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Agenda

Paid Family and Medical Leave Seminar

April 18: Over the past few months, Massachusetts-based employers have been inundated with information about the upcoming Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave requirements. Unfortunately, this deluge of information has done little to answer employers’ pressing questions. To date, most of this information has been speculative or otherwise subject to change before implementation. In fact, the most helpful information thus far, the new Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave’s draft regulations, has only given an idea of what the program will probably look like. These draft regulations are just that: a draft. They are subject to change prior to the issuance of final regulations. The good news is there are some things we do know for sure, and there is still some time before employer obligations go into effect. Royal, P.C. will host a discussion of the steps employers can begin to take to prepare for the implementation of Paid Family and Medical Leave. The event will be held from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at 270 Pleasant St., Northampton. The price is $30 per person, and registration is limited. For more information or to register, contact Heather Loges at (413) 586-2288 or [email protected].

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny

April 20: The Starting Gate at GreatHorse will host breakfast with the Easter Bunny the Saturday before Easter at 9 a.m. The facility is located at 128 Wilbraham Road, Hampden. An Easter breakfast buffet will feature buttermilk pancakes, scrambled eggs, pork sausage links, applewood bacon, golden breakfast potatoes, fresh fruit, mini danish, hot cross buns, bagels, coffee, tea, orange juice, and milk. The event will include Easter crafts and games, including an Easter egg hunt. This event is open to the public. The cost is $35, including tax and service charges. The event is free for children under age 1. Call (413) 566-5158 for reservations.

Springfield Art Stop

April 26: The Springfield Cultural Partnership (SCP) announced the return of Art Stop, a pop-up gallery/street festival hybrid, from 5 to 8 p.m. The SCP is partnering with venues downtown to open galleries in unexpected spaces simultaneously. Additionally, several existing Springfield art galleries along this year’s route will also participate as stops along the Art Stop. Between the galleries, which will have the typical artist talks and receptions, there will be street performances. Art Stop was designed to activate underutilized community spaces with colorful art, create economic opportunity for artists, and bring communities together. Galleries will all be located in downtown Springfield. Each individual gallery opening will have an reception with the artist on site to both sell and talk about their work. This year, the SCP has also partnered with several downtown restaurants that will offer a discount on food to Art Stop attendees who present their Art Stop ‘passport’ on April 26. The SCP, along with organizing the curation of art in the pop-up spaces, is hiring unique buskers to encourage attendees to walk from place to place. Guides will be strategically placed to guide attendees along the Art Stop route. The performers will showcase an array of dance, music, and entertainment. All locations are within a walkable area.

Daffodil 5K Run/Walk & 10K Run

April 28: Big Brothers Big Sisters will host the ninth annual Daffodil 5K Run/Walk & 10K Run. This festive, family-friendly event takes place at Kendrick Park in Amherst, with the race kicking off at 10 a.m.

Before the race, registrants can enjoy Esselon Coffee and a pre-race warmup with 50/50 Fitness/Nutrition. The post-race party for all registrants and volunteers will include a barbecue lunch provided by the Pub, music with DJ Matt Peterson, a bounce house, hula hooping with Hoop Joy, and balloon art. New this year, Crooked Stick Pops will bring their popsicles to the party, and there will be a tent sale of gently used children’s books curated by author and illustrator Diane deGroat. With a goal of raising $60,000 this year, the Daffodil Run is the largest annual fundraiser for CHD’s Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County and provides vital funds for its mentoring programs. This year, it is partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden County, and participants can decide which agency their fundraising will benefit. “The Daffodil Run is a favorite springtime event in our community, with 1,000 people joining together each year to have fun and support youth-mentoring programs,” said Jessie Cooley, director of CHD’s Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County. “By partnering with our friends in Hampden County, we hope to create an even bigger impact and to match more young people in our region with mentors.” Runners and walkers can register online until Wednesday, April 24, and race-day registration is available beginning at 8 a.m. Prizes will be awarded to the top three overall finishers in each gender category, as well as top finishers for each age group and top fundraisers. Community members are invited to join the festivities at Kendrick Park and cheer on the runners and walkers along the route. For more information and to register for the race, visit daffodilrun2019.racewire.com.

DiGrigoli Educational Programs

April 29: For the first time in many years, Paul DiGrigoli, owner of DiGrigoli Salon and DiGrigoli School of Cosmetology in West Springfield and a national spokesperson and educator for the beauty industry, will offer his popular seminars to all local salon professionals and business owners. The all-day program at the Log Cabin in Holyoke will kick off at 10 a.m. with DiGrigoli’s most popular program, “Booked Solid,” based off his best-selling book in the beauty industry of the same name. Designed to help stylists, estheticians, nail techs, or anyone in the service industry to increase sales and retention, “Booked Solid” has inspired professionals across the country at major beauty shows, colleges, and businesses for more than 15 years. After lunch, the day will conclude with “How to Build a Healthy Salon or Business” from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. This leadership program, geared towards salon and beauty professionals, business owners, managers, or anyone in a leadership position, will use DiGrigoli’s more than 35 years of experience in the industry to educate on the best leadership practices, how to cultivate a healthy team or healthy business, and how to outperform the competition. This intensive workshop is being made possible through the sponsorship of Sullivan Beauty in New Hampshire. For more information and to purchase tickets, interested stylists and professionals should visit www.sullivanbeauty.com.

Elder-law and Estate-planning Series

May 6, 13, 20: Attorney Karen Jackson of Jackson Law, an elder-law and estate-planning firm, will teach a series of classes highlighting the latest developments in elder law and estate planning at Holyoke Community College (HCC). The six-hour course, called “Elder Law and Estate Planning: What You Need to Know,” will be presented on three consecutive Mondays from 6 to 8 p.m. Jackson will present comprehensive subject matter on what she calls “The Core Estate Plan,” in which she will explain core documents and provide stories and examples. She will also discuss “The Probate Court Process and Medicare Hot Topics” and “Community Care Programs and MassHealth Planning for Nursing-home Care.” In the first session, Jackson will explain each document in the core estate plan. She will discuss the problems that can occur when proper documents are not prepared before a loss of mental capacity or physical health or before sudden loss of life. The second session will address four areas: trusts, the probate court process, Medicare hot topics, and options for community care and home care. Jackson will provide pertinent information and details about each to assist attendees in planning now. In the third and final session, Jackson will introduce the various Medicaid programs that provide long-term skilled-nursing home care in Massachusetts and the financial assistance associated with each. While participants may attend only one session of their choosing, they must still pay the full course cost of $89. To register, call (413) 552-2500 or visit www.hcc.edu/bce.

40 Under Forty Gala

June 20: BusinessWest will present its 13th annual 40 Under Forty Gala, a celebration of 40 young business and civic leaders in Western Mass. The lavish cocktail party, to begin 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 2019, which will be profiled in the April 29 issue of BusinessWest and at businesswest.com. Also, the fifth Continued Excellence Award honoree will be announced. Tickets cost $75 per person, and tables of 10 are available. For more information, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100, or e-mail [email protected] PeoplesBank is the presenting sponsor, Health New England is the Continued Excellence Award sponsor, and WWLP-22 News is the media sponsor. Other sponsors include the Isenberg School of Management, MP CPAs, Mercedes-Benz of Springfield, Live Nation, MGM Springfield, and YPS of Greater Springfield (partner).

