a Difference Maker on many levels, from the 11.6 million pounds of food and 9.6 million meals it provides to area shelters and soup kitchens, to its Coalition to End Hunger, which is raising awareness of the problem, attacking the stigma attached to it, and advocating for those in need. For almost 40 years, the Food Bank has been answering the call.

• The same is true of Joe Peters, a businessman who has always had an influence that has extended far beyond the walls of Universal Plastics. It has extended across Chicopee, the city he grew up and still lives in today, with initiatives such as the so-called ‘sandwich ministry,’ a program he helped start to feed the homeless in that city. And it has extended all the way to Guayape, Honduras, where he helped bring a new ambulance to that hurricane-ravaged village. He has always looked for new ways to step in and change lives for the better.

• As has Peter Gagliardi, the long-time president and CEO of Way Finders. He has spent the past 45 years working in the broad realm of housing and the past quarter-century at Way Finders, where he has greatly expanded the mission and, while doing so, has changed lives and helped change the course of entire neighborhoods through the power of collaboration.

• Frederick and Marjorie Hurst have always been catalysts for positive change within their community, especially through the newsmagazine they created called An African American Point of View, a name that speaks volumes about its mission and importance to the community. It blends community news with often-unsparing commentary, and speaks with a powerful voice, just like its founders.

• The Springfield Museums, as a cultural institution, is a different kind of Difference Maker. For more than 160 years, it has helped bring art, science, history, and memories to visitors from across this region and far outside it, a mission that entered a new dimension with the opening of the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum in 2017. Collectively, the Museums have helped put Springfield on the map and make it far more of a destination.

• Meanwhile, Carla Cosenzi, co-president of the TommyCar Auto Group, has found her own ways to make a difference. First, as a successful business owner and, therefore, role model and mentor to many young women. But also has a warrior in the battle against cancer, the disease that claimed the life of her father, through the Tommy Cosenzi Driving for the Cure Golf Tournament.

As we said, there are no limits on the ways that an individual or group can make a difference here in Western Massachusetts, or in Guayape, Honduras for that matter. That’s what we’ve been celebrating for the past decade, and the celebration continues with the class of 2019.

Difference Makers

Celebrate with Us!

2019 Difference Makers
Thursday, March 28, 2019
5 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
The Log Cabin, Holyoke

This program, initiated in 2009, is a celebration of individuals, groups, organizations, and families that are positively impacting the Pioneer Valley and are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region. As previous classes have shown, there are many ways to do this: through work within the community on one or many initiatives to improve quality of life; through success in business, public service, or education; through contributions that inspire others to get involved; through imaginative efforts to help solve one or more societal issues; or through a combination of the above.

Our 2019 Difference Makers will be announced in the Feb. 4, 2019 issue of BusinessWest

Tickets are $75 per person/$750 for a table of 10.

Purchase Tickets Below:

Difference Makers Event Tickets

  • Price: $75.00 Quantity:
  • $0.00

Sponsored by

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Regional Chamber has named Ellen Freyman, an attorney with Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C. in Springfield, its 2018 Richard J. Moriarty Citizen of the Year. The award is given annually to honor the memory of Moriarty, a long-time active participant in the chamber who gave of his time, talent, and personal and professional resources to the local community.

Since 2007, said chamber President Nancy Creed, “the award has been given to someone in the business community who — like Ellen — selflessly gives of their time, talent, and personal and professional resources to the community and encourages those who work with them and for them to do the same.”

Freyman concentrates her practice in all aspects of commercial real estate: acquisitions and sales, development, leasing, and financing. She has an extensive land-use practice that includes zoning, subdivision, project permitting, and environmental matters.

A graduate of the Western New England University School of Law and Pennsylvania State University, Freyman has been recognized or awarded by the National Conference for Community and Justice for Excellence in Law, the Professional Women’s Chamber as Woman of the Year, the Ad Club of Western Massachusetts as a recipient of its annual Pynchon Award, the Springfield Leadership Institute with its Community Service Award, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as a recipient of its Top Women in Law Award, and Reminder Publications with its Hometown Hero Award. She was also chosen as one of BusinessWest’s Difference Makers in 2010.

Freyman is active on many nonprofit boards and currently serves as a member on the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce board of directors, which she has also chaired; the boards of the Community Music School of Springfield, the Center for Human Development, New England Public Radio, the Springfield Museum Assoc., the World Affairs Council, the YMCA of Greater Springfield, the Springfield Technical Community College Foundation, and the Springfield Technical Community College Acceptance Corp., and on the Elms College board of trustees. She is also an active member of the Longmeadow Zoning Board of Appeals, the Jewish Family Service board of directors, and the National Conference for Community and Justice board of directors. She is the founder and president of On Board Inc., a past president of the Springfield Rotary Club, and has been honored as a Paul Harris Fellow.

The breakfast honoring Freyman will be held on Wednesday, June 6 from 7:15 to 9 a.m. at the Flynn Campus Union at Springfield College, 263 Alden St., Springfield, and is sponsored by presenting sponsor MGM Springfield and breakfast series sponsor United Personnel.

In addition to honoring Freyman, the breakfast will feature, as keynote speaker, entrepreneur and author Nataly Kogan, CEO of Happier Inc. and author of the recently released Happier Now: How to Stop Striving for Perfection and Embrace Everyday Moments (Even the Difficult Ones).

Reservations for the breakfast cost $25 for members in advance ($30 at the door), and $35 for general admission ($40 at the door). Reservations may be made online at www.springfieldregionalchamber.com or by e-mailing Jessica Hill at [email protected].

Class of 2018 Difference Makers Event Galleries

A Look at the March 22 Event

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More than 375 people turned out at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House on March 22 to honor BusinessWest’s 2018 Difference Makers. Launched in 2009, the program recognizes groups and individuals across the region that are making a difference in their community. The honorees this year were: Bob Bolduc, CEO of Pride Stores; Bob ‘the Bike Man’ Charland, founder of Pedal Thru Youth; Girls Inc. of Holyoke; Evan Plotkin, president of NAI Plotkin; Crystal Senter-Brown, author and adjunct faculty member at Bay Path University; and the WillPower Foundation.

Our 2018 Difference Makers:
Bob Bolduc, CEO of Pride Stores
Bob “The Bike Man” Charland, Founder of Pedal Thru Youth
Girls Inc. of Holyoke
Evan Plotkin, President of NAI Plotkin
Crystal Senter-Brown, Author & Adjunct Faculty at Bay Path University
WillPower Foundation

     

Photography by Leah Martin Photography

From event sponsor Burkhart Pizzanelli, P.C., from

From event sponsor Burkhart Pizzanelli, P.C., from left: Adam Kuzdzal, Deborah Penzias, Josh Messer, Julie Quink, Tom Pratt, Carol LaCour, Rebecca Connolly, Stephanie Tobin, and Sarah Lapolice.

From event sponsor Health New England

From event sponsor Health New England, from left: Peggy Garand, Vivian Williams, Brendaliz Torres, Sandra Ruiz, Ashley Allen, Matt Sturgis (guest of HNE), and Jessica Dupont.

Gina Kos (left) and Michelle Depelteau from event sponsor Sunshine Village.

Gina Kos (left) and Michelle Depelteau from event sponsor Sunshine Village.

Sr. Kathleen Popko (left) and Sr. Mary Caritas from the Sisters of Providence, a 2013 Difference Maker.

Sr. Kathleen Popko (left) and Sr. Mary Caritas from the Sisters of Providence, a 2013 Difference Maker.

Bob Bolduc, founder of Pride Stores and a 2018 Difference Maker.

Bob Bolduc, founder of Pride Stores and a 2018 Difference Maker.

From 2018 Difference Maker the WillPower Foundation, from left: Sabrina Aasheim, Jeff Palm, and Maria Burke.

From 2018 Difference Maker the WillPower Foundation, from left: Sabrina Aasheim, Jeff Palm, and Maria Burke.

From left: Kate Kane of Northwestern Mutual, a 2009 Difference Maker, with Nick LaPier, CPA and BusinessWest Associate Publisher Kate Campiti.

From left: Kate Kane of Northwestern Mutual, a 2009 Difference Maker, with Nick LaPier, CPA and BusinessWest Associate Publisher Kate Campiti.

Bill Ward, a 2009 Difference Maker, with Joanne Lyons

Bill Ward, a 2009 Difference Maker, with Joanne Lyons of the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County.

Carol Leary, a 2016 Difference Maker, with 2018 Difference Maker Evan Plotkin

Bay Path University President Carol Leary, a 2016 Difference Maker, with 2018 Difference Maker Evan Plotkin, president of NAI Plotkin.

Tricia Canavan of United Personnel with Scott Foster of Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas and also Valley Venture Mentors, a 2016 Difference Maker.

Tricia Canavan of United Personnel with Scott Foster of Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas and also Valley Venture Mentors, a 2016 Difference Maker.

Sandra Ruiz, left, and Brendaliz Torres, from event sponsor Health New England.

Sandra Ruiz, left, and Brendaliz Torres, from event sponsor Health New England.

Bob Bolduc, left, with Bob ‘the Bike Man’ Charland, two of 2018’s Difference Makers.

Bob Bolduc, left, with Bob ‘the Bike Man’ Charland, two of 2018’s Difference Makers.

Representing event sponsor Sunshine Village

Representing event sponsor Sunshine Village, front row: Gina Kos (left) and Michelle Depelteau; back row: Peter Benton, Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos, Kelly Chmura, Maria Laflamme, Amie Miarecki, Colleen Brosnan, and Michael Siddal.

Tanzania Cannon-Ecklerle from event sponsor Royal, P.C. with Joe Ecklerle of Pelican Products and Brew Practitioners.

Tanzania Cannon-Ecklerle from event sponsor Royal, P.C. with Joe Ecklerle of Pelican Products and Brew Practitioners.

From 2018 Difference Maker Girls Inc. of Holyoke

From 2018 Difference Maker Girls Inc. of Holyoke, from left: Johana (Stella’s mother), Stella, Haley, Kylie (Haley’s mother), Emhanie, Brandy Wilson, Becky Bouchard, and Suzanne Parker.

Staff from NAI Plotkin turn out to celebrate 2018 Difference Maker Evan Plotkin.

Staff from NAI Plotkin turn out to celebrate 2018 Difference Maker Evan Plotkin.

Patrick O’Neil and Katie O’Neil from 2018 Difference Maker the WillPower Foundation.

Patrick O’Neil and Katie O’Neil from 2018 Difference Maker the WillPower Foundation.

Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos.

Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos.

Crystal Senter-Brown, left, and Suzanne Parker

Crystal Senter-Brown, left, and Suzanne Parker of Girls Inc. in Holyoke, both 2018 Difference Makers.

Bob Perry, retired CPA, a 2011 Difference Maker.

Bob Perry, retired CPA, a 2011 Difference Maker.

Kim Lee of the Center for Human Development.

Kim Lee of the Center for Human Development.

Evan Plotkin, president of NAI Plotkin, accepts his award as a 2018 Difference Maker.

Evan Plotkin, president of NAI Plotkin, accepts his award as a 2018 Difference Maker.

Will Burke, the namesake and inspiration for the WillPower Foundation, a 2018 Difference Maker.

Will Burke, the namesake and inspiration for the WillPower Foundation, a 2018 Difference Maker.

Stella and Emhanie, two of the girls from Girls Inc. of Holyoke, a 2018 Difference Maker.

Stella and Emhanie, two of the girls from Girls Inc. of Holyoke, a 2018 Difference Maker.

Bob Charland celebrates his 2018 Difference Maker award with fiancée Joanne Hansmann.

Bob Charland celebrates his 2018 Difference Maker award with fiancée Joanne Hansmann.

George O’Brien hands the 2018 Difference Maker award to Crystal Senter-Brown

BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien hands the 2018 Difference Maker award to Crystal Senter-Brown.

The WillPower Foundation

The WillPower Foundation’s Jeff Palm, Maria Burke, Sarah Aasheim, Will Burke, and Craig Burke accept their 2018 Difference Maker award from BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien (right).

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Agenda Departments

Gray House
Spaghetti Supper
March 19: The Gray House will hold its 27th annual spaghetti supper from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Greek Cultural Center, 8 Plainfield St. in Springfield. All proceeds from the family-friendly event will help the Gray House provide food, educational services, and youth programming to neighbors living in poverty. This year’s event sponsor is Freedom Credit Union, and platinum sponsors include PeoplesBank and the Springfield Chapter of UNICO National.
Tickets for the event are a minimum donation of $5. Children 6 and under are free, and all tickets can be purchased at the door. Supper, dessert, and children’s activities are available, as well as the opportunity to win raffle prizes such as Okemo Mountain lift tickets, a Tree House Brewing Co. basket, and many others. The grand-prize raffle includes a foursome to the Ranch Golf Club, tickets to a Boston Red Sox game, and a 32-inch smart TV. Winners do not need to be present to win the grand-prize raffle, and entry tickets can be purchased in advance by calling (413) 734-6696. This year, the Gray House will honor St. Michael’s Parish and Knights of Columbus Council #9960 of East Longmeadow. The event would not be possible without the support of the St. Michael’s Knights of Columbus and parishioners, said Teresa Liberti, executive director of the Gray House. “For over 20 years, they have been an integral part of making the spaghetti supper such a success. They are the ones who are cooking and serving the food for over 400 guests we have every year.”

Difference Makers
March 22: The 10th annual Difference Makers award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House. The winners were announced and profiled in the Jan. 22 issue. Difference Makers is a program, launched in 2009, that recognizes groups and individuals that are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region. Tickets to the event cost $75 per person, with tables of 10 available. To order, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100 or visit www.businesswest.com. Sponsors include Sunshine Village, Royal, P.C., Health New England, and Burkhart Pizzanelli, P.C.

Caritas Gala
April 21: Plans are underway for Mercy Medical Center’s second annual Caritas Gala at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. The gala, with its Motown-inspired theme “Reach Out,” will raise funds to support Mercy Behavioral Health Care and the Mercy Emergency Department’s Opioid Community Outreach for education, intervention, and treatment. Dr. Mohamed and Kimberly Hamdani, along with Paul and Anna Mancinone, are honorary chairpersons for the Caritas Gala. Longtime supporters of Mercy Medical Center, Dr. Hamdani has served as chairman of Surgery, chairman of Credentials, and president of the medical staff at Mercy, and Paul Mancinone serves on the board for Trinity Health Of New England. The Caritas Gala will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception, live entertainment from the band Motor City Magic, and a silent auction. Dinner will be served at 8 p.m., following by a live auction and dancing until midnight with music from the band Radiance. Preregistration is required by Friday, March 23. For more information or to purchase tickets to the Caritas Gala, visit www.mercycares.com/caritas-gala.

