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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

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