‘Thrive After 55’ Wellness Fair

June 21: State Sen. Eric Lesser announced that he will host the third annual “Thrive After 55” Wellness Fair in partnership with Health New England, Springfield College, and the Center for Human Development (CHD). This year’s fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Field House on the campus of Springfield College, 263 Alden St., Springfield. The fair is free and open to the public. With more than 70 local organizations ranging from health and fitness to nutrition and elder law, the annual fair will connect residents of the Greater Springfield area with information and resources to help them thrive. The event will feature several educational seminars which will highlight areas of interest for attendees, including estate planning and elder law, scam avoidance, and diet and nutrition. Heart Song Yoga Center of East Longmeadow will return for a third year with an interactive demonstration of chair yoga and movement. The free program includes a boxed lunch, hundreds of raffle prizes, and access to information and experts. To RSVP, call Lesser’s office at (413) 526-6501 or visit senatorlesser.com/thrive.

Company Notebook

MBK Recognized as Regional Accounting Leader

HOLYOKE — Accounting Today, a leading publication in the certified public accounting industry, has named Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. a regional leader in its top-100 listing in the March issue. Accounting Today’s annual ranking surveys the largest practices in both tax and accounting in 10 major geographic regions across the country. It employs a host of benchmarking data to evaluate the firms’ growth strategies, service areas, and specific client niches. MBK was recognized as a top firm in the New England region. “MBK is dedicated to our belief in the power and potential of Western Massachusetts,” said Managing Partner James Barrett. “We are very proud to have this local commitment recognized on a national level. Our staff works very hard to provide excellent service to our clients as well as resources and information to business owners and decision makers in our marketplace.”

Western New England Wins National Marketing Awards

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University (WNEU) was named among the top institutions in the nation in the 2018 Collegiate Advertising Awards and the 34th annual Education Advertising Awards, two programs designed to recognize higher-education organizations for excellence in communications, marketing, advertising, and promotion of their schools. Western New England University and its creative partner, Spark451, received a total of four Gold awards. The university’s centennial logo, created to commemorate 100 years, claimed gold in both competitions. The recently launched WNE: The Magazine of Western New England University claimed gold in the Collegiate Advertising Awards competition. The biannual publication explores stories drawn from a cross section of the university, highlighting faculty research, campus happenings, and alumni achievements. Meanwhile, the “What’s New at WNE?” brochure took home top honors in the brochure category. The annual publication shines the spotlight on the latest university developments, including new facilities, academic programs, and faculty and student accomplishments. 

Smith & Wesson Donates Proceeds from Game Dinner to Pioneer Valley USO

SPRINGFIELD — Smith & Wesson Corp. announced it has contributed more than $32,000 to the Pioneer Valley USO. Proceeds raised from the company’s annual game dinner have benefited the Pioneer Valley USO and its programs supporting American military personnel and their families for more than a decade. Armed-forces members and families access the USO for social, recreational, educational, and entertainment programs and services. At the annual event, Smith & Wesson game dinner attendees enjoy a variety of wild game dishes prepared by a team of dedicated volunteers. One of the most popular events of its kind, the dinner hosts nearly 500 guests, and this year featured menu items including pheasant, elk, bear, boar, moose, and venison. Led by Chef Norm Boucher from Chicopee Comprehensive High School’s culinary department, volunteers created dishes like antelope meatballs marinara, southern-style pulled boar, pot roast of Maine black bear, and wild bird pot pie. In addition to the food-preparation team, Smith & Wesson volunteers donated more than 500 personal hours to make the event a success. The game meat was donated by hunters affiliated with Smith & Wesson, Foggy Mountain Guide Service, and Linx Wildlife Management, among others. This year’s event included a limited number of sponsorships, giving local businesses the opportunity to show their support. Big-game sponsor Thorn Industries of Three Rivers, as well as other area businesses, provided additional support for the USO.

Governor Celebrates Opening of New Physical Sciences Building at UMass Amherst

AMHERST — Gov. Charlie Baker recently celebrated the opening of the new Physical Sciences Building (PSB) at UMass Amherst, a facility funded by the state that fosters and expands cutting-edge collaborative learning and research at the Commonwealth’s flagship campus. “We were pleased to invest in the new Physical Sciences Building, which will serve as a hub for the natural sciences at UMass Amherst,” Baker said. “The facility’s expansion will help foster new research and career opportunities, which will help support the STEM workforce pipeline here in Massachusetts.” The 95,000-square-foot PSB opened this academic year after three years of construction and incorporates the reconstructed West Experiment Station, a 19th-century agricultural soils research laboratory and one of the university’s most historic buildings. Funding for the $101.8 million project included $85 million from the state and $16.8 million financed by the campus through the UMass Building Authority. The PSB provides offices, specialized laboratories, and approximately 130 laboratory benches for the Physics and Chemistry departments. The laboratories are constructed in a layout that can be reconfigured many times during the life of the building. Among other fields, the PSB supports scientific discovery in material science, condensed matter and nuclear physics, and organic chemistry. The faculty hosted in these facilities have collectively been awarded $127 million in grants and are working on the forefront of science.

Franklin First Federal Credit Union Honored with Community Hero Award

SPRINGFIELD — Franklin First Federal Credit Union was honored as a Community Hero at the Credit Union Heroes and Community Bank Heroes Awards Gala on March 28, hosted at MGM Springfield by American Business Media, publisher of Banking New England and Centerpoint magazines. Wolf and Co., one of the nation’s leading tax, audit, and CPA firms, was the gala’s presenting sponsor. The gala recognized 18 community banks and credit unions from across New England for their creation of community partnerships and going beyond the call to aid their community. Franklin First was recognized for its partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County through the creation of a financial carnival designed to educate youth in the community about identifying, earning, and spending money. Franklin First organized several financial carnivals to coincide with mentoring sessions with local ‘bigs’ (Age 16-18) and ‘littles’ (ages 8-11) as a fun, educational alternative to their normal mentoring sessions. The carnivals involved a series of games designed to identify currency, separate wants from needs, recognize expenses, and experience financial gains and losses, all while tracking their earnings and expenses in a savings register to save up for a fun prize at the end of the night. Franklin First received Silver in the category of credit unions with less than $500 million in assets.

PeoplesBank Named Second-Fastest-Growing Bank In Massachusetts

HOLYOKE — The Boston Business Journal published its list of the fastest-growing banks in Massachusetts, and, following its acquisition of First National Bank of Suffield, PeoplesBank ranked second on the list. “About 50% of our growth came from the merger,” said Brian Canina, chief financial officer of PeoplesBank. “But the untold story is that the rest of that growth was organic. We attribute our organic growth to our mutual charter. We do not have to divert earnings to shareholders, so we can reinvest in our organization and the communities we serve. That means improved technology, better products and services — including rates and terms — as well as a level of investment in the community that is unmatched by our competitors.”

Bay Path Receives Truth Initiative Grant, Pledges to Go Tobacco-free

LONGMEADOW — Bay Path University recently announced it is one of 48 colleges and universities to be awarded a grant from Truth Initiative to adopt a 100% tobacco-free or smoke-free campus policy. The effort is part of a national movement among students, faculty, and administrators to address smoking and tobacco use at college campuses throughout the U.S. Ninety-nine percent of all smokers start smoking before the age of 26, making college campuses a critical part in the fight against youth tobacco use. Since 2015, the Truth Initiative Tobacco-Free College Program, in partnership with CVS Health, has awarded more than $1.8 million in funding to 154 colleges and universities to prevent young adults from starting tobacco use, help tobacco smokers quit, and reduce everyone’s exposure to secondhand smoke. Bay Path University’s efforts are part of a growing trend to clean the air on campuses. Currently, more than 2,342 higher-education institutions in the U.S. have gone smoke- or tobacco-free.