Mayors’ Economic Forum
April 26: “Mayors Meet Millennials” is the title of the 2018 New England Knowledge Corridor Mayors’ Economic Forum at Goodwin College in East Hartford, Conn. The program begins with coffee and conversation from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., followed by the conference program from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Participating mayors include Domenic Sarno (Springfield), Richard Kos (Chicopee), Marcia Leclerc (East Hartford), Erin Stewart (New Britain), and Luke Bronin (Hartford). Registration options and more information will be available soon.

40 Under Forty Gala
June 21: BusinessWest’s 12th annual 40 Under Forty Gala is a celebration of 40 young business and civic leaders in Western Mass. The lavish cocktail party, to be held starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, will feature butlered hors d’oeuvres, food stations, and entertainment — and, of course, the presentation of the class of 2018, which will be unveiled in the April 30 issue of BusinessWest. Also, the fourth Continued Excellence Award honoree will be announced. The 40 Under Forty sponsors include PeoplesBank (presenting sponsor), Northwestern Mutual (presenting sponsor), Isenberg School of Management, Health New England, and the MP Group. Tickets will go on sale soon at $75 per person (tables of 10 available), and the event always sells out quickly. For more information, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100, or e-mail [email protected]

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The 10th annual Difference Makers award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke on Thursday, March 22. Difference Makers is a program, launched in 2009, that recognizes groups and individuals that are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region.

This year’s honorees, which were announced and profiled in the Jan. 22 issue, include Bob Bolduc, CEO of Pride Stores; Bob “the Bike Man” Charland, Founder of Pedal Thru Youth; Girls Inc. of Holyoke; Evan Plotkin, president of NAI Plotkin; Crystal Senter-Brown, author and adjunct faculty at Bay Path University; and WillPower Foundation.

The Difference Makers Gala will begin at 5 p.m. with networking and opportunities to meet this year’s honorees. There will be live entertainment, butlered hors d’oeuvres, a plated dinner, and more networking opportunities. Sponsors include Sunshine Village, Royal, P.C., Health New England, and Burkhart Pizzanelli, P.C.

Tickets to the event cost $75 per person, with tables of 10 available. To order, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100 or visit www.businesswest.com.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The 10th annual Difference Makers award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke on Thursday, March 22. Difference Makers is a program, launched in 2009, that recognizes groups and individuals that are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region.

This year’s honorees, which were announced and profiled in the Jan. 22 issue, include Bob Bolduc, CEO of Pride Stores; Bob “the Bike Man” Charland, Founder of Pedal Thru Youth; Girls Inc. of Holyoke; Evan Plotkin, president of NAI Plotkin; Crystal Senter-Brown, author and adjunct faculty at Bay Path University; and WillPower Foundation.

The Difference Makers Gala will begin at 5 p.m. with networking and opportunities to meet this year’s honorees. There will be live entertainment, butlered hors d’oeuvres, a plated dinner, and more networking opportunities. Sponsors include Sunshine Village, Royal, P.C., Health New England, and Burkhart Pizzanelli, P.C.

Tickets to the event cost $75 per person, with tables of 10 available. To order, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100 or visit www.businesswest.com.

Agenda Departments

WGBY Wine & Food Lovers Weekend

March 9-10: The WGBY Wine & Food Lovers Weekend returns for its 33rd year with an Irish theme, featuring PBS chef Kevin Dundon, host of the popular cooking show Modern Irish Food. The weekend kicks off March 9 with the region’s largest benefit tasting event, featuring more than 300 wines, craft beers, and specialty food vendors, taking up three large function halls inside Springfield’s Tower Square Hotel. The tasting is followed on March 10 by the WGBY Wine Lovers Dinner at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. Dundon has created a seven-course menu of Irish cuisine and will be on hand to explain each featured dish. The meal will be executed by Log Cabin Executive Chef Mick Corduff, and each course will feature two wines, matched by Table & Vine Wine Sales Manager Michael Quinlan and his team. For a sneak peek at the WGBY Wine Lovers Dinner menu, visit wgby.org/wine/menu. Tickets to the March 9 tasting event in downtown Springfield are $49 each; tickets to the seven-course gourmet dinner on March 10 in Holyoke are $175 each. Both are available online at wgby.org/wine or at Table & Vine in West Springfield. Proceeds benefit public television and PBS station WGBY. The event is sponsored by Big Y World Class Markets, Table & Vine, the Dennis Group, and AM Lithography. Media sponsors include BusinessWest, the Healthcare News, and the Republican.

Hockey ‘N Heels

March 10: Dress for Success of Western Massachusetts will host its second annual Hockey ‘N Heels night before the Springfield Thunderbirds game against the Utica Comets from 4 to 6 p.m. at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. Baystate Health and Health New England will sponsor “Pink in the Rink” as part of the game. Attendees are invited to put on their best heels and join a fun ladies’ night. A donation of $50 buys entrance to the pre-game reception, as well as admission to the Thunderbirds game, starting at 7:05 p.m. The $50 also includes a $20 donation to Dress for Success Western Massachusetts to support its programming in 2018. During the reception, Amber Cox, vice president of the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun and the New England Black Wolves (a professional box lacrosse team), will share her experiences as a woman working in a male-dominated industry. The event will also feature samplings offered by Commercial Distributing, appetizers, and pictures with Boomer, the Thunderbirds’ mascot. Visit springfieldthunderbirds.formstack.com/forms/hockeynheels2018 to purchase tickets.

‘Pricing and Positioning Your Business for Sale’

March 16: Attention all business owners: if you plan to retire, or think you might someday want to change gears in your life, you will eventually be faced with the task of selling or transferring ownership of your business. With this in mind, Philip Steckler and Eric Lineback of Country Business Inc. (CBI) will present a workshop titled “Maximize the Value of Your Business: Properly Pricing and Positioning Your Business For Sale” from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at Holyoke Public Library. CBI, a business-brokerage and merger-and-acquisition firm, has managed the sales of more than 1,200 businesses since 1976, with sale prices ranging from a few hundred thousand dollars to $30 million, including local businesses Quabbin Industries, New England Wetland Plants, Danco Modern, Bart’s Ice Cream, and Graphic Printing. Steckler and Lineback will introduce business owners to topics such as maximizing the value of a business, properly pricing and positioning a business for sale, attracting qualified buyers, minimizing taxes, and maintaining confidentiality. Additional topics covered will include analyzing a business’ strengths and weaknesses, understanding the marketplace, valuing a business and properly setting the purchase price and terms, and more. To register, contact Ira Bryck at the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley at [email protected] or (413) 835-0810.

Difference Makers

March 22: The 10th annual Difference Makers award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House. The winners will be announced and profiled in the Jan. 22 issue. Difference Makers is a program, launched in 2009, that recognizes groups and individuals that are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region. Tickets to the event cost $75 per person, with tables of 10 available. To order, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100 or visit HERE. Sponsors include Sunshine Village, Royal, P.C., Health New England, and Burkhart Pizzanelli, P.C.

40 Under Forty Gala

June 21: BusinessWest’s 12th annual 40 Under Forty Gala is a celebration of 40 young business and civic leaders in Western Mass. The lavish cocktail party, to be held June 21starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, will feature butlered hors d’oeuvres, food stations, and entertainment — and, of course, the presentation of the class of 2018. Also, the fourth Continued Excellence Award honoree will be announced. The 40 Under Forty sponsors include PeoplesBank (presenting sponsor), Northwestern Mutual (presenting sponsor), Isenberg School of Management, Mercedes Benz of Springfield, and the MP Group. Tickets will go on sale soon at $75 per person (tables of 10 available). For more information, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100, or e-mail [email protected].

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The 10th annual Difference Makers award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke on Thursday, March 22. Difference Makers is a program, launched in 2009, that recognizes groups and individuals that are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region.

This year’s honorees, which were announced and profiled in the Jan. 22 issue, include Bob Bolduc, CEO of Pride Stores; Bob “the Bike Man” Charland, Founder of Pedal Thru Youth; Girls Inc. of Holyoke; Evan Plotkin, president of NAI Plotkin; Crystal Senter-Brown, author and adjunct faculty at Bay Path University; and WillPower Foundation.

The Difference Makers Gala will begin at 5 p.m. with networking and opportunities to meet this year’s honorees. There will be live entertainment, butlered hors d’oeuvres, a plated dinner, and more networking opportunities. Sponsors include Sunshine Village, Royal, P.C., Health New England, and Burkhart Pizzanelli, P.C.

Tickets to the event cost $75 per person, with tables of 10 available. To order, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100 or visit www.businesswest.com.

Difference Makers

Honorees since the first class of 2009

2018:

Bob Bolduc, CEO of Pride Stores
Bob “The Bike Man” Charland, Founder of Pedal Thru Youth
Girls Inc. of Holyoke
Evan Plotkin, President of NAI Plotkin
Crystal Senter-Brown, Author & Adjunct Faculty at Bay Path University
WillPower Foundation

2017:

The Community Colleges of Western Massachusetts; Berkshire Community College, Greenfield Community College, Holyoke Community College, Springfield Technical Community College
•    Friends of the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round
•    Denis Gagnon Sr., President & CEO of Excel Dryer Inc.
•    Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts
•    Joan Kagan, President & CEO of Square One.

2016:

•    Hampden County Sheriff Michael J. Ashe Jr.
•    Mike Balise, Balise Motor Sales, Philanthropist (1965-2015)
•    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire Counties
•    Bay Path University President Carol Leary
•    John Robison, president, J.E. Robison Service

2015:

•    Katelynn’s Ride
•    Judy Matt, president of Spirit of Springfield
•    MassMutual Financial Group
•    The ownership group of the Student Prince and the Fort
•    Valley Venture Mentors

2014:

•    The Gray House
•    Colleen Loveless, executive director of the Springfield chapter of Rebuilding Together
•    The Melha Shriners
•    Paula Moore, founder of YSET Academy and a teacher at Roger L. Putnam Vocational Training Academy
•    Michael Moriarty, attorney, director of Olde Holyoke Development Corp., and supporter of childhood literacy programs

2013:

•    Michael Cutone, John Barbieri, and Thomas Sarrouf, organizers of Springfield’s C3 Policing program
•    John Downing, president of Soldier On
•    Bruce Landon, president and general manager of the Springfield Falcons
•    The Sisters of Providence
•    Jim Vinick, managing director of Investments for Moors & Cabot Inc.

2012:

•   Charlie and Donald D’Amour, president/COO and chairman/CEO of Big Y Foods
•   William Messner, president of Holyoke Community College
•   Majors Tom and Linda-Jo Perks, officers of the Springfield Corps of the Salvation Army
•   Bob Schwarz, executive vice president of Peter Pan Bus Lines
•   The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts

2011:

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

2010:

•    The Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation
•    Ellen Freyman, attorney and shareholder at Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C.
•    James Goodwin, president and CEO of the Center for Human Development
•    Carol Katz, CEO of the Loomis Communities
•    UMass Amherst and its chancellor, Robert Holub

2009:

•    Doug Bowen, president and CEO of PeoplesBank
•    Kate Kane, managing director of the Springfield office of Northwestern Mutual Financial/the Zuzolo Group
•    Susan Jaye-Kaplan, founder of GoFIT and co-founder of Link to Libraries
•    William Ward, executive director of the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County
•   The Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield

Difference Makers

Honorees since the first class of 2009

2018:

Bob Bolduc, CEO of Pride Stores
Bob “The Bike Man” Charland, Founder of Pedal Thru Youth
Girls Inc. of Holyoke
Evan Plotkin, President of NAI Plotkin
Crystal Senter-Brown, Author & Adjunct Faculty at Bay Path University
WillPower Foundation

2017:

The Community Colleges of Western Massachusetts; Berkshire Community College, Greenfield Community College, Holyoke Community College, Springfield Technical Community College
•    Friends of the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round
•    Denis Gagnon Sr., President & CEO of Excel Dryer Inc.
•    Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts
•    Joan Kagan, President & CEO of Square One.

2016:

•    Hampden County Sheriff Michael J. Ashe Jr.
•    Mike Balise, Balise Motor Sales, Philanthropist (1965-2015)
•    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire Counties
•    Bay Path University President Carol Leary
•    John Robison, president, J.E. Robison Service

2015:

•    Katelynn’s Ride
•    Judy Matt, president of Spirit of Springfield
•    MassMutual Financial Group
•    The ownership group of the Student Prince and the Fort
•    Valley Venture Mentors

2014:

•    The Gray House
•    Colleen Loveless, executive director of the Springfield chapter of Rebuilding Together
•    The Melha Shriners
•    Paula Moore, founder of YSET Academy and a teacher at Roger L. Putnam Vocational Training Academy
•    Michael Moriarty, attorney, director of Olde Holyoke Development Corp., and supporter of childhood literacy programs

2013:

•    Michael Cutone, John Barbieri, and Thomas Sarrouf, organizers of Springfield’s C3 Policing program
•    John Downing, president of Soldier On
•    Bruce Landon, president and general manager of the Springfield Falcons
•    The Sisters of Providence
•    Jim Vinick, managing director of Investments for Moors & Cabot Inc.

2012:

•   Charlie and Donald D’Amour, president/COO and chairman/CEO of Big Y Foods
•   William Messner, president of Holyoke Community College
•   Majors Tom and Linda-Jo Perks, officers of the Springfield Corps of the Salvation Army
•   Bob Schwarz, executive vice president of Peter Pan Bus Lines
•   The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts

2011:

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

2010:

•    The Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation
•    Ellen Freyman, attorney and shareholder at Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C.
•    James Goodwin, president and CEO of the Center for Human Development
•    Carol Katz, CEO of the Loomis Communities
•    UMass Amherst and its chancellor, Robert Holub

2009:

•    Doug Bowen, president and CEO of PeoplesBank
•    Kate Kane, managing director of the Springfield office of Northwestern Mutual Financial/the Zuzolo Group
•    Susan Jaye-Kaplan, founder of GoFIT and co-founder of Link to Libraries
•    William Ward, executive director of the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County
•   The Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield

Agenda Departments

Bar Talk for Isenberg Alumni

Feb. 20: No matter the establishment, bar talk can be engaging and insightful. That’s why Vinnie Daboul of Sage Benefits started hosting Bar Talk events for Isenberg School of Management alumni in Western Mass. These informal events are ideal for cultivating formal connections and alumni networks. The next Bar Talk session will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. at Max’s Tavern in Springfield. Attendees will be able to meet two Isenberg representatives: Jennifer Winkelman, executive director of Constituent Relations, and Thomas Moliterno, associate dean of Faculty & Engagement and overseer for the construction of the new Isenberg Innovation Hub. Appetizers will be served. Each attendee will receive one drink ticket. RSVP by e-mailing [email protected]

Lecture on Chronic Pain

Feb. 22: Holyoke Medical Center (HMC) will host a free discussion, “Living with Chronic Pain,” at 5:30 p.m. in the HMC Auxiliary Conference Center. Chronic pain can impact both one’s personal and professional life. HMC’s new Pain Management Center can help individuals manage that pain and get back to enjoying life. Dr. Joseph Strebel, director of the Pain Management Center, will discuss the comprehensive, multi-disciplinary treatment approach that HMC now offers, and what that can mean for one’s quality of life. This program is free and open to the public, and is part of Holyoke Medical Center’s community education programming, one in a series of workshops held throughout the year to help people learn about specific health issues, wellness, prevention, and treatment. To register for this event, visit www.holyokehealth.com/events or call (413) 534-2789.