Springfield College Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship Wins Grant

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield College Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship has been awarded a $265,000 grant from the Davis Educational Foundation to assist in the creation of faculty-development opportunities focused on the implementation of real-time assessment procedures to help increase and maintain student academic success. The grant will allow the center to fund faculty from across departments and schools to engage in workshops on assessment, implement those strategies into their courses, and use the assessment data to evaluate program-learning outcomes. The goals are to improve the timelines of interventions when students are not meeting learning objectives and to move the class forward when all students are meeting those objectives. The center will coordinate the training and provide faculty with the ability to engage in scholarship around the development of these assessment procedures.

Agenda

STCC Majors and Career Fair

April 3: Springfield Technical Community College will host a Majors and Career Fair for students, local vocational high schools, and community agencies interested in exploring opportunities in the biomedical, architectural, civil and mechanical engineering, optics and photonics, social work, landscape and design, digital media, graphic communications, IT security, and many other STEM fields. The Majors and Career Fair will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Scibelli Hall Gymnasium in Building 2. This event is a collaboration among the Career Development Center, the HSI-STEM Grant, and the Perkins Grant. Representatives from academic majors, career fields, and local employers will be on hand. With a goal of raising awareness about STEM majors and careers, the fair will give attendees an opportunity to speak with employers about potential opportunities in their field. For more information, contact Felicia Griffin-Fennell at [email protected] or (413) 755-4819.

EANE Leadership Conference

April 4: The Employers Assoc. of the NorthEast (EANE) will stage its annual Leadership Conference on Thursday, April 4 at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place with a focus on measuring success while motivating and inspiring one’s team to improve performance. The program will feature Jim McPartlin, vice president of Leadership Development for Forbes Travel Guide. McPartlin’s keynote will challenge attendees to bring integrity to their leadership responsibilities, even when times get tough. A second keynote will be presented by Tim Hebert, a perennial entrepreneur, innovator, author, speaker, and adventurer. Hebert will ignite the leadership spark in attendees in a keynote focused on the choices of leadership and techniques to help live life by design, not by default. Between keynote presentations, conference attendees will have access to dozens of breakout session topics ranging from performance management to diversity and inclusion, to perfecting ‘C-suite speak,’ and more. The cost for the program is $360 per person with discounts for three or more. Register at www.eane.org/leadership-2019 or by calling (877) 662-6444. The program will offer 5.75 credits from the HR Certification Institute and SHRM.

Riverside Industries Silent & Live Auction

April 5: Riverside Industries’ 15th annual Silent & Live Auction, featuring more than 250 silent-auction items and a live auction full of experiences from the Valley and beyond, will be held at One Cottage St. in Easthampton from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Attendees can expect plenty of food, casual attire, and a cash bar. Tickets cost $30 in advance. Securely register online at rsi.org. The presenting sponsor is bankESB; the associate sponsor is Harvard Pilgrim; the table sponsors are Finck & Perras Insurance Agency and Mutual of America; and the collaborator sponsors are A-Z Storage & Properties, Helping Hand Society, SBI Benefits Consulting Group, Ruth and Spencer Timm, Whittlesey & Hadley P.C., and Williston Northampton School.

‘What Is Spiritual Direction?’

April 6: Elms College will host a day of reflection titled “What Is Spiritual Direction? Is It for Me?” from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Decice Hall at the Marian Center, located at 1365 Northampton St. in Holyoke. The event will include an introduction to what spiritual direction is (and what it is not), some exploration of different ways to be with God in prayer, reflection on each participant’s own sacred story, discussion of several approaches to spiritual direction, and time for both shared and personal prayer. Virginia Collins-English, a certified spiritual director, retreat director, writer, and psychotherapist, will lead the day of reflection. All are welcome, including those who are ‘spiritual but not religious,’ those who feel marginalized by the church, and those of all faiths. Sponsored by the Religious Studies Department and the Institute for Theology and Pastoral Studies at Elms, this event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register, call (413) 265-2575 or e-mail [email protected] Attendees should bring a bag lunch. Beverages and dessert will be provided.

‘Growing Up WILD’

April 13: The School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Elms College, in partnership with Berkshire Community College and 1Berkshire, will host an early-childhood-education workshop from 8:30 a.m. to noon in the cafeteria at Berkshire Community College. The workshop, titled “A Glimpse at Growing Up WILD,” is free and open to the public. In this extensive training for educators run through MassWildlife, Jane McCarry, academic coordinator and advisor for the Early Care and Education program at Elms, and also a trained Growing Up WILD facilitator, will present two of the program’s activities: “Seed Need” and “Lunch for a Bear.” These hands-on activities encourage participants to move, learn to collect data, and make science-based observations, all at a preschool level. Participants in this workshop will take part in these activities and learn how to use them in childcare settings. The primary intended audience includes people who are already working in early education at preschools or in group care who are required to obtain 20 hours of training per year, but the workshop is also open to BCC students currently earning their associate degrees in early education or a related field, prospective early-childhood-education students, and any community members who are interested in learning about Growing Up WILD. Upon completion of the training, participants will receive a certificate of attendance confirming they have successfully completed two hours of training in Core Competency Area 5: Learning Environments and Implementing Curriculum. The total participants are limited to 50. For more information or to register, e-mail Kelly Zieba at [email protected]

Paid Family and Medical Leave Seminar

April 18: Over the past few months, Massachusetts-based employers have been inundated with information about the upcoming Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave requirements. Unfortunately, this deluge of information has done little to answer employers’ pressing questions. To date, most of this information has been speculative or otherwise subject to change before implementation. In fact, the most helpful information thus far, the new Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave’s draft regulations, has only given an idea of what the program will probably look like. These draft regulations are just that: a draft. They are subject to change prior to the issuance of final regulations. The good news is there are some things we do know for sure, and there is still some time before employer obligations go into effect. Royal, P.C. will host a discussion of the steps employers can begin to take to prepare for the implementation of Paid Family and Medical Leave. The event will be held from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at 270 Pleasant St., Northampton. The price is $30 per person, and registration is limited. For more information or to register, contact Heather Loges at (413) 586-2288 or [email protected]

Springfield Art Stop

April 26: The Springfield Cultural Partnership (SCP) announced the return of Art Stop, a pop-up gallery/street festival hybrid, from 5 to 8 p.m. The SCP is partnering with venues downtown to open galleries in unexpected spaces simultaneously. Additionally, several existing Springfield art galleries along this year’s route will also participate as stops along the Art Stop. Between the galleries, which will have the typical artist talks and receptions, there will be street performances. Art Stop was designed to activate underutilized community spaces with colorful art, create economic opportunity for artists, and bring communities together. Galleries will all be located in downtown Springfield. Each individual gallery opening will have an reception with the artist on site to both sell and talk about their work. This year, the SCP has also partnered with several downtown restaurants that will offer a discount on food to Art Stop attendees who present their Art Stop ‘passport’ on April 26. The SCP, along with organizing the curation of art in the pop-up spaces, is hiring unique buskers to encourage attendees to walk from place to place. Guides will be strategically placed to guide attendees along the Art Stop route. The performers will showcase an array of dance, music, and entertainment. All locations are within a walkable area.

DiGrigoli Educational Programs

April 29: For the first time in many years, Paul DiGrigoli, owner of DiGrigoli Salon and DiGrigoli School of Cosmetology in West Springfield and a national spokesperson and educator for the beauty industry, will offer his popular seminars to all local salon professionals and business owners. The all-day program at the Log Cabin in Holyoke will kick off at 10 a.m. with DiGrigoli’s most popular program, “Booked Solid,” based off his best-selling book in the beauty industry of the same name. Designed to help stylists, estheticians, nail techs, or anyone in the service industry to increase sales and retention, “Booked Solid” has inspired professionals across the country at major beauty shows, colleges, and businesses for more than 15 years. After lunch, the day will conclude with “How to Build a Healthy Salon or Business” from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. This leadership program, geared towards salon and beauty professionals, business owners, managers, or anyone in a leadership position, will use DiGrigoli’s more than 35 years of experience in the industry to educate on the best leadership practices, how to cultivate a healthy team or healthy business, and how to outperform the competition. This intensive workshop is being made possible through the sponsorship of Sullivan Beauty in New Hampshire. For more information and to purchase tickets, interested stylists and professionals should visit www.sullivanbeauty.com.