Melha Shriners Last Dance

Feb. 24: As the Melha Shriners prepare to move from its current location, the Melha Shrine Center at 133 Longhill St. in Springfield, it will host a last hurrah of sorts: a Last Dance event. Beginning with a social hour at 6 p.m., attendees will enjoy a dinner of pasta and meatballs, salad, and rolls at 7 p.m. The evening will culminate with dancing to tunes presented by D.J. Rene Vadnais until midnight with chances to win 50/50 raffle prizes throughout the evening. The cost to attend the Last Dance is $15 per person. The Melha Shriners have been in their current location since 1959. “We have had such great support from the public and from our Shriners at so many events in our facility for the past 59 years, and we’re looking forward to being able to thank everyone for that support, which we hope will continue as we move into a new era,” said Glenn Suprenant, 2018 potentate of the Melha Shriners. Added Michael White, Shriners public relations chairman, “we want to have this special night for everyone to be able to celebrate our continued commitment to all that we represent as Shriners.” While the Shriners will be moving to a new facility within the next several months, its leadership team has continued to stress that the only change being made is the location of their facility, not their commitment to all that they represent. Those interested in purchasing tickets may do so by contacting the Shrine office at (413) 736-3647 or visiting melhashriners.com. Tickets will be sold at the door based on availability. For further information, contact Al Zippin at (413) 219-8655.

Springfield College Fit Fest

Feb. 26: The annual Springfield College Fit Fest will take place from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Springfield College Field House inside the Wellness and Recreation Complex. Fit Fest is free and open to the public. More than 40 exhibits and activities representing Springfield College groups and area businesses will address wellness topics including mental health, nutrition, sexual and reproductive health, financial literacy, social programs for kids and adults with disabilities, and physical-fitness testing. Attendees will have the opportunity to receive a free chair massage, have their body fat measured, participate in a functional movement screening, and learn about self-defense. Exhibitors in attendance will include the YWCA of Western Massachusetts, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, Better Life Whole Foods, Tapestry Health, the Center for Human Development, and more.

MS Excel Skill Training

Feb. 26 to March 1: In conversations with area employers, Tech Foundry has learned that MS Excel is a pressing skill need for current workforce across Western Mass. Hundreds of workers in the Pioneer Valley alone use Excel on a daily basis, and only a small fraction have the training and skill needed to maximize job success and productivity. To meet this need, Tech Foundry is offering a four-day training class on Excel at its offices on the ninth floor of 1391 Main St., Springfield. The class will run each day from 9 a.m. to noon and cover the following skills: advanced formulas; tables and formatting; conditional formatting; advanced charting; pivot tables and pivot reporting; VBA and macros; using Excel productively; data tables, simulations, and Solver; Excel integration; and optimizing Excel. The cost per student is $750. However, employers with fewer than 100 employees are eligible for a 50% tuition reimbursement from Commonwealth Corp. To register, e-mail [email protected], or call Jonathan Edwards with questions at (413) 276-0609, ext. 100.

EMT Training Program

March 5 to June 20: Holyoke Community College, in collaboration with the Quaboag Valley Community Development Corp. and Emergency Medical Training Solutions, is offering an EMT training program at the E2E: Quaboag Region Workforce Training and Community College Center at 79 Main St., Ware. The EMT-B Emergency Medical Technician Basic course meets on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 to 10 p.m. and on select Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The 13-week program consists of more than 170 hours of in-class lectures and additional online study, training, field trips, and workshops designed to prepare students for the state EMT certification exam. The course covers all aspects of emergency care, including patient handling, extrication, communication, working with law enforcement, legal issues, ethics, medical equipment, and safe transportation of patients. The course fee is $1,099 plus $200 for texts. For more information or to register, contact Ken White at (413) 552-2324 or [email protected], or visit www.hcc.edu/workforce.

Pricing and Positioning a Business for Sale

March 16: Attention all business owners: if you plan to retire, or think you might someday want to change gears in your life, you will eventually be faced with the task of selling or transferring ownership of your business.With this in mind, Philip Steckler and Eric Lineback of Country Business Inc. (CBI) will present a workshop titled “Maximize the Value of Your Business: Properly Pricing and Positioning Your Business For Sale” on Friday, March 16 from 9 to 11:30 
a.m. at Holyoke Public Library. CBI, a business-brokerage and merger-and-acquisition firm, has managed the sales of more than 1,200 businesses since 1976. Steckler and Lineback will introduce business owners to topics such as maximizing the value of a business, properly pricing and positioning a business for sale, attracting qualified buyers, minimizing taxes, and maintaining confidentiality. Additional topics covered will include analyzing a business’ strengths and weaknesses, understanding the marketplace, valuing a business and properly setting the purchase price and terms, and more.

Difference Makers

March 22: The 10th annual Difference Makers award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House. The winners were announced and profiled in the Feb. 5 issue. Difference Makers is a program, launched in 2009, that recognizes groups and individuals that are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region. Tickets to the event cost $75 per person, with tables of 10 available. To order, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100 or visit www.businesswest.com. Sponsors to date include Sunshine Village, Royal, P.C., and Health New England. Sponsorship opportunities are still available by calling (413) 781-8600, ext. 100.

Caritas Gala

April 21: Plans are underway for Mercy Medical Center’s second annual Caritas Gala at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. The gala, with its Motown-inspired theme “Reach Out,” will raise funds to support Mercy Behavioral Health Care and the Mercy Emergency Department’s Opioid Community Outreach for education, intervention, and treatment. Dr. Mohamed and Kimberly Hamdani, along with Paul and Anna Mancinone, are honorary chairpersons for the Caritas Gala. Longtime supporters of Mercy Medical Center, Dr. Hamdani has served as chairman of Surgery, chairman of Credentials, and president of the medical staff at Mercy, and Paul Mancinone serves on the board for Trinity Health Of New England. “Today, we are challenged by the opioid epidemic and its impact on individuals of all ages, races, and economic levels,” Dr. Hamdani said. “Mercy Behavioral Health Care looks beyond the stigma of addiction and provides treatment that supports people in their efforts to recover.” The Caritas Gala will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception, live entertainment from the band Motor City Magic, and a silent auction. Dinner will be served at 8 p.m., following by a live auction and dancing until midnight with music from the band Radiance. Preregistration is required by Friday, March 23. For more information or to purchase tickets to the Caritas Gala, visit www.mercycares.com/caritas-gala.

40 Under Forty Gala

June 21: BusinessWest’s 12th annual 40 Under Forty Gala is a celebration of 40 young business and civic leaders in Western Mass. The lavish cocktail party, to be held starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, will feature butlered hors d’oeuvres, food stations, and entertainment — and, of course, the presentation of the class of 2018. Also, the fourth Continued Excellence Award honoree will be announced. Presenting sponsors are PeoplesBank and Northwestern Mutual. Additional sponsors include Isenberg School of Management and the MP Group. Tickets will go on sale soon at $75 per person (tables of 10 available). For more information, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100, or e-mail [email protected]

Class of 2018 Cover Story Difference Makers

difference-makers-logoBack in late 2008, the management team at BusinessWest conceived a new recognition program.

It was called Difference Makers because this would be a trait shared by those who would be honored — they were all making a difference in the community. The goal was, and is, to show the many ways in which an individual or group can make a difference, and suffice to say this goal has been met.

And the class of 2018, the program’s 10th, makes this even more abundantly clear, as the stories below show.

This year’s sponsors are Health New England, Royal, P.C., and Sunshine Village.

The six members of the Class of 2018 will be honored on Thursday, March 22 at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke. For information about that event, sponsorship opportunities, or to purchase tickets, go HERE or call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100.

Photography by Leah Martin Photography

 

005_bolducbob-diff2017Community Pride

Bob Bolduc Cooks Up New Ways to Better the Lives of Young People

032_charlandbobmain-diff2017Pedal to the Mettle

‘Bike Man’ Bob Charland’s Story Has Been a Truly Inspirational Ride

022_girlsincmain-diff2017A Force to Be Reckoned With

Girls Inc. Inspires Members to be Strong, Smart, and Bold

017_plotkinevan-diff2017Portrait of the Artist

Evan Plotkin Works to Fill in the Canvas Known as Springfield

008_crystalcenterbrown-diff2017Write On

Crystal Senter-Brown Enlightens and Empowers Those She Touches

020_willpowermainuse-diff2017Where There’s a Will

The Unique Nonprofit Known as WillPower Meets Some Very Special Needs

 

Sponsored by

PrintRoyalPCSunshineVillage

Opinion

Editorial

‘Empower’ is a word with a very specific, somewhat technical definition. To empower means to essentially grant someone or some entity the official authority, or legal power, to do something.

But that’s not how most people deploy that verb these days. They use it to describe how individuals and groups provide others with, well, whatever it takes to do something they couldn’t do before. To ‘empower’ means, generally speaking, to enable someone to overcome obstacles, reach higher, dream bigger, and accomplish more than they thought they could.

Again, that’s not the definition you’ll find in the dictionary. But it’s the one that works in most cases, and especially BusinessWest’s Difference Makers Class of 2018.

All of this year’s six honorees — both individuals and groups — are empowering others to essentially recalibrate and find a higher quality of life (See stories HERE). That’s a somewhat poetic way to knit these impressive stories together, but it works. Let’s take a closer look:

• Through his deep involvement in almost all things Springfield, Evan Plotkin is essentially empowering the City of Homes to reclaim some of its past glory and position itself for a better future as Millennials and Baby Boomers alike rediscover urban living. Plotkin likes to say his collective efforts are aimed at ‘activating’ facilities and attractions ranging from Court Square to the riverfront to the ill-fated Pynchon Park. And his success with projects like the annual Jazz & Roots Festival downtown are bringing people to Springfield and creating much-needed momentum.

• Girls Inc., a nonprofit that serves individuals in low-income neighborhoods, essentially empowers girls to rise above the many challenges they face and set the bar for their lives and careers much higher than they probably would otherwise. It does this through programming that introduces girls to careers in many realms, but especially the STEM fields, but also gives them the confidence to pursue them. As it says on the Girls Inc. letterhead, it inspires members to be strong, smart, and bold.

• Similarly, Crystal Senter-Brown, an author and educator, empowers many constituencies, but especially girls and women, to reach higher, overcome adversity, and give back to their community. She does this through children’s books, novels, a course she teaches at Bay Path University called “Leadership in Practice,” and talks to groups of women looking for direction and the inspiration to do what’s necessary to turn their lives around.

• The WillPower Foundation empowers individuals with different abilities and their families to find a higher quality life by filling gaps in the coverage of care for such individuals. A unique nonprofit, it provides grants rather than services, and many of these grants are for only a few hundred dollars. But what they lack in size they make up for in true meaning. Indeed, these grants fund equipment and forms of therapy (like horseback riding) that are not covered by insurance and thus often beyond the reach of families.

• Bob Bolduc, CEO of Pride Stores, empowers area nonprofits to do the important work they do by consistently supporting them not only with gifts of money, but, in many cases, with contributions of time, energy, and imagination. He received press coverage across the country and even around the world when he donated his share of that record lottery payout last summer to charities, but he’s been giving back quietly and effectively for decades now.

• As for Bob Charland, a.k.a. ‘the Bike Man’ and ‘the Bike Guy,’ he’s empowering young people to take a ride on a bicycle — in many cases, the first one they’ve ever owned. But that’s understating his impact on those he touches. Indeed, as he carries out his work in the community, he does so knowing that he has a terminal illness — and not knowing just how much time he has. His determination to make the very most of that time and find new ways to give back is inspiring and, yes, empowering others to do the same.

So there you have it, the Class of 2018, what you might call an ‘empowerful’ group of Difference Makers.

Agenda Departments

Book Discussion with Judge Michael Ponsor

Feb. 5: The Hampden County Bar Assoc. invites the public to a reading and book talk with New York Times bestselling author Judge Michael Ponsor from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Fort, 8 Fort St., Springfield. Ponsor will discuss his first novel, The Hanging Judge, released in 2013, and his new novel, The One-Eyed Judge, a fast-paced and thought-provoking legal fiction. This event is a fund-raiser for the newly established Hampden County Bar Foundation. There is no fee for attending this event; however, a donation for the foundation is encouraged. Ponsor will be donating a portion of the sales of his books at the event to the foundation.

Heart Health Symposium

Feb. 6: Springfield College will welcome health experts from Baystate Medical Center, the New England Center for Functional Medicine, and the Springfield College Nutrional Sciences Program for a Heart Health Symposium in the Cleveland E. and Phyllis B. Dodge Room inside the Flynn Campus Union starting at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Led by Springfield College Department of Exercise Science and Sport Studies Chair Dr. Sue Guyer, a panel of experts, including Baystate Medical Center Cardiac Rehab and Wellness Manager Heidi Szalai, New England Center for Functional Medicine Medical Director Dr. Christopher Keroack, and Springfield College Nutritional Sciences Associate Professor Donna Chapman, will discuss topics ranging from risk factors for heart disease to the benefits of healthy living, and stressing the importance of good nutrition for a healthy heart. The symposium is a continuation of the Springfield College Exercise Is Medicine Speaker Series that is part of Guyer’s on-campus initiative while serving as the 2017-18 Springfield College Distinguished Professor of Humanics. Earlier this academic year, as part of the humanics project, Springfield College was officially registered as an Exercise Is Medicine on Campus institution. The mission of this is to foster collaborative relationships and leadership on campus between exercise, health, and other disciplines. The vision is to see all campus and community members across multiple disciplines discover, share, and adopt principles that will change the culture of chronic disease prevention and management. If you have a disability and require a reasonable accommodation to fully participate in this event, contact Laura Feeley as soon as possible at [email protected] or (413) 748-3178 to discuss your accessibility needs. Springfield College is a smoke- and tobacco-free campus.