Chamber Corners

1BERKSHIRE

www.1berkshire.com

(413) 499-1600

• April 24: Good News Business Salute, 7:30-9 a.m. Throughout the year, 1Berkshire selects businesses and organizations to recognize at events called Good News Business Salutes. These may honor an expansion, creation of new jobs, a significant milestone or anniversary, the unveiling of a new program, or a substantial new commitment to the community. The Esther Quinn Award will be given out at this event to an actively involved community member. Cost: $35 for members; $50 for non-members. Register at bit.ly/2H71NS6.

AMHERST AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.amherstarea.com

(413) 253-0700

• April 10: April After 5 – Battle of the Admins, 5-7 p.m., hosted by PinZ at the Hampshire Mall. In celebration of Administrative Professionals Day, offices will compete in fun team-building events to foster a sense of community and camaraderie among staff and show them how much you appreciate their hard work. Cornhole, ping-pong, and axe throwing are just a few of the fun events the Hampshire Mall has prepared. Looking to meet new people? We will pair you up with someone you don’t know to network.

• April 17: Amherst Area Economic Development Panel, 4-6 p.m., hosted by UMass Old Chapel. A presentation of the state of economic development in Amherst and a panel discussion of the community’s strategic advantage as well as a vision for the future of economic development in the Amherst area.

• April 19-28: Daffodil Days. In celebration of spring, the Amherst downtown will be adorned with sprouting daffodils and artistic storefront windows. Many restaurants, cafés, and shops will have special spring offerings and sales.

FRANKLIN COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.franklincc.org

(413) 773-5463

• April 18: Business After Hours, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Polish American Citizens Club, 46 South Main St., South Deerfield. Sponsored by Polish National Credit Union. A networking event featuring a cash bar and an all-Polish menu by Hamel’s Catering. Register at franklincc.org or by e-mailing [email protected]

• April 26: Monthly Chamber Breakfast Series, 7:30-9 a.m., hosted by Terrazza Restaurant. Sponsored by the Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice. Full breakfast will be served during the program, featuring a panel celebrating the contribution of today’s immigrants. Speakers include Laurie Millman, executive director for the Center for New Americans; Abas Cecunjanin, owner of Terrazza Restaurant; Arjen Vriend, owner of Pioneer Gardens Inc.; and Geetu Shokeen, owner of Montague Dental Arts. Register at franklincc.org or by e-mailing [email protected]

GREATER CHICOPEE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.chicopeechamber.org

(413) 594-2101

• April 5: Shining Stars Gala, 6-10 p.m., hosted by Castle of Knights, Chicopee. Presented by Westfield Bank. Sponsored by PeoplesBank, Polish National Credit Union, Health New England, BusinessWest, Siddall & Siddall, P.C., the Arbors Kids, N. Riley Construction, the Chicopee Herald, and Hampton Inn of Chicopee. Sign up online at chicopeechamber.org/events.

• April 17: Salute Breakfast, 7:15-9 a.m., hosted by Willits-Hallowell Center. Sponsored by Westfield Bank, Holyoke Medical Center, N. Riley Construction Inc., Polish National Credit Union, USI Insurance Services, Spherion Staffing Services, and PeoplesBank. Marketing for small business chief greeter: Chris Thompson of CT Enterprises. Keynote speaker: Alfonso Santaniello of Creative Strategy Agency. Cost: $25 for members, $30 for non-members. Sign up online at chicopeechamber.org/events.

• April 25: Business After Hours – Happy Hour After Hours, 4:30-6:30 p.m., hosted by Exchange St. Station. Come after work and relax and enjoy a drink and some light refreshments. Don’t forget your business cards. Cost: $10 for member, $15 for non-members. Sign up online at chicopeechamber.org/events.

GREATER EASTHAMPTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.easthamptonchamber.org

(413) 527-9414

• April 3: Networking by Night, 5-9 p.m., hosted by the Springfield Thunderbirds at the MassMutual Center. Networking 5-7 p.m., followed by a game courtesy of the Thunderbirds. This event is free to members and their families. Pre-registration is required, as there will be no tickets available at the door. For more information and to register, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org or call the chamber at (413) 527-9414.

• April 25: Food 4 Thought Lunch & Learn, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., hosted by Mill 180 Park, 180 Pleasant St., Easthampton. Robin Kline, director of Volunteer & Guest Services at Cooley Dickinson Health Care, will facilitate a program about customer Service. If you think it’s no big deal, think again. This seemingly innocuous little detail can make or break an organization. A box lunch is included with registration. Cost: $25 for members, $35 for future members. For more information and to register, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org or call the chamber at (413) 527-9414.

GREATER NORTHAMPTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.northamptonchamber.com

(413) 584-1900

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

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

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

• May 1: May Arrive @ 5, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Emerson Way, Northampton. A networking event sponsored by Gove Law Office, Keiter Builders, and Kuhn Riddle Architects. Cost: $10 for members.

• May 14: Workshop: “Microsoft Word Tips,” 9-11 a.m., hosted by the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce, 99 Pleasant St., Northampton. Presented by Pioneer Training. This workshop contains a variety of quick tips and tricks in Microsoft Word that will save hours of time. Attendees will learn to add buttons to the Quick Access Toolbar; shortcuts for selecting words, sentences, and paragraphs; and how (and why) to display non-printing characters in a document. Practice using the Format Painter to copy formatting and fix problems with numbered and bulleted lists. Learn to create AutoCorrect entries to correct common typos, and AutoText entries and Quick Parts to easily enter frequently used text. Cost: $25 for members, $35 for non-members.

May 28: Workshop: “Upgrading to Office 365,” 9-11 a.m., hosted by the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce, 99 Pleasant St., Northampton. Presented by Pioneer Training. Cost: $35 for members, $45 for non-members.

GREATER WESTFIELD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.westfieldbiz.org

(413) 568-1618

• April 1: Mayor’s Coffee Hour, 8-9 a.m, hosted by Westfield Sportsman’s Club, 98 Furrowtown Road, Westfield. Join us for coffee with Westfield Mayor Brian Sullivan. The event is free and open to the public. To register, visit www.westfieldbiz.org/events or call (413) 568-1618 so we may give our host a proper head count.

• April 8: After 5 Connections, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Armbrook Village, 551 North Road, Westfield. Refreshments will be served, and a 50/50 raffle will benefit the chamber scholarship fund. Bring your business cards and make connections. Cost: free for members, $15 for non-members (cash or credit paid at the door). Sign up online at www.westfieldbiz.org/events. For more information, call the chamber at (413) 568-1618.

• April 12: Legislative Luncheon, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., hosted by Tekoa Country Club, 459 Russell Road, Westfield. Tony Cignoli of A.L. Cignoli Co. will be moderating a panel of legislators at our annual Legislative Luncheon. Don’t miss this opportunity for your voice to be heard on issues or budget items that affect your business or employees. Invited panelists include state Sens. Don Humason and Adam Hinds, and state Reps. Natalie Blais, Nicholas Boldyga, Smitty Pignatelli, Lindsay Sabadosa, and John Velis. Cost: $35 for members, $50 for non-members. Sign up online at www.westfieldbiz.org/events. For sponsorships or more information, call the chamber at (413) 568-1618.

• April 25: Westfield Education to Business Alliance High School Career Fair, 8-10:30 a.m., hosted by Westfield State University, Woodward Center, 395 Western Ave., Westfield. Don’t miss the chance to help shape the future through workforce development in the community. Create connections for your business and the next generation of your workforce by inspiring Westfield High School and Westfield Technical Academy students with career and college exploration. More than 500 students will be in attendance. There is no charge to be a vendor. Register online at www.westfieldbiz.org/events. For sponsorships or more information, call the chamber at (413) 568-1618.

• April 30: Marketplace Sip & Shop, 5-7 p.m., hosted by the Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce and the Southwick Economic Development Committee at the Ranch Golf Club, 65 Sunnyside Road, Southwick. Join more than 40 local merchants while sipping your way through the market. Refreshments and cash bar available. This event is free and open to the public. Vendor cost: $50 if bringing a table, $75 if you would like us to provide the table, or if you would like floor space. Vendor sign-up and additional details available online at www.westfieldbiz.org/events. For sponsorships or more information, call the chamber at (413) 568-1618.

SOUTH HADLEY & GRANBY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.shgchamber.com

(413) 532-6451

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

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

SPRINGFIELD REGIONAL CHAMBER

www.springfieldregionalchamber.com

(413) 787-1555

• April 3: Mayor’s Forum, 7:15-9 a.m., hosted by Delaney House, One Country Club Road, Holyoke. Presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. Featuring Mayor Domenic Sarno of Springfield, Mayor Nicole LaChapelle of Easthampton, and Mayor William Sapelli of Agawam. Cost: $30 for members ($40 at the door), $35 for non-members ($45 at the door).

• April 11: Beacon Hill Summit, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., sponsored by Baystate Health and Comcast. A day at the State House in Boston hosted by state Sen. James Welch and state Rep. Carlos Gonzalez. An opportunity to spend a day with members of the Baker-Polito administration. Cost: $180 for members, $225 for non-members, which includes lunch and reception.

• April 11: Professional Women’s Chamber Tabletop Showcase, 5-8 p.m., hosted by Carriage House, Storrowton Village, 1305 Memorial Ave., West Springfield. Cost: $40 admission includes food and one drink; $150 for exhibitor table. Reservations for all chamber events may be made by visiting www.springfieldregionalchamber.com, e-mailing [email protected], or calling (413) 755-1310.

WEST OF THE RIVER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.ourwrc.com

(413) 426-3880

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

YOUNG PROFESSIONAL SOCIETY OF GREATER SPRINGFIELD

springfieldyps.com

• April 19: April Third Thursday featuring area graduate schools, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Samuel’s at the Hall of Fame. Join us for our monthly Third Thursday while learning about graduate schools from representatives from various area colleges and universities. Cost: free for members, $10 for non-members. Learn more at springfieldyps.com.

Briefcase

BusinessWest Accepting Continued Excellence Award Nominations

SPRINGFIELD — BusinessWest is looking for nominees for its fifth Continued Excellence Award, and will accept nominations through Friday, May 3. The winner of the award will be unveiled at the magazine’s 40 Under Forty gala on Thursday, June 20. Four years ago, BusinessWest inaugurated the award to recognize past 40 Under Forty honorees who had significantly built on their achievements since they were honored. The first two winners were Delcie Bean, president of Paragus Strategic IT, and Dr. Jonathan Bayuk, president of Allergy and Immunology Associates of Western Mass. and chief of Allergy and Immunology at Baystate Medical Center. Both were originally named to the 40 Under Forty class of 2008. The judges chose two winners in 2017: Scott Foster, an attorney with Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas (40 Under Forty class of 2011); and Nicole Griffin, owner of Griffin Staffing Network (class of 2014). Last year, Samalid Hogan, regional director of the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (class of 2013), took home the honor. Candidates must hail from 40 Under Forty classes prior to the year of the award — in this case, classes 2007-18 — and will be judged on qualities including outstanding leadership, dedicated community involvement, professional achievement, and ability to inspire. The award’s presenting sponsor is Health New Enlgand. The nomination form is available HERE. A list of the past 12 40 Under Forty classes may be found HERE. For more information call Bevin Peters, Marketing and Events Director, at (413) 781-8600, ext. 100, or e-mail [email protected]

Jewish Nursing Home, Six Other Facilities Reach Settlement with State

BOSTON — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced that the state reached settlements with seven nursing homes, including Jewish Nursing Home of Longmeadow, after an investigation found “systemic failures” at the facilities that led to the death or injury of some residents. About $500,000 in penalties were announced during a news conference Wednesday, the Boston Globe reported. The seven facilities will now be enrolled in strict compliance programs and must undergo safety and care-quality improvements. Settlements were reached with Jewish Nursing Home of Longmeadow (which received an $85,000 fine), Oxford Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Haverhill ($180,000), Wakefield Center in Wakefield ($30,000), the Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Everett ($40,000), Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center in Westboro ($37,500), Braemoor Health Center in Brockton, and Woodbriar Health Center in Wilmington. Synergy Health Centers, which owns Braemoor and Woodbriar, is banned from operating in Massachusetts for seven years. Synergy will pay between $100,000 and $200,000 in fines.

Phase 3 Complete at Atwood Professional Campus

NORTHAMPTON — A ribbon-cutting ceremony has been scheduled for Friday, April 5 at 1 p.m. at the site of phase 3 of the Atwood Professional Campus located at 15 Atwood Dr. in Northampton. This 66,000-square-foot, Class A, three-story professional office building compliments the existing office buildings located across the street at 8 and 22 Atwood Dr., immediately off exit 18 on I-91. Both previous buildings are fully occupied, with notable tenants including Cooley Dickinson Health Care Corp., Clinical & Support Options Inc., and New England Dermatology. The new building was erected at the site of the former Clarion Inn & Conference Center and is designed to appeal to professional and medical office tenants. The owners of Northwood Development, LLC — Edward O’Leary, Eileen O’Leary Sullivan, and Susan O’Leary Mulhern — developed this project. The construction of the building was completed in January 2019. The Hampshire County Probate and Family Court has leased 22,000 square feet in the new building consisting of the entire first floor along with a portion of the second floor. Cooley Dickinson Health Care Corp. has also leased 7,682 square feet on the second floor for medical offices, and construction for that space is currently underway. Development Associates of Agawam, the project manager and leasing agent for the project, has been developing commercial and industrial property throughout the Pioneer Valley for more than 35 years.

Employer Confidence Inches Up in February

BOSTON — Business confidence rebounded modestly during February as optimism about the state and national economies outweighed a darkening outlook among Massachusetts manufacturers. The Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) Business Confidence Index gained 0.5 points to 58.2 after dropping in January to its lowest level since October 2016. Confidence remains within optimistic territory but has lost 6.8 points during the past 12 months. The February increase was driven by a 3.4% jump in employer views of the state economy and a 3.3% rise for the national economy. The government announced last week that the U.S. economy grew at a 2.9% rate in 2018, matching 2015 as the biggest increase since the end of the 2007-09 Great Recession. “Employers remain generally optimistic about a state economy that continues to run at full-employment levels and a U.S. economy that is projected to grow by 2.2% this year” said Raymond Torto, chair of AIM’s Board of Economic Advisors (BEA) and lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. “At the same time, the erosion of confidence among Massachusetts manufacturers during the past 12 months raises some concern about the long-term sustainability of the recovery.”