Free Legal Help Hotline

Feb. 8: The Hampden County Bar Assoc. will hold a Legal Help Hotline in conjunction with Western New England University School of Law from 4 to 7 p.m. at Western New England University School of Law, 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield. The volunteers will provide legal advice on a variety of topics, including divorce and family law, bankruptcy, business, landlord/tenant, and real estate. Additionally, in light of recent immigration developments, attorneys with immigration-law experience will be available to answer questions. Spanish-speaking attorneys will also be available. Individuals needing advice should call (413) 796-2057 to speak to a volunteer.

‘Ethan at 21’ to Screen at Film Festival

Feb. 10-11: A film 12 years in the making features an Amherst family dealing with autism. Ethan at 21 is the showcase film at a film festival hosted by Pathlight, Whole Children, and Five College Realtors, with two showings and locations. The festival also features three short documentaries from the renowned Sprout Film Festival. All of the films feature individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Ethan at 21 is a challenging film that explores whether society is equipped to care for the growing population of young adults with disabilities, including autism. Shot over 12 years, it is also a funny, poignant, truthful, portrait of one family. “I began making this film when I was 26 and single,” said filmmaker Josephine Sittenfeld. “Over the past 11 years, I met my husband, married, and became a mother of two. I was always inspired by Ethan and his family, but making this film gained additional importance for me after I became a parent. Ethan’s parents are my heroes. Through their example, I’ve continually been reminded what good parenting is — and that, above all, it includes letting your child carve his own path.” This is a sneak peek screening of a film in progress, and will be shown on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2 to 4 p.m. at Mills Theater in Carr Hall at Bay Path University in Longmeadow; and on Sunday, Feb. 11, (4:30 to 6:30 p.m.) at Hadley Farms Meeting House in Hadley. The filmmaker is eager for audience feedback as she looks toward festival distribution and broadcast later this year. Sittenfeld, Ethan, and his family will be on hand for a question-and-answer period after each screening. The film festival also includes three short films from New York-based Sprout Film Festival, whose mission is “to inspire audiences, promote inclusion, and support transformative filmmaking as an integral part of social change.” Admission to either showing is $10 and includes a post-film reception as well as a panel discussion with the Ethan at 21 filmmaker. To learn more about Pathlight and Whole Children or to register for the film festival, visit www.wholechildren.org.

Talk with Journalist Linda Greenhouse

Feb. 11: Kimball Farms Life Care in Lenox will host Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Linda Greenhouse at 2 p.m. Greenhouse covered the U.S. Supreme Court for the New York Times for 30 years, and her talk will focus on current issues facing the court. Greenhouse is the Knight Distinguished Journalist in Residence and Joseph M. Goldstein Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School, and writes a biweekly op-ed column for the New York Times as a contributing columnist. Her latest book, “Just a Journalist,” an autobiographical essay on the practice of journalism, was published this fall by Harvard University Press. Greenhouse was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Journalism (Beat Reporting) in 1998 “for her consistently illuminating coverage of the United States Supreme Court.” In 2004, she received the Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism and the John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism. She was a Radcliffe Institute Medal winner in 2006. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP to (413) 637-7043. Seating is limited. Kimball Farms Life Care, located at 235 Walker St. in Lenox, provides a continuum of care, including independent living, assisted living, memory care, short-term rehabilitation, and long-term skilled-nursing care.

40 Under Forty Nomination Deadline

Feb. 16: BusinessWest magazine will accept nominations for the 40 Under Forty Class of 2018 through the end of the work day (5 p.m.) on Friday, Feb 16. The annual program, now in its 12th year, recognizes rising stars within the Western Mass. community, which includes Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties. This year’s group of 40 will be profiled in the magazine’s April 30 edition, then toasted at the June 21 gala at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke (see below). The nomination form, which can be found online HERE, requests basic information and can be supported with other material, such as a résumé, testimonials, and even press clippings highlighting an individual’s achievements in their profession or service to their community.

Inclusive Sports Sampler for Young Adults with an IDD

Feb. 17: For parents of young adults who have an IDD (intellectual or developmental disability), there is one challenge shared by all: identifying inclusive and accessible recreational experiences in their local community that offer opportunities for peer connections and fun, at low cost. Best Buddies, CHD Disability Resources, and Extra Innings understand this challenge firsthand and have combined resources to offer a solution. These organizations are teaming up to present the Young Adult Sports Sampler. This event gives members of the community who have an IDD, ages 14-22, an opportunity to sample several activities at once, in one location. The Young Adult Sampler takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at Extra Innings, 340 McKinstry Ave., #250, Chicopee. A wide range of accessible and inclusive activities will be offered, including dance and movement, martial arts, intro to sled hockey, Wiffle ball, baseball simulator, and intro to adaptive bikes. There is no cost to attend, but an RSVP is appreciated. Contact Jessica Levine at [email protected] by Saturday, Feb. 10. The snow date is March 3.

Difference Makers

March 22: The 10th annual Difference Makers award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House. The winners will be announced and profiled in the Jan. 22 issue. Difference Makers is a program, launched in 2009, that recognizes groups and individuals that are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region. Tickets to the event cost $75 per person, with tables of 10 available. To order, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100 or go HERE. Sponsors to date include Sunshine Village, Royal, P.C., and Health New England. Sponsorship opportunities are still available by calling (413) 781-8600, ext. 100.

40 Under Forty Gala

June 21: BusinessWest’s 12th annual 40 Under Forty Gala is a celebration of 40 young business and civic leaders in Western Mass. The lavish cocktail party, to be held starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, will feature butlered hors d’oeuvres, food stations, and entertainment — and, of course, the presentation of the class of 2018. Also, the third Continued Excellence Award honoree will be announced. Tickets will go on sale soon at $75 per person (tables of 10 available), and the event always sells out quickly. For more information, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100, or e-mail [email protected]

Agenda Departments

Retirement and Elder-care Planning Seminar

Feb. 3: A retirement and elder-care planning seminar will take place from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Church in the Acres, 1383 Wilbraham Road, Springfield. Presenters include David Fedor, certified financial planner, practitioner, and chartered retirement planning counselor from Commonwealth Financial Network; Sharon Connor from Choices Elder Support; Mary-Anne Schelb from JGS Lifecare; Jennifer Kinsman from Acti-Kare; and Lisa Beauvais, estate-planning attorney. This event is free and open to the public. Call (413) 726-9044 to RSVP.

Free Legal Help Hotline

Feb. 8: The Hampden County Bar Assoc. will hold a Legal Help Hotline in conjunction with Western New England University School of Law from 4 to 7 p.m. at Western New England University School of Law, 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield. The volunteers will provide legal advice on a variety of topics, including divorce and family law, bankruptcy, business, landlord/tenant, and real estate. Additionally, in light of recent immigration developments, attorneys with immigration-law experience will be available to answer questions. Spanish-speaking attorneys will also be available. Individuals needing advice should call (413) 796-2057 to speak to a volunteer.

40 Under Forty Nomination Deadline

Feb. 16: BusinessWest magazine will accept nominations for the 40 Under Forty Class of 2018 through the end of the work day (5 p.m.) on Friday, Feb 16. The annual program, now in its 12th year, recognizes rising stars within the Western Mass. community, which includes Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties. This year’s group of 40 will be profiled in the magazine’s April 30 edition, then toasted at the June 21 gala at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke (see below). The nomination form, which can be found online HERE, requests basic information and can be supported with other material, such as a résumé, testimonials, and even press clippings highlighting an individual’s achievements in their profession or service to their community.

Inclusive Sports Sampler

Feb. 17: For parents of young adults who have an IDD (intellectual or developmental disability), there is one challenge shared by all: identifying inclusive and accessible recreational experiences in their local community that offer opportunities for peer connections and fun, at low cost. Best Buddies, CHD Disability Resources, and Extra Innings understand this challenge firsthand and have combined resources to offer a solution. These organizations are teaming up to present the Young Adult Sports Sampler. This event gives members of the community who have an IDD, ages 14-22, an opportunity to sample several activities at once, in one location. The Young Adult Sampler takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at Extra Innings, 340 McKinstry Ave., #250, Chicopee. A wide range of accessible and inclusive activities will be offered, including dance and movement, martial arts, intro to sled hockey, Wiffle ball, baseball simulator, and intro to adaptive bikes. There is no cost to attend, but an RSVP is appreciated. Contact Jessica Levine at [email protected] by Saturday, Feb. 10.

EMT Training Program

March 5 to June 20: Holyoke Community College, in collaboration with the Quaboag Valley Community Development Corp. and Emergency Medical Training Solutions, is offering an EMT training program at the E2E: Quaboag Region Workforce Training and Community College Center at 79 Main St., Ware. The EMT-B Emergency Medical Technician Basic course meets on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 to 10 p.m. and on select Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The 13-week program consists of more than 170 hours of in-class lectures and additional online study, training, field trips, and workshops designed to prepare students for the state EMT certification exam. The course covers all aspects of emergency care, including patient handling, extrication, communication, working with law enforcement, legal issues, ethics, medical equipment, and safe transportation of patients. The course fee is $1,099 plus $200 for texts. For more information or to register, contact Ken White at (413) 552-2324 or [email protected], or visit www.hcc.edu/workforce.

Difference Makers

March 22: The 10th annual Difference Makers award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House. The winners will be announced and profiled in the Jan. 22 issue. Difference Makers is a program, launched in 2009, that recognizes groups and individuals that are making a difference in this region. Tickets to the event cost $75 per person, with tables of 10 available. To order, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100 or visit HERE. Sponsors to date include Sunshine Village and Royal, P.C. Sponsorship opportunities are still available by calling (413) 781-8600, ext. 100.

40 Under Forty Gala

June 21: BusinessWest’s 12th annual 40 Under Forty Gala is a celebration of 40 young business and civic leaders in Western Mass. The lavish cocktail party, to be held starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, will feature butlered hors d’oeuvres, food stations, and entertainment — and, of course, the presentation of the class of 2017. Also, the third Continued Excellence Award honoree will be announced. Tickets will go on sale soon at $75 per person (tables of 10 available), and the event always sells out quickly. For more information, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100, or e-mail [email protected].

Agenda Departments

Women’s Fund Mentor Match
Jan. 13: January is National Mentoring Month, and the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts (WFWM) announced its second annual Mentor Match, a networking event that aims to engage emerging leaders with seasoned professionals. The event will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. at the UMass Center at Springfield, and is open to the public. Featuring Bay Path University Professor Janine Fondon, WFWM board and committee members, participants and alumni of the Women’s Fund’s Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact (LIPPI), and community members, the Mentor Match is designed to connect members of the Women’s Fund family as mentors and mentees to share resources, experiences, and work together in order to achieve professional and personal goals. All members of the Women’s Fund community are invited to attend. RSVP by Jan. 10 by visiting www.mywomensfund.org/event/mentor-match.

Pet CPR, First Aid Course
Jan. 14, 21: Many people remember learning CPR and basic first aid in health class, but have you thought about taking a course which covers this topic as it relates to your pet? Jim Helems of Pet Tech has made it easier for pet owners to understand first aid with his PetSaver Training class. He travels throughout the Pioneer Valley offering this training, and next month he will offer this course at the Good Dog Spot. Pet Tech’s trainings have helped save the lives of thousands of pets. Participants will receive a certificate upon completion of the one-day course. The cost is $120 and will take place at the Chicopee location (35 C Chicopee St.) on Sunday, Jan. 14 and at the Northampton location (139 King St.) on Sunday, Jan. 21. Interested participants can register by visiting www.gooddogspot.net.

Caregiver Options Workshop
Jan. 17: Linda Manor Assisted Living in Leeds will host a seminar on caring for an aging relative or spouse, featuring expert advice from Sheryl Fappiano, a professional geriatric care manager. The session is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., and will include dinner. To RSVP, call Linda Manor Assisted Living at (413) 588-3301. Fappiano is a licensed social worker specializing in gerontology. She has worked for more than 35 years in a variety of settings all relating to geriatrics. Her team’s specialty is to help seniors age in place, with dignity and peace of mind for the elder and their family. She is affiliated with Elder Care Access, LLC in Florence and owns Golden Moments Adult Day Health Spa in Florence.

Equal Pay Act Roundtable
Jan. 18: The Massachusetts Equal Pay Act has been amended, and new provisions will begin on July 1. Attorney Timothy Netkovick will discuss the new provisions, its impact on employers, and discuss how employers can take advantage of the safe-harbor provisions from 8 to 9 a.m. at Royal, P.C., 270 Pleasant St., Northampton. The amendments present several substantive changes to multiple definitions in the Equal Pay Act, such as employer defenses, comparable work, statute of limitations, and salary-history inquiries. The new provisions provide employers with safe-harbor provisions if the employer takes affirmative steps within the previous three years and prior to the filing of a lawsuit. The cost is $30 per person. Checks may be made payable to Royal, P.C. and mailed to 270 Pleasant Street, Northampton, MA 01060. Advance registration is required, and seating is limited. Contact Heather Loges at [email protected] to register, or if you have any questions about this workshop.

40 Under Forty Nomination Deadline
Feb. 16: BusinessWest magazine will accept nominations for the 40 Under Forty Class of 2017 through the end of the work day (5 p.m.) on Friday, Feb 16. The annual program, now in its 12th year, recognizes rising stars within the Western Mass. community, which includes Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties. This year’s group of 40 will be profiled in the magazine’s April 30 edition, then toasted at the June 21 gala at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke (see below). The nomination form, which can be found HERE, requests basic information and can be supported with other material, such as a résumé, testimonials, and even press clippings highlighting an individual’s achievements in their profession or service to their community.

Difference Makers
March 22: The 10th annual Difference Makers award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House. The winners will be announced and profiled in the Jan. 22 issue. Difference Makers is a program, launched in 2009, that recognizes groups and individuals that are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region. Tickets to the event cost $75 per person, with tables of 10 available. To order, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100 or visit HERE. Sponsors to date include Sunshine Village and Royal, P.C. Sponsorship opportunities are still available by calling (413) 781-8600, ext. 100.

40 Under Forty Gala
June 21: BusinessWest’s 12th annual 40 Under Forty Gala is a celebration of 40 young business and civic leaders in Western Mass. The lavish cocktail party, to be held starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, will feature butlered hors d’oeuvres, food stations, and entertainment — and, of course, the presentation of the class of 2017. Also, the third Continued Excellence Award honoree will be announced. Tickets will go on sale soon at $75 per person (tables of 10 available), and the event tends to sell out quickly. For more information, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100, or e-mail [email protected].

Agenda Departments

Elms College MBA Classes

Starting Jan. 8: Elms College has opened registration for the spring 2018 start dates in its master of business administration (MBA) program. Classes will begin Jan. 8, and a second session of classes will begin on March 26. Elms College offers six MBA specialty tracks: accounting, management, entrepreneurship, financial planning, healthcare leadership, and the new healthcare innovation track. In each track, MBA students work with and learn from experts in these fields, and with experts in other industries, for a well-rounded learning experience. Elms’ MBA program offers a flexible, hybrid model of delivery, allowing students to participate in live classes both in the classroom and online. For students who did not major in business, Elms offers a Foundations program and an Excel for Business program. Another feature is the Pathways to Leadership program, an extension of the MBA curriculum that leads participants on a journey of self-discovery. The MBA program offers a strong understanding of business principles, plus the ability to apply those principles and create change. It was designed to give students the skills to navigate a global economy and contribute to their local communities.

Women’s Fund Mentor Match

Jan. 13: January is National Mentoring Month, and the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts (WFWM) announced its second annual Mentor Match, a networking event that aims to engage emerging leaders with seasoned professionals. The event will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. at the UMass Center at Springfield, and is open to the public. Featuring Bay Path University Professor Janine Fondon, WFWM board and committee members, participants and alumni of the Women’s Fund’s Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact (LIPPI), and community members, as well as members and supporters of the Young Women’s Initiative (YMI), the Mentor Match is designed to connect members of the Women’s Fund family as mentors and mentees to share resources, experiences, and work together in order to achieve professional and personal goals. All members of the Women’s Fund community are invited to attend. RSVP by Jan. 10 by visiting www.mywomensfund.org/event/mentor-match.

EMT Training, CNA Plus Programs at STCC

Starting Jan. 22: Springfield Technical Community College will again offer its popular Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Training Program, as well as the Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) Plus Program, both starting in January. The EMT program consists of about 171 hours of lectures, 15 to 20 hours of online instruction, an auto-extrication class, and an eight-hour clinical hospital emergency-room observation designed to prepare the student for the Massachusetts State Certification Examination. The program, based on the Department of Transportation curriculum for Basic Emergency Medical Technician, is approved by the Massachusetts Office of Emergency Medical Services. Daytime and evening classes start Jan. 22. Visit www.stcc.edu/wdc or call (413) 755-4225 to enroll. The CAN Plus Program at STCC is designed to provide participants with job skills that will allow entry into the healthcare field as well as preparation for the Massachusetts state board examination to become a certified nurse aide. Day classes, which start Jan. 22, will be held Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Students will receive clinical experience in a local nursing home under the supervision of registered nurse (RN) instructors. Major topics will include vital signs; moving and turning patients; personal-care basics; bed making; bed, bath, and feeding; record keeping; and responding to emergencies. This course will also include a Home Health Aide Training Certificate and an Enhanced Alzheimer’s Module. Students will attend a job fair scheduled at the conclusion of this program. Evening Classes for BASIC CNA start Jan. 28, and will be held Monday through Friday, 4-9:30 p.m. The Workforce Development Center at STCC offers a wide variety of entry-level health programs. Visit www.stcc.edu/wdc or call (413) 755-4225 to enroll.

EMT Training at HCC

Jan. 30 to April 28: Holyoke Community College is now enrolling students for its spring-term Emergency Medical Technician training program. The HCC EMT Training Program consists of 170-plus hours of in-class lectures and additional online study, training, field trips, and workshops that prepare students to take the state certification exam. The majority of the training takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays fom 6 to 10 p.m. at HCC’s new, state-of-the-art Center for Health Education, home to the college’s Nursing and Radiologic Technology programs. Last year, HCC received a $127,741 state Workforce Skills Capital Grant to purchase new equipment to enhance its EMT training program. The course uses equipment identical to that found in modern ambulances. The program makes extensive use of the medical simulation labs in HCC’s Center for Health Education. Some of the grant money was used to purchase a patient simulator specifically designed for EMT and paramedic training that hemorrages and can be hooked up to a defibrillator. The course is taught by instructor Mike Marafuga, an EMT with the Southwick Fire Department. For more information or to register, contact Ken White at (413) 552-2324 or [email protected]

40 Under Forty Nomination Deadline

Feb. 16: BusinessWest magazine will accept nominations for the 40 Under Forty Class of 2017 through the end of the work day (5 p.m.) on Friday, Feb 16. The annual program, now in its 12th year, recognizes rising stars within the Western Mass. community, which includes Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties. This year’s group of 40 will be profiled in the magazine’s April 30 edition, then toasted at the June 21 gala at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke (see below). The nomination form, which can be found online at businesswest.com/40-under-forty-nomination-form, requests basic information and can be supported with other material, such as a résumé, testimonials, and even press clippings highlighting an individual’s achievements in their profession or service to their community.

Difference Makers

March 22: The 10th annual Difference Makers award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. The winners will be announced and profiled in the Jan. 22 issue. Difference Makers is a program, launched in 2009, that recognizes groups and individuals that are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region. Tickets to the event cost $75 per person, with tables of 10 available. To order, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100 or visit www.businesswest.com. Sponsors to date include Sunshine Village and Royal, P.C. Sponsorship opportunities are still available by calling (413) 781-8600, ext. 100.

40 Under Forty Gala

June 21: The 12th annual 40 Under Forty Gala is a celebration of 40 young business and civic leaders in Western Mass. The lavish cocktail party, to be held starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, will feature butlered hors d’oeuvres, food stations, and entertainment — and, of course, the presentation of the class of 2017. Also, the third Continued Excellence Award honoree will be announced. Tickets will go on sale soon at $75 per person (tables of 10 available), and the event tends to sell out quickly. For more information, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100, or e-mail [email protected]

Agenda Departments

Freedom Credit Union Gift Drive for Needy Kids

Through Dec. 21: For the 10th year, Freedom Credit Union is partnering with the Department of Children and Families to provide gifts to children in need this holiday season. Every branch of the credit union has a tree filled with tags that show the gift request from area children. Anyone who goes into Freedom branches can choose a tag from the tree, purchase the requested gift, and bring it back to the branch unwrapped by Thursday, Dec. 21.

Santa’s Trains at Look Park

Through Dec. 24: All aboard! Next stop … Santa’s Trains at Look Memorial Park. This holiday season, the park is celebrating with running model trains and locomotives whirling by displays set in a whimsical wonderland of Christmas favorites and village landscapes. The Garden House, transformed into a Victorian-style train station, offers all the sights and sounds of the holiday season. View enchanting, themed holiday trees; say hello to Santa’s helpers; chat with authentic engineers; and share that special visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus before relaxing with a holiday cookie and hot chocolate. Each evening features a special guest conductor and station master from the community greeting visitors. Santa’s Trains at Look Park is open to the public daily through Dec. 23 from 4 to 8 p.m. and Dec. 24 from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Garden House at Look Memorial Park, 300 North Main St., Florence. This special holiday event is free for all ages. Visit www.lookpark.org for more information. Also, join us for a traditional hayride around the park to view more than 50 holiday light displays made by the grounds and maintenance staff. The cost is $5 per rider. Departures are every 20 minutes from 4:20 p.m. until 7:40 p.m., weather permitting. More than 20,000 visitors annually visit the park during the holiday season to visit Santa’s Trains, view the wonderland light displays, and share holiday dreams with Santa.

Strategic Alliances Webinar on ‘Impostor Syndrome’

Dec. 14: Strategic Alliances at Bay Path University will present a free online webinar, “Confident or Impostor?” on Thursday, Dec. 14 from noon to 1 p.m. Registration is strongly encouraged. For more information and to register, visit bit.ly/2jNcXB3. Research shows that 70% of the U.S. population has experienced ‘impostor syndrome’ at one time or another. Webinar participants will learn how to combat self-doubt and overcome the lack of confidence that results from impostor syndrome. The webinar will feature three panelists, Karen Hinds, Roxanne Kaufman Elliott, and Maureen Zappala, who will share their extensive knowledge and experience with leadership. Hinds is the founder and CEO of Workplace Success Group, an international firm that has been referred to as a training ground for future business leaders. She is also the author of The Leader’s Manual – A Young Adult’s Guide to the Global Workplace, Get Along, Get Ahead: 101 Courtesies for the New Workplace, and Networking for a Better Position & More Profit. She serves as a visiting professor for the Malcolm Baldrige School of Business at Post University; is a frequent guest on radio, TV, and podcasts, and is a former board member with the Connecticut chapter of the World Affairs Council. Elliott is a certified leadership development coach and facilitator with more than 30 years of business, strategy, and leadership-development experience across many different industries in both the profit and nonprofit worlds. She is an i3 Leadership Master and holds degrees from Sinclair College and Bowling Green State University, as well as numerous executive and leadership-development certifications from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the American Marketing Assoc., the Leadership Challenge, RAC, LLM Inc., and others. Zappala is an award-winning speaker, author, and presentation-skills coach. She is the founder of High Altitude Strategies and helps propel teams and individuals to peak performance. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame, and spent more than 13 years at NASA’s Lewis Research Center (now Glenn Research Center), conducting aircraft engine research. She became the youngest and first female manager of NASA’s Propulsion Systems Laboratory, a jet-aircraft-engine test facility. Strategic Alliances is recognized by SHRM to offer professional-development credits (PDCs) SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM. The webinar “Confident or Impostor?” is worth 1 PDC.

Boronski to Meet Business, Community Leaders

Dec. 18: Debra Boronski, regional director for the Massachusetts Office of Business Development (MOBD), will  hold office hours for business and community leaders on Monday, Dec. 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center office located in Building 101 of the STCC Technology Park, 1 Federal St., Springfield. Meetings will be held in the Peter Pan Room, located on the second floor. MOBD is the state’s one-stop source for businesses seeking to relocate to Massachusetts and businesses wishing to expand their current operations here. It offers a range of expertise and services to help businesses flourish in Massachusetts. Its staff operates in regions across the state, providing businesses with on-the-ground knowledge and viable connections. It works closely with the private and public sectors to coordinate a range of resources. Boronski oversees 117 cities and towns in Western Mass. and the Berkshires. Interested parties mail e-mail [email protected] or call (413) 733-5357 to reserve a time slot.

EMT Training, CNA Plus Programs at STCC

Starting Jan. 22: Springfield Technical Community College will again offer its popular Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Training Program, as well as the Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) Plus Program, both starting in January. The EMT program consists of about 171 hours of lectures, 15 to 20 hours of online instruction, an auto-extrication class, and an eight-hour clinical hospital emergency-room observation designed to prepare the student for the Massachusetts State Certification Examination. The program, based on the Department of Transportation curriculum for Basic Emergency Medical Technician, is approved by the Massachusetts Office of Emergency Medical Services. “The EMT program gives the student an excellent foundation in Basic Life Support skills and techniques and patient assessment,” said Paul Sheehan, director of the Workforce Development Center at STCC. “This program always fills up long before the start date, and applications are now being accepted. Daytime and evening classes start Jan. 22. Visit www.stcc.edu/wdc or call (413) 755-4225 to enroll. Meanwhile, the employment of CNAs is projected to grow by 19%, faster than average, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, which projects employers will add 279,600 CNA positions during the next decade. The CAN Plus Program at STCC is designed to provide participants with job skills that will allow entry into the healthcare field as well as preparation for the Massachusetts state board examination to become a certified nurse aide. Day classes, which start Jan. 22, will be held Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Students will receive clinical experience in a local nursing home under the supervision of registered nurse (RN) instructors. Major topics will include vital signs; moving and turning patients; personal-care basics; bed making; bed, bath, and feeding; record keeping; and responding to emergencies. This course will also include a Home Health Aide Training Certificate and an Enhanced Alzheimer’s Module. Students will attend a job fair scheduled at the conclusion of this program. Evening Classes for BASIC CNA start Jan. 28, and will be held Monday through Friday, 4-9:30 p.m. The Workforce Development Center at STCC offers a wide variety of entry-level health programs. Visit www.stcc.edu/wdc or call (413) 755-4225 to enroll.

EMT Training at HCC

Jan. 30 to April 28: Holyoke Community College is now enrolling students for its spring-term Emergency Medical Technician training program. The HCC EMT Training Program consists of 170-plus hours of in-class lectures and additional online study, training, field trips, and workshops that prepare students to take the state certification exam. The majority of the training takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays fom 6 to 10 p.m. at HCC’s new, state-of-the-art Center for Health Education, home to the college’s Nursing and Radiologic Technology programs. Last year, HCC received a $127,741 state Workforce Skills Capital Grant to purchase new equipment to enhance its EMT training program. The course uses equipment identical to that found in modern ambulances. The program makes extensive use of the medical simulation labs in HCC’s Center for Health Education. Some of the grant money was used to purchase a patient simulator specifically designed for EMT and paramedic training that hemorrages and can be hooked up to a defibrillator. The course is taught by instructor Mike Marafuga, an EMT with the Southwick Fire Department. For more information or to register, contact Ken White at (413) 552-2324 or [email protected]

Difference Makers

March 22: The 10th annual Difference Makers award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House. The winners will be announced and profiled in the Jan. 22 issue. Difference Makers is a program, launched in 2009, that recognizes groups and individuals that are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region. Tickets to the event cost $75 per person, with tables of 10 available. To order, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100 or visit www.businesswest.com. Sponsors to date include Sunshine Village and Royal, P.C. Sponsorship opportunities are still available by calling (413) 781-8600, ext. 100.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Nearly a decade ago, BusinessWest created a new recognition program called Difference Makers. That carefully chosen name sums up what this initiative is all about — identifying and then celebrating individuals, groups, and agencies in this region that are making a difference in our communities.

And now, time is running out to nominate candidates for the Class of 2018.

The nomination form can be found on the magazine’s website, www.businesswest.com. Visit ‘Our Events,’ and then ‘Difference Makers.’ Nominations must be submitted by this Friday, Nov. 10.

Over the first nine years of the program, honorees have included a host of individuals and nonprofit agencies focusing on everything from childhood literacy, to combatting homelessness; from reducing gang violence in Springfield, to creating a walk to battle breast cancer.

The Class of 2017 epitomized such diversity. It featured the Community Colleges of Western Mass., Friends of the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round, Denis Gagnon, president and CEO of Excel Dryer, Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts, and Joan Kagan, president the CEO of Square One. For a full list of previous winners, visit www.businesswest.com.

Those nominating candidates are encouraged to make their submissions detailed and explain why the individual or group in question is a true Difference Maker.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Nearly a decade ago, BusinessWest created a new recognition program called Difference Makers. That carefully chosen name sums up what this initiative is all about — identifying and then celebrating individuals, groups, and agencies in this region that are making a difference in our communities.

And now, time is running out to nominate candidates for the Class of 2018.

The nomination form can be found on the magazine’s website, www.businesswest.com. Visit ‘Our Events,’ and then ‘Difference Makers.’ Nominations must be submitted by Friday, Nov. 10.

Over the first nine years of the program, honorees have included a host of individuals and nonprofit agencies focusing on everything from childhood literacy, to combatting homelessness; from reducing gang violence in Springfield, to creating a walk to battle breast cancer.