Grant Funds Opioid-addiction Treatment in Two County Jails

AMHERST — In what could serve as a model for tackling one of the nation’s top public-health crises, a UMass Amherst epidemiology researcher is teaming up with two Western Mass. sheriff’s offices to design, implement, and study an opioid-treatment program for jail detainees in Franklin and Hampshire counties. Funded with a $1.5 million grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the three-year project aims to deliver medications to some 500 detainees who agree to treatment, and connect them to follow-up care through a comprehensive community re-entry program after their release. Elizabeth Evans, assistant professor in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences and one of the grant recipients, will collect data from all the stakeholders to measure the project’s outcomes. “The idea is to distill the lessons learned into a playbook or guide that can be used in jails in Massachusetts and across the nation,” she said. “Evidence supports the use of medications to treat opioid-use disorder. This model signifies a willingness of the sheriffs to deliver care to reduce recidivism and to save people’s lives.” Evans will help Franklin County Sheriff Christopher Donelan, Assistant Superintendent Ed Hayes, and their staff expand and formalize the groundbreaking opioid treatment they began offering inmates in 2015 at the county jail in Greenfield. She also will work with Hampshire County Sheriff Patrick Cahillane, Assistant Superintendent Melinda Cady, and their staff to implement the same program in the Northampton jail.

Hampden County Bar Assoc. Offers Two Law School Scholarships

SPRINGFIELD — The Hampden County Bar Assoc. is now accepting applications for the John F. Moriarty Scholarship and the Colonel Archer B. Battista Veterans Scholarship. The John F. Moriarty Scholarship is available to any Hampden County resident who has been admitted to or is attending a certified law school for the 2019-20 academic year. Applicants must have been residents of Hampden County for at least five years. The deadline date for the John F. Moriarty Scholarship is May 31. The Colonel Archer B. Battista Veterans Scholarship is available to any veteran with an honorable discharge or a current member of the U.S. military who has been admitted to or is attending a certified law school in New England for the 2019-20 year. The deadline for the Colonel Archer B. Battista Veterans Scholarship is May 15. Both scholarships are based on merit and financial need. Applications and additional information are available by contacting Caitlin Glenn at the Hampden County Bar Assoc. at (413) 732-4660 or [email protected] or by visiting www.hcbar.org/about-us/scholarships/.

YouthWorks Program Seeks Employers to Participate in Summer-jobs Program

SPRINGFIELD — The MassHire Hampden County Workforce Board will hold a press conference on Friday, April 5 to launch its 2019 YouthWorks summer-jobs campaign. The event will take place at 1 p.m. at the Reed Institute, located at 152 Notre Dame St., Westfield. The agency’s goal is to place up to 800 youth in summer jobs. Westfield Mayor Brian Sullivan will be joined by Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, and Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos to announce the summer youth-employment initiative. Also in attendance will be state Sen. James Welch and state Reps. Joseph Wagner, John Velis, Jose Tosado, Aaron Vega, Carlos Gonzalez, and Bud Williams. Each year, thousands of YouthWorks applications are received for a few hundred jobs. Employer participation is paramount to ensure a successful summer for youth between ages 14 and 21. Youth employed through the YouthWorks summer-jobs program will earn $12 per hour, work an average of 125 hours over six weeks, and receive 15 hours of training in workplace-readiness skills and workplace safety. Employers who are interested in hiring a youth, becoming a YouthWorks worksite, or donating money to help pay the wages for a youth to work should contact Kathryn Kirby, manager of Youth Employment and Workforce Programs, at (413) 755-1359.

Agenda

Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series

Starting March 22: Women leaders of prominent area institutions will be featured speakers at a spring Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series hosted by the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute. The four-part, monthly “Leadership in Your Future 2019” series kicks off Friday, March 22 and continues on April 26, May 24, and June 28. Each of four presenters will sit at a different table and speak on a subject of their choosing. Over the course of the four-session series, they will rotate among the tables so guests have the opportunity to hear all the presentations. The four presenters are Ashley Allen, vice president of Marketing for Health New England (topics: “What Is a Career?” and “Designing Your Career Destiny”); Beth DeGray, managing partner at the Log Cabin, Delaney House, and D. Hotel Suites & Spa (“Mentoring & Being Mentored”); Christina Royal, president of Holyoke Community College (“Authentic Leadership in an Age of Disruption”); and Shannon Rudder, executive director of Providence Ministries Inc. (“Building Your Coalition”). The luncheons will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at 164 Race St. in Holyoke. Lunch will be prepared and served by students in the HCC Culinary Arts program. The series will provide an opportunity to learn from women leaders of area institutions and a chance for participants to network with their peers and gain insights on building their own careers. The cost is $150 for all four sessions. Seats are limited. To reserve a spot, contact Jordan Hart at (413) 534-3376 or [email protected], or register online at holyokechamber.com under ‘Events.’

ACC Open House

March 26: Asnuntuck Community College (ACC) will hold an open house starting at 5:30 p.m. The open house will feature information about ACC’s academic programs, including healthcare and manufacturing, and credit-free options. Attendees will learn about the admissions and financial-aid process and be able to take a campus tour, including the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center. Walk-ins are always welcome, but reservations are recommended. RSVP at www.asnuntuck.edu/admissions/visit-us to reserve a spot. Refreshments will be served. Students can apply on the spot, and one prospective student from Connecticut will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship for the 2019-20 academic year. To qualify for the scholarship, an application for the fall semester must be completed on or before March 26, and they must attend the open house. Registration for the fall semester will open on Monday, April 1. Visit www.asnuntuck.edu for information on how to register.

Difference Makers

March 28: BusinessWest launched its Difference Makers program in 2009 to celebrate individuals, groups, organizations, and families that are positively impacting the Pioneer Valley and are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region. The class of 2019 were profiled in the Feb. 4 issue and will be feted at the Difference Makers Gala at 5 p.m. at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. Tickets are on sale now for $75. To reserve a spot, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100, or e-mail [email protected]. The presenting sponsor is Baystate Health/Health New England, and other event sponsors include Royal, P.C., Burkhart Pizzanelli, P.C., Development Associates, TommyCar Auto Group, and Viability Inc.

Women’s Leadership Conference

March 29: In celebration of women everywhere knocking down doors and breaking through glass ceilings, Bay Path University will host its 24th annual Women’s Leadership Conference (WLC) at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. This one-day event, which has become the region’s prime women’s leadership event for professional networking and enrichment, will challenge women seeking to make career or life changes to look at the power within to make their dreams a reality, and to dare to ask “why not me?” instead of “why me?” Delivering the keynote address will be award-winning actress, dancer, and singer Rita Moreno. For further information on the conference and its many presenters, and to register, visit www.baypathconference.com.

Social-work Career Panel

March 30: The School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Elms College, in partnership with Berkshire Community College (BCC) and 1Berkshire, will host a social-work career panel from 8:30 a.m. to noon in the cafeteria at BCC. The event will feature panelists — Elms faculty, BCC faculty, and Elms alumni — with experience in criminal justice, youth service, guidance counseling, senior services, mental health, private practice, addiction and recovery, and more. The panelists will illuminate the array of options available to those who have a bachelor’s degree in social work. The moderator will be Maureen Holland, director of Social Work at Elms. Panelists will include Tom Verdi, Department of Youth Services social worker, Social Work academic advisor, and adjunct faculty in Social Work for Elms College Off Campus at BCC; Pam DiGrigoli, Lee Council on Aging and Senior Center director; Jonathan Schnauber, adjunct faculty for Elms College Off Campus at BCC Social Work and doctoral candidate at the University of Southern California; Kari Dupuis, BCC associate professor of Human Services, program advisor for Social Work transfer concentration/associate’s degree, and licensed therapist in the Berryman Professional Building; and Pamela Coley McCann, BCC assistant professor of Human Services and licensed therapist in the Berryman Professional Building. A continental breakfast will be served. For more information, e-mail Kelly Zieba at [email protected]

EANE Leadership Conference

April 4: The Employers Assoc. of the NorthEast (EANE) will stage its annual Leadership Conference at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place with a focus on measuring success while motivating and inspiring one’s team to improve performance. The program will feature Jim McPartlin, vice president of Leadership Development for Forbes Travel Guide. McPartlin’s keynote will challenge attendees to bring integrity to their leadership responsibilities, even when times get tough. A second keynote will be presented by Tim Hebert, a perennial entrepreneur, innovator, author, speaker, and adventurer. Hebert will ignite the leadership spark in attendees in a keynote focused on the choices of leadership and techniques to help live life by design, not by default. Between keynote presentations, conference attendees will have access to dozens of breakout session topics ranging from performance management to diversity and inclusion, to perfecting ‘C-suite speak,’ and more. The cost for the program is $360 per person with discounts for three or more. Register at www.eane.org/leadership-2019 or by calling (877) 662-6444. The program will offer 5.75 credits from the HR Certification Institute and SHRM.