The Class of 2017 epitomized such diversity. It featured the Community Colleges of Western Mass., Friends of the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round, Denis Gagnon, president and CEO of Excel Dryer, Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts, and Joan Kagan, president the CEO of Square One. For a full list of previous winners, visit www.businesswest.com.

Those nominating candidates are encouraged to make their submissions detailed and explain why the individual or group in question is a true Difference Maker.

Opinion

Editorial

By Alta J. Stark

When BusinessWest launched its Healthcare Heroes initiative, we knew this program would by eye-opening in many respects.

We understood it would identify a number of forward-thinking individuals and institutions, as well as some cutting-edge work. We understood it would generate some stories that needed to be told. And we understood it would identify some real heroes. It did all that, and then some, as the section that begins on page 15 reveals.

We created Healthcare Heroes because, despite the fact that BusinessWest has two other popular recognition programs — Difference Makers and 40 Under Forty — many of the outstanding individuals and stories from the broad realm of healthcare are overlooked, in part because these individuals are simply doing their jobs. The results — and the stories — far exceeded our lofty expectations.

Start with Sister Mary Caritas, winner in the ‘lifetime achievement’ category . The word ‘legend’ doesn’t get used much in Western Mass. We don’t have many legends here, it seems. But it works in this case. Her career in healthcare started when Truman was in the White House, and she’s still writing new chapters.

But it’s not simply the longevity that shapes this story; it is her ability to fight for a good cause, innovate, advocate for the most vulnerable of constituencies, and most importantly, inspire others to do all of the above. She is, as one friend and colleague noted, a remarkable woman.

As for the other heroes, they are all innovators as well, individuals and institutions working on the cutting edge within their fields and, more to the point, determining just what the cutting edge is or should be.

Examples include Dr. Andrew Doben, hero in the ‘innovation’ category, who is saving lives and changing lives with a surgical procedure known as rib fixation, and Genevieve Chandler, our other hero in the ‘innovation’ category, who has become a pioneer in work to help young people become more resilient.

But innovation comes in many forms, and this fact is made clear by some of our other heroes, such as Erin Daley, our winner in the ‘emerging leader’ category, who has orchestrated efforts to make the Mercy Medical Center Emergency Department more efficient and a better ‘front door’ for the hospital and this region. And also Molly Senn-McNally, winner in the ‘community health’ category, who is using powerful poverty-simulation seminars to help medical residents and medical students better understand the many challenges facing the region’s many low-income residents, and, through these efforts, making them better doctors.

‘Innovator’ is a term that could also be applied to Dr. Michael Willers, a pediatric cardiologist and winner in the ‘provider’ category, who works (and plays) hard to make his young patients — not to mention their parents — understand what’s happening with their heart and be at ease as he provides care. And also to Holly Chaffee, president and CEO of Porchlight VNA/Home Care, winner in the ‘administration’ category, who has created a culture of entrepreneurship, innovation, and risk taking — one that has enabled that company to earn the highest ratings in its class.

And ‘innovator’ could also be used to describe all those involved in the Healthy Hill Initiative (HHI) in Springfield, the winner in the ‘collaboration’ category. This multi-faceted effort to improve the health and well-being of residents in the city’s Old Hill neighborhood gives new meaning to that term.

As we said at the top, this inaugural Healthcare Heroes class, and the collection of stories behind their various efforts, is truly eye-opening.

But more than that, it is inspiring, reminding us of what a true hero is — someone who advocates for others and gives of themselves in unselfish ways to improve life for all of us.

In that respect, all of our winners — and all those who were nominated for this award — are true heroes.

Briefcase Departments

Nominations Sought for Difference Makers Award

SPRINGFIELD — Nearly a decade ago, BusinessWest created a new recognition program called Difference Makers. That carefully chosen name sums up what this initiative is all about — identifying and then celebrating individuals, groups, and agencies in this region that are making a difference in our communities. And now, it’s time to nominate candidates for the class of 2018. The nomination form can be found at www.buisnesswest.com; click ‘Our Events,’ and then ‘Difference Makers.’ Nominations must be submitted by Nov. 3. Over the first nine years of the program, honorees have included a host of individuals and nonprofit agencies focusing on everything from childhood literacy to combatting homelessness; from reducing gang violence in Springfield to creating a walk to battle breast cancer. For a full list of previous winners, visit www.businesswest.com.

Those nominating candidates are encouraged to make their submissions detailed and explain why the individual or group in question is a true Difference Maker.

VVM Graduates 14 from Collegiate Accelerator

SPRINGFIELD — Valley Venture Mentors announced that it has graduated 14 startups from its inaugural Collegiate Accelerator Program. After nine weeks of intensive training, more than $20,000 in cash prizes was distributed to the entrepreneurs by accredited investors. Additionally, a $5,000 award was given to the startup that showed the most grit. Here is a rundown of the teams and the prize distribution:

• The Travel Unicorn, the LGBTQ+ travel guide that works to connect travelers to safe destinations based on their recommendations: $6,000, plus the $5,000 Grit Award;

• lymph + honey, which provides access to healthful, wholesome, and sustainable natural hair- and body-care products: $6,000;

• Vidvision, which helps marketers convert their video viewers into customers: $2,700;

• Zirui, offering innovative and stylish solutions for traveling with beauty and care products: $2,700;

• Mt. Mitho, bringing flavors from the highest peak on Earth: $1,350;

• redflowers, an online media platform that fosters community and dismantles societal stereotypes surrounding black identities and black women: $700;

• STEAMporio, training the makers of tomorrow by creating a passion for learning: $700;

• Boman, where a shipping container plus agricultural system equals a turn-key platform for growing any crop, anytime, anywhere;

• El Cherufe Chile Paste, an artisanal chile paste that offers a new flavor experience to lovers of spicy heat;

• INDI10.com, where you bid to wear it first;

• Lighthouse, which helps students with projects, no matter the size;

• Shesabelle Chandeliears, helping those with limited earring options experience the full range of expression earrings have to offer;

• Studio 26, a promotional service that offers underground musicians in Massachusetts tools and resources to help expand and build their brand; and

• The Black Enterprise Business Resource Center, which cultivates the empowerment and collaboration of black entrepreneurs in the Western Mass. area through quality business education and business services.

Leadership Holyoke 2017-18 Series to Begin

HOLYOKE — Leadership Holyoke is a comprehensive community-leadership and board-development program of the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce. The series utilizes a combination of classes and practical experiences to help local business people develop their leadership skills, increase their knowledge of the community, and acquire the skills needed to serve as board members and community leaders. The 2017-18 Leadership series begins on Sept. 22, consists of a weekly series of eight seven-hour sessions, and concludes on May 2 with a graduation ceremony at Holyoke Community College (HCC) with a specialty luncheon prepared by the college’s culinary program students. All sessions will be held on Fridays (except for the Boston State House trip) and take place at HCC as well as other locations throughout the city. Each session will include a segment on organization and leadership skills, and a segment on community needs and resources. Faculty members from HCC will participate as instructors and facilitators, and community leaders will participate as speakers and discussion leaders in areas of their expertise. The Leadership Holyoke series is made possible by PeoplesBank. Tuition of $600 per participant is due at the start of the course and includes a continental breakfast each week, a bus trip to Boston, and the graduation luncheon. Sign up online at holyokechamber.com or call the chamber at (413) 534-3376 with any questions.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Nearly a decade ago, BusinessWest created a new recognition program called Difference Makers. That carefully chosen name sums up what this initiative is all about — identifying and then celebrating individuals, groups, and agencies in this region that are making a difference in our communities. And now, it’s time to nominate candidates for the class of 2018.

The nomination form can be found at www.businesswest.com; click ‘Our Events,’ and then ‘Difference Makers.’ Nominations must be submitted by Nov. 3. Over the first nine years of the program, honorees have included a host of individuals and nonprofit agencies focusing on everything from childhood literacy to combatting homelessness; from reducing gang violence in Springfield to creating a walk to battle breast cancer. For a full list of previous winners, visit www.businesswest.com.

Those nominating candidates are encouraged to make their submissions detailed and explain why the individual or group in question is a true Difference Maker.

Daily News

Nearly a decade ago, BusinessWest created a new recognition program called Difference Makers. That carefully chosen name sums up what this initiative is all about — identifying and then celebrating individuals, groups, and agencies in this region that are making a difference in our communities.

And now, it’s time to nominate candidates for the Class of 2018.

The nomination form can be found on the magazine’s website, www.buisnesswest.com. Visit ‘Our Events,’ and then ‘Difference Makers.

Nominations must be submitted by Nov. 3.

Over the first nine years of the program, honorees have included a host of individuals and nonprofit agencies focusing on everything from childhood literacy, to combatting homelessness; from reducing gang violence in Springfield, to creating a walk to battle breast cancer.

The Class of 2017 epitomized such diversity. It featured the Community Colleges of Western Mass., Friends of the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round, Denis Gagnon, president and CEO of Excel Dryer, Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts, and Joan Kagan, president the CEO of Square One.

For a full list of previous winners, visit www.businesswest.com.

Those nominating candidates are encouraged to make their submissions detailed and explain why the individual or group in question is a true Difference Maker.

Class of 2017 Difference Makers Event Galleries Features

Scenes From the Ninth Annual Event

The 2017 Difference Makers

The 2017 Difference Makers

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More than 450 people turned out at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke on March 30 for a celebration of the 2017 Difference Makers, the ninth annual class of individuals and organizations honored by BusinessWest for making an impact in their Western Mass. communities. The photos on the next few pages capture the essence of the event, which featured musical entertainment by the Taylor Street Jazz Band, fine food, and thoughtful comments from the honorees. This year’s class, chosen by the editor and publishers of BusinessWest from dozens of nominations, include the: the Community Colleges of Western Massachusetts; Berkshire Community College, Greenfield Community College, Holyoke Community College, Springfield Technical Community College; Friends of the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round; Denis Gagnon Sr., President & CEO of Excel Dryer Inc.; Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts; and Joan Kagan, President & CEO of Square One.

Sponsored by:

RoyalPC SunshineVillage first-american-logo nortwestern-mutual
mbk-300x141 jgs-lifecare oconnell-care-at-home hne_logo_cmyk_stack-page-001

Go HERE to view the sponsor’s videos

For reprints contact: Leah Martin Photography

From left, Dajah Gordon, Sabrina Roberts, and Johnalie Gomez

From left, Dajah Gordon, Sabrina Roberts, and Johnalie Gomez, teenagers involved in Junior Achievement of Western Mass., a 2017 Difference Maker.

Susan Jaye-Kaplan, a 2009 Difference Maker, and Bob Perry, a 2011 Difference Maker.

Susan Jaye-Kaplan, a 2009 Difference Maker, and Bob Perry, a 2011 Difference Maker.

Bob Pura, president of 2017 Difference Maker Greenfield Community College (left), chats with Ted Hebert of Teddy Bear Pools & Spas.

Bob Pura, president of 2017 Difference Maker Greenfield Community College (left), chats with Ted Hebert of Teddy Bear Pools & Spas.

Joe Marois of Marois Construction (left) chats with Ed Murphy and Molly Murphy of event sponsor First American Insurance.

Joe Marois of Marois Construction (left) chats with Ed Murphy and Molly Murphy of event sponsor First American Insurance.

From left, Darlene Francis of event sponsor JGS Lifecare, Ethel Griffin and Colleen Loveless of Revitalize CDC, Kathleen Plante of BusinessWest, and Mary-Anne Schelb of JGS Lifecare.

From left, Darlene Francis of event sponsor JGS Lifecare, Ethel Griffin and Colleen Loveless of Revitalize CDC, Kathleen Plante of BusinessWest, and Mary-Anne Schelb of JGS Lifecare.

From left, Noni Moran, Dennis Murphy, and Amber Letendre of event sponsor First American Insurance.

From left, Noni Moran, Dennis Murphy, and Amber Letendre of event sponsor First American Insurance.

Al Kasper of Savage Arms with Jennifer Connolly, president of 2017 Difference Maker Junior Achievement of Western Mass.

Al Kasper of Savage Arms with Jennifer Connolly, president of 2017 Difference Maker Junior Achievement of Western Mass.

The community colleges of Western Mass., honored collectively as 2017 Difference Makers, were represented by their presidents, from left, Bob Pura of Greenfield Community College, Ellen Kennedy of Berkshire Community College, Christina Royal of Holyoke Community College, and John Cook of Springfield Technical Community College.

The community colleges of Western Mass., honored collectively as 2017 Difference Makers, were represented by their presidents, from left, Bob Pura of Greenfield Community College, Ellen Kennedy of Berkshire Community College, Christina Royal of Holyoke Community College, and John Cook of Springfield Technical Community College.

From left, Shawna Biscone of event sponsor Royal P.C., Julie Cowan of MassDevelopment, Tara Brewster of Greenfield Savings Bank, and Amy Royal of Royal P.C.

From left, Shawna Biscone of event sponsor Royal P.C., Julie Cowan of MassDevelopment, Tara Brewster of Greenfield Savings Bank, and Amy Royal of Royal P.C.

From left, Patricia Faginski of St. Germain Investment Management, Amanda Huston of Elms College, Jennifer Connolly of 2017 Difference Maker Junior Achievement of Western Mass., and Rebecca Connolly (Jennifer’s daughter) of Moriarty & Primack, P.C.

From left, Patricia Faginski of St. Germain Investment Management, Amanda Huston of Elms College, Jennifer Connolly of 2017 Difference Maker Junior Achievement of Western Mass., and Rebecca Connolly (Jennifer’s daughter) of Moriarty & Primack, P.C.

From left, from Square One, Dawn DiStefano, Bonnie Katusich, Kristine Allard, Karen Smith, 2017 Difference Maker Joan Kagan, and Andrea Cincotta.

From left, from Square One, Dawn DiStefano, Bonnie Katusich, Kristine Allard, Karen Smith, 2017 Difference Maker Joan Kagan, and Andrea Cincotta.

From left, Brigit Shea-O’Connell, Fran O’Connell, and Rachel Normantowicz of event sponsor O’Connell Care at Home.

From left, Brigit Shea-O’Connell, Fran O’Connell, and Rachel Normantowicz of event sponsor O’Connell Care at Home.

Michael Curran of the Taylor Street Jazz Band.

Michael Curran of the Taylor Street Jazz Band.

2017 Difference Maker Denis Gagnon Sr., president and CEO of Excel Dryer, with his wife, Nancy.

2017 Difference Maker Denis Gagnon Sr., president and CEO of Excel Dryer, with his wife, Nancy.

From event sponsor Northwestern Mutual, from left, Adey Thomas, Darren James, Cara Cole, Kate Kane, Donald Mitchell, and Craig Knowlton.