Riverside Industries Silent & Live Auction

April 5: Riverside Industries’ 15th annual Silent & Live Auction, featuring more than 250 silent-auction items and a live auction full of experiences from the Valley and beyond, will be held at One Cottage St. in Easthampton from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Attendees can expect plenty of food, casual attire, and a cash bar. Tickets cost $30 in advance. Securely register online at rsi.org. The presenting sponsor is bankESB; the associate sponsor is Harvard Pilgrim; the table sponsors are Finck & Perras Insurance Agency and Mutual of America; and the collaborator sponsors are A-Z Storage & Properties, Helping Hand Society, SBI Benefits Consulting Group, Ruth and Spencer Timm, Whittlesey & Hadley P.C., and Williston Northampton School.

Springfield Art Stop

April 26: The Springfield Cultural Partnership (SCP) announced the return of Art Stop, a pop-up gallery/street festival hybrid, from 5 to 8 p.m. The SCP is partnering with venues downtown to open galleries in unexpected spaces simultaneously. Additionally, several existing Springfield art galleries along this year’s route will also participate as stops along the Art Stop. Between the galleries, which will have the typical artist talks and receptions, there will be street performances. Art Stop was designed to activate underutilized community spaces with colorful art, create economic opportunity for artists, and bring communities together. Galleries will all be located in downtown Springfield. Each individual gallery opening will have an reception with the artist on site to both sell and talk about their work. This year, the SCP has also partnered with several downtown restaurants that will offer a discount on food to Art Stop attendees who present their Art Stop ‘passport’ on April 26. The SCP, along with organizing the curation of art in the pop-up spaces, is hiring unique buskers to encourage attendees to walk from place to place. Guides will be strategically placed to guide attendees along the Art Stop route. The performers will showcase an array of dance, music, and entertainment. All locations are within a walkable area.

Chamber Corners

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

• April 24: Good News Business Salute, 7:30-9 a.m. Throughout the year, 1Berkshire selects businesses and organizations to recognize at events called Good News Business Salutes. These may honor an expansion, creation of new jobs, a significant milestone or anniversary, the unveiling of a new program, or a substantial new commitment to the community. The Esther Quinn Award will be given out at this event to an actively involved community member. Cost: $35 for members; $50 for non-members. Register at bit.ly/2H71NS6.

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

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

FRANKLIN COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.franklincc.org
(413) 773-5463

• April 18: Business After Hours, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Polish American Citizens Club, 46 South Main St., South Deerfield. Sponsored by Polish National Credit Union. A networking event featuring a cash bar and an all-Polish menu by Hamel’s Catering. Register at franklincc.org or by e-mailing [email protected]

• April 26: Monthly Chamber Breakfast Series, 7:30-9 a.m., hosted by Terrazza Restaurant. Sponsored by the Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice. Full breakfast will be served during the program, featuring a panel celebrating the contribution of today’s immigrants. Speakers include Laurie Millman, executive director for the Center for New Americans; Abas Cecunjanin, owner of Terrazza Restaurant; Arjen Vriend, owner of Pioneer Gardens Inc.; and Geetu Shokeen, owner of Montague Dental Arts. Register at franklincc.org or by e-mailing [email protected]

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

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

• April 5: Shining Stars Gala, 6-10 p.m., hosted by Castle of Knights, Chicopee. Presented by Westfield Bank. Sponsored by PeoplesBank, Polish National Credit Union, Health New England, BusinessWest, Siddall & Siddall, P.C., the Arbors Kids, N. Riley Construction, the Chicopee Herald, and Hampton Inn of Chicopee. Sign up online at chicopeechamber.org/events.

• April 17: Salute Breakfast, 7:15-9 a.m., hosted by Willits-Hallowell Center. Sponsored by Westfield Bank, Holyoke Medical Center, N. Riley Construction Inc., Polish National Credit Union, USI Insurance Services, Spherion Staffing Services, and PeoplesBank. Marketing for small business chief greeter: Chris Thompson of CT Enterprises. Keynote speaker: Alfonso Santaniello of Creative Strategy Agency. Cost: $25 for members, $30 for non-members. Sign up online at chicopeechamber.org/events.

• April 25: Business After Hours – Happy Hour After Hours, 4:30-6:30 p.m., hosted by Exchange St. Station. Come after work and relax and enjoy a drink and some light refreshments. Don’t forget your business cards. Cost: $10 for member, $15 for non-members. Sign up online at chicopeechamber.org/events.

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

• April 3: Networking by Night, 5-9 p.m., hosted by the Springfield Thunderbirds at the MassMutual Center. Networking 5-7 p.m., followed by a game courtesy of the Thunderbirds. This event is free to members and their families. Pre-registration is required, as there will be no tickets available at the door. For more information and to register, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org or call the chamber at (413) 527-9414.

• April 25: Food 4 Thought Lunch & Learn, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., hosted by Mill 180 Park, 180 Pleasant St., Easthampton. Robin Kline, director of Volunteer & Guest Services at Cooley Dickinson Health Care, will facilitate a program about customer Service. If you think it’s no big deal, think again. This seemingly innocuous little detail can make or break an organization. A box lunch is included with registration. Cost: $25 for members, $35 for future members. For more information and to register, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org or call the chamber at (413) 527-9414.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 1: May Arrive @ 5, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Emerson Way, Northampton. A networking event sponsored by Gove Law Office, Keiter Builders, and Kuhn Riddle Architects. Cost: $10 for members.

May 14: Workshop: “Microsoft Word Tips,” 9-11 a.m., hosted by the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce, 99 Pleasant St., Northampton. Presented by Pioneer Training. This workshop contains a variety of quick tips and tricks in Microsoft Word that will save hours of time. Attendees will learn to add buttons to the Quick Access Toolbar; shortcuts for selecting words, sentences, and paragraphs; and how (and why) to display non-printing characters in a document. Practice using the Format Painter to copy formatting and fix problems with numbered and bulleted lists. Learn to create AutoCorrect entries to correct common typos, and AutoText entries and Quick Parts to easily enter frequently used text. Cost: $25 for members, $35 for non-members.

May 28: Workshop: “Upgrading to Office 365,” 9-11 a.m., hosted by the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce, 99 Pleasant St., Northampton. Presented by Pioneer Training. Cost: $35 for members, $45 for non-members.

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

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

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

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

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

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

• March 19: “A New Wave,” 4-6 p.m., hosted by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, 1000 Hall of Fame Ave., Springfield. A presentation by the city of Springfield Office of Economic Development in partnership with the Springfield Regional Chamber, highlighting new economic-development projects and updates on larger economic-development projects in the works. Includes reception with cash bar following. Admission is complimentary, but reservations are required.
Reservations for all Springfield Regional Chamber events may be made by visiting www.springfieldregionalchamber.com, e-mailing [email protected], or calling (413) 755-1310.