From event sponsor Northwestern Mutual, from left, Adey Thomas, Darren James, Cara Cole, Kate Kane, Donald Mitchell, and Craig Knowlton.

From event sponsor Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C., from left, Howard Cheney, James Krupienski, John Veit, Brenda Olesuk, and Donna Roundy.

From event sponsor Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C., from left, Howard Cheney, James Krupienski, John Veit, Brenda Olesuk, and Donna Roundy.

Top row, from left: Glenda DeBarge of event sponsor Health New England (HNE); Jen Stone of USI Insurance Services; Mark Keroack of Baystate Health; Ashley Allen, Jody Gross, and Jessica Dupont of HNE. Bottom row: Michelle Martone of USI (left) and Yvonne Diaz of HNE.

Top row, from left: Glenda DeBarge of event sponsor Health New England (HNE); Jen Stone of USI Insurance Services; Mark Keroack of Baystate Health; Ashley Allen, Jody Gross, and Jessica Dupont of HNE. Bottom row: Michelle Martone of USI (left) and Yvonne Diaz of HNE.

Back row, from left: from event sponsor Sunshine Village, Teri Szlosek, Amie Miarecki, Michelle Depelteau, Peter Benton, and Jeff Pollier. Front row, from left: Colleen Brosnan and Gina Golash Kos from Sunshine Village, and Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos.

Back row, from left: from event sponsor Sunshine Village, Teri Szlosek, Amie Miarecki, Michelle Depelteau, Peter Benton, and Jeff Pollier. Front row, from left: Colleen Brosnan and Gina Golash Kos from Sunshine Village, and Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos.

Back row, from left: from TD Bank, Gregg Desmarais, Peter Simko, Dave Danker, and Tracey Alves-Lear. Front row, from left: from TD Bank, Christina Sousa, Bela Blake, Jana Seiler, and Claudia Pereira.

Back row, from left: from TD Bank, Gregg Desmarais, Peter Simko, Dave Danker, and Tracey Alves-Lear. Front row, from left: from TD Bank, Christina Sousa, Bela Blake, Jana Seiler, and Claudia Pereira.

BusinessWest Associate Publisher Kate Campiti welcomes attendees to the Log Cabin.

BusinessWest Associate Publisher Kate Campiti welcomes attendees to the Log Cabin.

Back row, from left: from event sponsor JGS Lifecare, Karen Petruccelli, Christina Tuohey, and Susan Halpern. Front row, from left: from JGS Lifecare, Darlene Francis, Mary-Anne Schelb, and Martin Baecker, with George Sachs from Acme Metals & Recycling.

Back row, from left: from event sponsor JGS Lifecare, Karen Petruccelli, Christina Tuohey, and Susan Halpern. Front row, from left: from JGS Lifecare, Darlene Francis, Mary-Anne Schelb, and Martin Baecker, with George Sachs from Acme Metals & Recycling.

BusinessWest Publisher John Gormally (left) with Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.

BusinessWest Publisher John Gormally (left) with Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.

From left, Monica Borgatti and Ellen Moorhouse of the Women’s Fund of Western Mass., a 2012 Difference Maker, and Elizabeth Fisk and Danielle LeTourneau-Therrien of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County, a 2016 Difference Maker.

From left, Monica Borgatti and Ellen Moorhouse of the Women’s Fund of Western Mass., a 2012 Difference Maker, and Elizabeth Fisk and Danielle LeTourneau-Therrien of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County, a 2016 Difference Maker.

Steve Levine applauds 2017 Difference Maker Joan Kagan, president and CEO of Square One.

Steve Levine applauds 2017 Difference Maker Joan Kagan, president and CEO of Square One.

BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien congratulates 2017 Difference Maker Denis Gagnon Sr., president and CEO of Excel Dryer.

BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien congratulates 2017 Difference Maker Denis Gagnon Sr., president and CEO of Excel Dryer.

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Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The ninth annual Difference Makers award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held tonight, March 30, at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke.

The winners, profiled in the Jan. 23 issue and at businesswest.com, are the Community Colleges of Western Mass. (Berkshire Community College, Greenfield Community College, Holyoke Community College, and
Springfield Technical Community College); Friends of the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round; Denis Gagnon Sr., president and CEO of Excel Dryer Inc.; Junior Achievement of Western Mass.; and Joan Kagan, president and CEO of Square One.

Difference Makers is a program, launched in 2009, that recognizes groups and individuals that are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region. Event sponsors include First American Insurance; Health New England; JGS Lifecare; Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.; Northwestern Mutual; O’Connell Care at Home; Royal, P.C.; and Sunshine Village.

Opinion

Editorial

The Springfield Thunderbirds didn’t win that contest against Lehigh Valley on March 3. But only real diehard fans could have been disappointed with the way the evening turned out.

That’s because the night didn’t belong to the T-Birds and their long-shot efforts to make the AHL playoffs. No, it belonged to Bruce Landon, and therefore, there was cause for celebration. Lots of it.

Landon, or ‘Mr. Hockey,’ as he’s known in Springfield, says he will officially retire next month after nearly 50 years of close association to hockey in this town. Most are taking a ‘we’ll believe it when we see it’ approach to that word ‘retirement,’ but Landon, now 67, says this time, he means it.

The Thunderbirds threw a night in his honor Friday, complete with a bobble-head that Landon says bears a resemblance to Lex Luthor. Maybe, but Lex Luthor is a villain, and Landon has always been a hero when it comes to hockey, Springfield, and hockey in Springfield.

He lived it, he breathed it, he promoted it, he championed it. To say that there wouldn’t be hockey in Springfield without him is an understatement. The current ownership team and management personnel are on record as saying they were motivated to launch the T-Birds because of the legacy Landon created and a strong desire not to see it come to an end.

Landon’s career had come to an end, sort of, when the owners of the Springfield Falcons, citing poor attendance, decided nearly a year ago to move the team to Arizona.

Landon didn’t actually retire, though, essentially because the future of hockey in Springfield was anything but secure. Now, it is, and therefore he believes the time is right to step aside.

He leaves with high praise for the new owners and team chief executive Nate Costa, saying that they have the commitment and the passion to keep the game here.

Those are the very same words that defined his work for nearly a half century.

In 2013, BusinessWest presented Landon with its Difference Makers award, citing his work to keep hockey alive in Springfield as one of the many not so obvious ways that people can make a difference in this region.

As he was being honored that night, the audience was told that hockey, although certainly not appreciated by all, was certainly part of the fabric of the city and the region.

We can still say that in March 2017, and Bruce Landon is a big reason why. And that’s why that Friday night, and the last few weeks of Landon’s career (again, we’ll believe it when we see it), are cause for celebration.

Features

Honoring Excellence, Innovation

healthcareheroeslogo0217finalHealthcare Heroes.

Over the past decade or so, those two words have become a national brand — a brand that symbolizes many things, including excellence, dedication, compassion, commitment, and much more.

Indeed, Healthcare Heroes has become the name attached to recognition programs created by business magazines, healthcare publications, health- and wellness-related organizations across the country, and other entities, to honor individuals and institutions that stand out for the work they do. The name has become part of the landscape in New York, California, Hawaii, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Utah, and many other states. And now, it is coming to Western Mass.

Indeed, BusinessWest and its sister publication, HCN, have launched Healthcare Heroes of Western Mass., a program to recognize excellence and innovation across the broad spectrum of the region’s healthcare sector.

The program will culminate in the Healthcare Heroes gala on Oct. 19 at the Starting Gate at GreatHorse in Hampden.

Details concerning the program and the gala will be revealed on the pages of the two magazines — and their on-line daily news blasts — over the next several weeks. The editors recently convened a meeting of an advisory committee to discuss the program. That session generated a robust dialogue and several suggestions regarding everything from the categories in which individuals and institutions will compete to the judges who will evaluate those who are nominated.

“Over the past several years, BusinessWest has created a number of recognition programs to honor individuals, groups, and institutions across this region,” said BusinessWest and HCN Associate Publisher Kate Campiti, citing, specifically, the 40 Under Forty program launched in 2007 and Difference Makers, initiated in 2009. “But after considerable discussion, it was decided that this region’s large, diverse, and critically important healthcare sector deserved a recognition program of its own.

“Indeed, while we have had several honorees from the healthcare sector in 40 Under Forty, and a few from that realm in Difference Makers, excellence and innovation in healthcare are sometimes difficult to assess and measure,” Campiti added. “Healthcare Heroes will provide us with a needed vehicle for identifying and then recognizing those who stand out in very crowded fields.”

The program will be designed to recognize both those on the front lines of healthcare and those in administration; those who focus on treating individuals, and those involved with prevention and wellness.

“Healthcare involves many types of professionals working in different ways to create a healthier region and improve the overall quality of life for people living and working in Western Massachusetts,” said Campiti. “This Healthcare Heroes program will be crafted to recognize this great diversity of care and the many ways people and individuals are making a difference.”

Nominations for the various categories will be gathered in the coming months, and they will then be evaluated by a carefully chosen team of judges. The winners will be profiled in both publications prior to the gala.

“This will be a welcome recognition program for the four counties of Western Mass.,” said Campiti. “The healthcare sector has been a vital source of everything from high-quality care for our residents to jobs for area communities, to inspiration for those looking to bring innovation and higher levels of quality to their businesses. These individuals and institutions deserve to be recognized for the work they do.”

Agenda Departments

Understanding Gender Identity in the Workplace

March 22: HRMA of Western New England will present a half-day symposium event on understanding gender identity and supporting transgender and gender non-binary individuals in the workplace. This important topic is impacting local employers across the region. This program will help attendees understand the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation, learn ways to foster respectful work environments for all employees, and gain an understanding of the legal protections for the transgender community. Speakers will include Dr. Eunice Aviles, gender specialist and clinical psychologist; Erica Tabias, public speaker, transgender advocate, and life coach; and Jonathan Miller, chief of the Public Protection & Advocacy Bureau for the state Attorney General’s Office. The event runs from noon to 4 p.m., with a buffet lunch included. Tickets are $75. For more information, contact Allison Ebner at (413) 789-6400 or [email protected], or visit www.hrmawne.org.

Mini Medical School

March 23 to May 11: Itching to get out of the house as the winter draws to an end? Consider signing up for a little dose of continuing education as part of Baystate Medical Center’s Mini Medical School, where you can broaden your knowledge of the field of medicine with professors from the teaching hospital. Mini Medical School, which begins its spring session on Thursday, March 23, offers area residents an inside look at the expanding field of medicine, minus the tests, homework, interviews, and admission formalities. The program continues through May 11. Baystate’s Mini Medical School program is an eight-week health-education series featuring a different aspect of medicine each week. Classes this spring will include sessions on various medical topics such as surgery, deep-brain stimulation, emergency medicine, dementia, pathology, and several others. For a full list of topics and instructors, visit www.baystatehealth.org/minimed. While it is not difficult to be accepted into the program, slots are limited, and early registration is recommended. Many of the students, who often range in age from 20 to 70, participate due to a general interest in medicine and later find that many of the things they learned over the semester are relevant to their own lives. The goal of the program, offered in the hospital’s Chestnut Conference Center, is to help members of the public make more informed decisions about their healthcare while receiving insight on what it might be like to be a medical student. Baystate Medical Center is the region’s only teaching hospital, and each course is taught by medical center faculty, who explain the science of medicine without resorting to complex terms. All classes are held Thursday nights starting at 6 p.m. and run until 8 or 9 p.m., depending on the night’s topic. No basic science knowledge is needed to participate. Each participant is required to attend a minimum of six out of eight classes in order to receive a certificate of completion. Tuition costs $95 per person and $80 for Senior Class and Spirit of Women members. To register, call (413) 794-7630 or visit www.baystatehealth.org/minimed.

Cultivate & Nest Open House

March 25: Cultivate & Nest, a collaborative workspace for businesspeople with children, will host Bloom, its annual open house, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in its Hadley office center. Terra Missildine, founder and owner of Cultivate & Nest, said the event will offer talks on the topic of entrepreneurship and parenting. A highlight of the day will be a flower-hat-making craft and a hat parade around the grounds. Face painting, puzzles, and other activities will also be offered. Tours of the workspace will be offered to parents hourly, while children will enjoy story time. In addition, a drawing will be held for a one-month Cultivate & Nest membership, valued at $99. All Pioneer Valley families are invited to take part in the event and bring their children. Registration is not required, and the event is free. Cultivate & Nest is the first membership-based collaborative workspace in the Valley to incorporate a childcare component. Located on the first floor in the Hadley Crossing business park, Cultivate & Nest offers roughly 3,400 square feet of work and community space. Members of Cultivate & Nest pay in cost tiers that range from $100 to $600 per month, depending on amenities and level of office access. Event and workshop space is also available for members and the community at large to host family friendly events. To learn more about Cultivate & Nest, visit cultivateandnest.com or call Missildine at (413) 345-2400.

Mass. Restaurant Day for No Kid Hungry

March 27: Eight Massachusetts Restaurant Assoc. restaurants across the state will participate in Massachusetts Restaurant Day for No Kid Hungry. Inspired by Chef Andy Husbands of Tremont 647, who has hosted a dinner for this cause for the past 20 years, the MRA announced the program’s expansion across Massachusetts. Last year, participating Boston restaurants raised more than $60,000 to end childhood hunger in Massachusetts. This year, Hotel Northampton is hosting the Western Mass. branch of the event, a multi-course meal with wine pairings. The hotel’s culinary team is working alongside and co-sponsoring with four well-known restaurants in town, including Sierra Grille, Spoleto’s, Packard’s, and Union Station. Attendance at this event will not only help to curb childhood hunger in Massachusetts, but will also help local programs that feed children of all ages at school and in the home. The goal is to ensure all children get the healthy food they need, every day. To purchase tickets or provide sponsorship for the event, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/massachusetts-restaurant-day-for-no-kid-hungry-the-hotel-northampton-tickets-31735014282.

Regional Career Fair

March 29: The College Career Centers of Western Massachusetts will hold a career fair from noon to 3 p.m. in the Alumni Healthful Living Center on the campus of Western New England University. Nearly 100 companies will be recruiting college students for paid and unpaid internships, as well as full-time and part-time employment opportunities. This annual event is a unique opportunity for employers and graduate-school representatives to connect with motivated students and alumni who are looking to launch and advance their careers. The College Career Centers of Western Massachusetts is a consortium of career-center professionals representing the eight colleges in Hampden County, including American International College, Bay Path University, Elms College, Holyoke Community College, Springfield College, Springfield Technical Community College, Western New England University, and Westfield State University. These eight institutions of higher education enroll more than 27,000 students from diverse backgrounds, and graduate approximately 5,000 students each year with a wide range of academic degrees.

‘Stay in the Game’

March 29: The community is invited to join staff from the Baystate Wing Hospital Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation team for an education session about staying active and injury-free. The program, “Stay in the Game,” will be held in the Snow Conference Room from 6 to 7 p.m. Participants will learn about the most effective types of stretching, nutrition, and hydration that will help to avoid injury when working out. Physical therapist Dena Plante and physical therapist assistant Karen Kiernan will be on hand to answer questions and offer educational materials. The program is open to student athletes and adults interested in staying active and exercising without injury. The Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation team at Baystate Wing Hospital provides a full range of rehabilitation services to help patients regain function and achieve recovery. For more information or to register, call (413) 370-5254.

Difference Makers

March 30: The ninth annual Difference Makers award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House. The winners, profiled in the Jan. 23 issue and at businesswest.com, are the Community Colleges of Western Mass. (Berkshire Community College, Greenfield Community College, Holyoke Community College, and
Springfield Technical Community College); Friends of the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round; Denis Gagnon Sr., president and CEO of Excel Dryer Inc.; Junior Achievement of Western Mass.; and Joan Kagan, president and CEO of Square One. Tickets to the event, which is nearly sold out, cost $65 per person. To order, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100. Difference Makers is a program, launched in 2009, that recognizes groups and individuals that are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region. Sponsors include First American Insurance; Health New England; JGS Lifecare; Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.; Northwestern Mutual; O’Connell Care at Home; Royal, P.C.; and Sunshine Village.

Education Fair & Expo

April 4: Jared James, a national real-estate speaker and trainer, will be the featured speaker at the 24th annual Education Fair & Expo taking place at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. The event is sponsored by the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley. The program features a day of educational presentations including two breakout sessions from James, three continuing-education classes, and two technology classes. A sellout trade show with more than 50 vendors is anticipated. Anyone who is interested in attending as a trade-show vendor should contact Kim Harrison, membership and meetings coordinator at the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley, at (413) 785-1328 or [email protected]

Art Show Reception

April 5: The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Western Massachusetts (NAMI Western Mass.) will hold an opening reception for its sixth annual art show featuring the work of artists living with mental illness from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Chicopee Public Library, 449 Front St. The reception and parking adjacent to the library are free. The exhibit runs through the end of April. The art show, originated by Karen West, an artist and art teacher at Westfield High School, will feature works for sale to the public, with proceeds going to the artists. Complimentary refreshments will be served and the public is welcome. Headquartered in Agawam, NAMI Western Mass. is an affiliate of the nation’s largest grass-roots mental-health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans who are affected by mental illness.

EANE Management Conference

April 6: The Employers Assoc. of the NorthEast (EANE) announced its 13th annual Management Conference will be held at the Springfield Marriott. With a focus on the power of passion in leadership, the full-day conference will address how managers and supervisors can motivate themselves and their teams to create a culture of high performance. The program will feature keynote speakers Rick Barrera and Bruce Christopher. Barrera, the head of faculty for the Center for Heart Led Leadership, works with Fortune 500 CEOs, world-class mountain climbers, astronauts, professional actors, and SEAL Team Six leaders teaching them how to build high-performance teams. Christopher, a psychologist and humorist, offers cutting-edge content with a mix of comedy, showing audiences how to embrace change and giving them practical skills to apply for success. The cost for the program is $350 per person with discounts for three or more. Register at www.eane.org/management17 or by calling (877) 662-6444. It will offer 6.25 credits from the HR Certification Institute and SHRM. Sponsoring the program are Johnson & Hill Staffing Services and the HR Certification Institute.

‘Mini Golf in the Library’

April 7-8: Friends of the Holyoke Public Library will host its second annual “Mini Golf in the Library” fund-raiser on the weekend of April 7-8. Hole sponsors and event sponsors are now being recruited. At last spring’s event, more than 250 players putted their way through five levels of the Holyoke Public Library building, laughing and enjoying unique obstacles added by enterprising hole sponsors. Funds raised help the Friends of the Library support library programs and resources, especially those for children and youth. Sponsors will be publicized and thanked in local media, social media, and the library’s website in connection with this event. Logos of sponsors will be printed on the scorecard given to each player. Names of sponsors will be displayed in the library, ranked by level of sponsorship. Sponsors will be invited as guests to the Friday-evening cocktail party, with the opportunity to preview (and play through) the course. In addition to event sponsors and hole sponsors, the event planning committee, chaired by Sandy Ward, is seeking donors of in-kind services and items for a silent auction to be held during the Friday cocktail party. Hole sponsorships start at $250. Those who wish to sponsor (and decorate) one of the 18 holes are encouraged to act quickly, as holes are being sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Event sponsorships are available at five levels ranging from $250 to $1,000. An exclusive title sponsorship is possible at $2,500. For more information, visit www.holyokelibrary.org/aboutfriendsgolf.asp or e-mail Sandy Ward at [email protected]

Walk of Champions

May 7: The 12th annual Walk of Champions to benefit the Baystate Regional Cancer Program at Baystate Mary Lane Outpatient Center in Ware will step off at the Quabbin Reservoir. Since 2006, the Walk of Champions, founded by field-hockey coach John O’Neill of Quaboag Regional Middle High School, has served as a tribute to the compassionate care his mother received at the Baystate Regional Cancer Program in Ware during her cancer journey. Over the years, the walk has grown into a collection of teams and individuals, each walking for their own reason. There are friends and family members celebrating victory over cancer. Others are encouraging their loved ones in their personal fight over cancer, while others walk in memory of those who have lost their battle with cancer. The Baystate Regional Cancer Program at Baystate Mary Lane Outpatient Center provides the majority of outpatient cancer services in the Baystate Health Eastern Region, which includes Ware, Palmer, and surrounding communities. Since its inception, the Walk of Champions has raised more than $740,000 to assist, support, and instill hope in those facing cancer. All funds raised remain local to support those cared for in the Baystate Health Eastern Region at the Baystate Regional Cancer Program located at Baystate Mary Lane Outpatient Center in Ware. The route offers a one-mile loop that allows walkers to choose the number of miles they walk among the comfortable walking terrain of the Goodnough Dike. Along the way, walkers will enjoy entertainment and refreshments. Pledge forms, fund-raising resources, giving opportunities, and more are now available at www.baystatehealth.org/woc for businesses, community organizations, and individuals who wish to participate.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Seats are still available for the ninth annual Difference Makers award program, staged by BusinessWest, to be held on Thursday, March 30 at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke.

The winners, profiled in the Jan. 23 issue and at businesswest.com, are the Community Colleges of Western Mass. (Berkshire Community College, Greenfield Community College, Holyoke Community College, and
Springfield Technical Community College); Friends of the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round; Denis Gagnon Sr., president and CEO of Excel Dryer Inc.; Junior Achievement of Western Mass.; and Joan Kagan, president and CEO of Square One.

Tickets to the event cost $65 per person, with tables of 10 available. To order, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100.

Difference Makers is a program, launched in 2009, that recognizes groups and individuals that are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region. Event sponsors include First American Insurance; Health New England; JGS Lifecare; Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.; Northwestern Mutual; O’Connell Care at Home; Royal, P.C.; and Sunshine Village.

Agenda Departments

‘Sport and Diplomacy’

March 8: Retired U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Officer Hugh Dugan will present “Sport and Diplomacy” at the Center for International Sport Business (CISB) program series, “For the Love of the Games.” The presentation will take place at 7 p.m. in the Lyman and Leslie Wood Auditorium in Sleith Hall at Western New England University. Dugan currently serves as a distinguished visiting scholar and fellow at the School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University. The intersection of sports and diplomacy can be difficult, but rewarding. Dugan will talk about his diplomatic career spanning 32 years, including serving as senior adviser to 11 U.S. ambassadors to the United Nations, and his work to secure adoption of the ancient tradition of the Olympic Truce by the UN General Assembly. This event is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by the Western New England University Alumni Assoc. Established in 2007, the CISB is a forum for the study of the business of sport with an international focus. In addition to the distinguished-speaker program that brings prominent personalities from sport and business to the university community, the CISB organizes a summer seminar-abroad program that takes students to the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup.

Caritas Gala

March 11: Mercy Medical Center will present the first annual Caritas Gala at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. Themed “All You Need Is Love,” the inaugural gala will raise funds to expand and enhance Mercy Behavioral Health Care’s Opioid Treatment and Addiction Recovery programs. The major goal of the project is to create a new inpatient step-down treatment program for post-detox services, giving individuals a better chance at long-term recovery. John Sjoberg and Brenda Garton-Sjoberg are the Caritas Gala honorary chairpersons. Sjoberg serves as chairman of the board for Mercy and as vice chairman of the board for Trinity Health New England. Garton-Sjoberg has served as honorary chairperson of Mercy Gift of Light. The Caritas Gala will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception, live entertainment from the band Beantown, and a silent auction. Dinner will be served at 8 p.m., followed by a live auction and dancing until midnight. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.mercycares.com/caritasgala.

Difference Makers

March 30: The ninth annual Difference Makers award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House. The winners, profiled in the Jan. 23 issue and at BusinessWest.com, are the Community Colleges of Western Mass. (Berkshire Community College, Greenfield Community College, Holyoke Community College, and
Springfield Technical Community College); Friends of the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round; Denis Gagnon Sr., president and CEO of Excel Dryer Inc.; Junior Achievement of Western Mass.; and Joan Kagan, president and CEO of Square One. Tickets to the event cost $65 per person, with tables of 10 available. To order, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100. Difference Makers is a program, launched in 2009, that recognizes groups and individuals that are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region. Details on the event will be published in upcoming issues of the magazine. Sponsors include First American Insurance; Health New England; JGS Lifecare; Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.; Northwestern Mutual; O’Connell Care at Home; Royal, P.C.; and Sunshine Village.

‘Mini Golf in the Library’

April 7-8: Friends of the Holyoke Public Library will host its second annual “Mini Golf in the Library” fund-raiser on the weekend of April 7-8. Hole sponsors and event sponsors are now being recruited. At last spring’s event, more than 250 players putted their way through five levels of the Holyoke Public Library building, laughing and enjoying unique obstacles added by enterprising hole sponsors. Funds raised help the Friends of the Library support library programs and resources, especially those for children and youth. Sponsors will be publicized and thanked in local media, social media, and the library’s website in connection with this event. Logos of sponsors will be printed on the scorecard given to each player. Names of sponsors will be displayed in the library, ranked by level of sponsorship. Sponsors will be invited as guests to the Friday-evening cocktail party, with the opportunity to preview (and play through) the course. In addition to event sponsors and hole sponsors, the event planning committee, chaired by Sandy Ward, is seeking donors of in-kind services and items for a silent auction to be held during the Friday cocktail party. Hole sponsorships start at $250. Those who wish to sponsor (and decorate) one of the 18 holes are encouraged to act quickly, as holes are being sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Event sponsorships are available at five levels ranging from $250 to $1,000. An exclusive title sponsorship is possible at $2,500. For more information, visit www.holyokelibrary.org/aboutfriendsgolf.asp or e-mail Sandy Ward at [email protected].

Daily News
Bruce Landon

Bruce Landon

The Springfield Thunderbirds didn’t win Friday night’s game against Lehigh Valley. But only real diehard fans could have been disappointed with the way the evening turned out.

That’s because the night didn’t belong to the T-Birds and their long-shot efforts to make the AHL playoffs. No, it belonged to Bruce Landon, and, therefore, there was cause for celebration. Lots of it.

Landon, or ‘Mr. Hockey,’ as he’s known in Springfield, says he will officially retire next month after nearly 50 years of close association to hockey in this town. Most are taking a ‘we’ll believe it when we see it’ approach to that word ‘retirement,’ but Landon, now 67, says this time, he means it.

The Thunderbirds threw a night in his honor Friday, complete with a bobblehead that Landon says bears a resemblance to Lex Luthor. Maybe, but Lex Luthor is a villain, and Landon has always been a hero when it comes to hockey, Springfield, and hockey in Springfield.

He lived, he breathed it, he promoted it, he championed it. To say that there wouldn’t be hockey in Springfield without him is an understatement. The current ownership team and management personnel are on record as saying they were motivated to launch the T-Birds because of the legacy Landon created and a strong desire not to see it come to an end.

Landon’s career had come to an end, sort of, when the owners of the Springfield Falcons, citing poor attendance, decided nearly a year ago to move the team to Arizona.

Landon didn’t actually retire, though, essentially because the future of hockey in Springfield was anything but secure. Now, it is, and therefore he believes the time is right to step aside.

He leaves with high praise for the new owners and the team’s chief executive, Nate Costa, saying they have the commitment and the passion to keep the game here.

Those are the very same words that defined Landon’s work for nearly a half-century.

In 2013, BusinessWest presented Landon with its Difference Makers award, citing his work to keep hockey alive in Springfield as one of the many not-so-obvious ways that people can make a difference in this region.

As he was being honored that night, the audience was told that hockey, although certainly not appreciated by all, was certainly part of the fabric of the city and the region.

We can still say that in March 2017, and Bruce Landon is a big reason why. And that’s why last Friday night, and the last few weeks of Landon’s career — again, we’ll believe it when we see it — are cause for celebration.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Seats are still available for the ninth annual Difference Makers award program, staged by BusinessWest, to be held on Thursday, March 30 at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke.

The winners, profiled in the Jan. 23 issue and at businesswest.com, are the Community Colleges of Western Mass. (Berkshire Community College, Greenfield Community College, Holyoke Community College, and
Springfield Technical Community College); Friends of the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round; Denis Gagnon Sr., president and CEO of Excel Dryer Inc.; Junior Achievement of Western Mass.; and Joan Kagan, president and CEO of Square One.

Tickets to the event cost $65 per person, with tables of 10 available. To order, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100.

Difference Makers is a program, launched in 2009, that recognizes groups and individuals that are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region. Event sponsors include First American Insurance; Health New England; JGS Lifecare; Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.; Northwestern Mutual; O’Connell Care at Home; Royal, P.C.; and Sunshine Village.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Seats are still available for the ninth annual Difference Makers award program, staged by BusinessWest, to be held on Thursday, March 30 at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke.

The winners, profiled in the Jan. 23 issue and at businesswest.com, are the Community Colleges of Western Mass. (Berkshire Community College, Greenfield Community College, Holyoke Community College, and
Springfield Technical Community College); Friends of the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round; Denis Gagnon Sr., president and CEO of Excel Dryer Inc.; Junior Achievement of Western Mass.; and Joan Kagan, president and CEO of Square One.

Tickets to the event cost $65 per person, with tables of 10 available. To order, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100.

Difference Makers is a program, launched in 2009, that recognizes groups and individuals that are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region. Event sponsors include First American Insurance; Health New England; JGS Lifecare; Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.; Northwestern Mutual; O’Connell Care at Home; Royal, P.C.; and Sunshine Village.