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

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

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

YOUNG PROFESSIONAL SOCIETY OF GREATER SPRINGFIELD
springfieldyps.com

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

• April 19: April Third Thursday featuring area graduate schools, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Samuel’s at the Hall of Fame. Join us for our monthly Third Thursday while learning about graduate schools from representatives from various area colleges and universities. Cost: free for members, $10 for non-members. Learn more at springfieldyps.com.

Tourism & Hospitality

Rolling Out the Welcome Mat

Mary Kay Wydra (left) and Alicia Szenda

Mary Kay Wydra (left) and Alicia Szenda say the GSCVB works closely with area hotels as part of efforts to draw conventions and other events to Greater Springfield.

There’s more than one way to look at a number. That’s especially true when it comes to hotel occupancy rates.

Take Greater Springfield’s occupancy rates through the last six months of 2018. At almost 67%, they’re 5% higher than they were over the same period in 2017.

That’s good news on its own, but especially positive when considering the capacity added over the past 18 months, from Holiday Inn Express on State Street in Springfield to Fairfield Inn & Suites in Holyoke; from Tru by Hilton in Chicopee to, of course, the hotel at MGM Springfield, the resort casino which is perhaps the region’s top tourism development in decades.

“We’ve definitely seen growth,” said Wydra, president of the Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau (GSCVB), adding that the average daily room rate also rose by $3 over that time frame.

“The fact that we added inventory and we’re still able to grow rate and grow occupancy is a really good thing,” she noted. “In analyzing that, a lot of it is the MGM factor, and it’s conservative because MGM didn’t open until the end of August. We don’t even have a full year’s picture of them being fully operational, but in just those four months, it’s helped.

“And by charging a higher rate for their rooms,” she added, “it allows everyone else in the marketplace to go up a little bit, which from our perspective is really good because, before they got here, we weren’t moving that needle.”

“The fact that we added inventory and we’re still able to grow rate and grow occupancy is a really good thing. In analyzing that, a lot of it is the MGM factor, and it’s conservative because MGM didn’t open until the end of August. We don’t even have a full year’s picture of them being fully operational, but in just those four months, it’s helped.”

But MGM is just one factor in drawing visitors to the region and increasing demand for hotel rooms. In fact, the relationship between hotels, tourist attractions, convention business, leisure travel, and a host of economic benefits that follow in wake of all that is the result of a coordinated dance between the various players — a dance that has continues to pick up the tempo.

Go for the Juggler

Greater Springfield still runs slightly below the national average in hotel occupancy rate — 63.6%, to be exact, compared to 66.2% nationally. And it doesn’t compare to a city like Boston, which hovers around 79% occupancy.

“Remember, hotels serve the leisure traveler, conventions, bus tours, corporate travel, and also having businesses surrounding you. Boston has growth from the companies being built. It’s not all tourism. It’s business travel as well,” Wydra said. “There’s clearly corporate travel in our area too, probably not to the extent that a major city like Boston has. We’re more focused on other things: the conventions, the leisure, the bus tours, sports.”

The GSCVB has, indeed, seen an uptick in conventions in recent years, and believes MGM is just one more perk to draw in convention groups looking for a vibrant scene, which Western Mass. offers, especially during the summer.

The new Tru by Hilton in Chicopee

The new Tru by Hilton in Chicopee is one of several hotels that have recently opened in the region.

“You’ll see that with some of the national conventions we work with,” said Alicia Szenda, director of Sales for the GSVCB. “We’ve hosted the National Square Dance Convention, the International Jugglers Association … those events take place in the summer, and people participate in them not for their job, but for their leisure activities, their hobbies, so they look forward to that week every summer, and that’s their family vacation.

“So they’re here,” she went on, “and they’re participating in educational seminars and shows and the dancing or whatever it is, but they’re also going to Six Flags, they’re going to Yankee Candle, they’re going to the museums, and doing some sightseeing while they’re here. A lot of the conventions we work with build that social component into their event schedules, so people get to experience the area they’re in. So the more attractions we have, the more variety of hotels, the more attractive we are to different groups.”

And a dynamic hotel scene is, indeed, a key element, which is Wydra is happy to see new names on the scene and planned renovations as well, such as Tower Square Hotel’s plan to return the Marriott name to its complex.

“I think one of the good things about new properties coming into the market is it keeps everybody in a position of having to keep up,” she said. “You’ve got to be reinvesting in your property and making changes; it’s survival of the fittest.”

As part of her role in recruiting conventions to the region and guiding them through the process (more on that later), Szenda also works directly with hotels, asking them to quote rates and block off a certain inventory of rooms, sometimes three years out.

“What the hotels give back depends on where they’re located, what other business they have, and whether they want to roll the dice and let other hotels get the group business,” Wydra said. “They might say, ‘I don’t want that. I’m going to roll the dice and see if I get the leisure visitor.’ They can charge leisure travelers a higher rate — because Alicia’s going to beat them up and say, ‘I want the best rate I can get for my group.’”

Besides attractive hotel rates, the GSCVB might find local ties to entice a convention group, Wydra said, giving the hypothetical example of bringing in a convention of railroad hobby enthusiasts and trying to set up a tour of the CRRC rail-car manufacturing plant in Springfield. “We try to tie in local business with the groups that we have.”

Holding Hands

But there’s far more to the equation, Szenda noted.

“Some groups come to me and say, ‘this is everything I need.’ But a lot of groups I work with don’t have that. It might be their turn to host, and they’ve never planned a national convention before. I sit with them and go through everything they need. Then I send those leads out to our members. Depending on what they need for space, the lead could go to Eastern States, or the Mullins Center, or the MassMutual Center, all three.”

Then she gets to work finding the aforementioned local connections, setting up reasonably priced hotel options, and assembling tourism information about the region.

“Really, it’s the destination a lot of times that’s going to sell that piece of business,” Szenda said, “because you’re trying to convince that one person to bring thousands of people here. They have to make sure each person has something to do that interests them. And, once we win that piece of business, we continue to hold their hand through the process.”

“I think one of the good things about new properties coming into the market is it keeps everybody in a position of having to keep up.”

Part of that is a hospitality program that many similar-sized cities don’t offer, she said, which includes everything from airport pickups and hotel greeters to downtown maps and goodie bags.

“A lot of the business we get is repeat business because we’ve done a good job from the very beginning — meeting them, listening to what they need, giving them what they need, and holding their hand until the event occurs,” Wydra said. “And while the event occurs, we don’t disappear. Even with groups we’ve hosted for years, we never want to rest on our laurels and say, ‘well, we’ve got them.’ It’s a very competitive business, so we want them to know how much we appreciate they’ve selected Western Mass.”

And it’s not just repeat business from that convention group at stake, she added. Oftentimes family members tag along, extending the trip with some family time.

“You never know which of those participants might want to come back,” Szenda said. “They might belong to another association and want to bring a group here or come back with the family. A lot of people to do that.”

It’s always interesting to see what impresses event planners, Wydra said. Once, Springfield was competing with a city in New Hampshire, and when the group heard that welcome signs would be hung downtown, it was a game changer. The planner had previously walked the streets of unfamiliar downtowns, getting permission as she went to tape up handmade signs.

“She didn’t want to do that; she had a day job,” Wydra said. “The minute we take that out of their hands, make it easy, the results are often good for us.

“We work hard to get the groups, so at the very least we want to keep them,” she went on. “We want repeat business. Alicia loves when someone signs a multi-year contract, and we can count on them for years to come.”

What’s in a Name?

If Tower Square does bring back the Marriott name — and makes the upgrades required to do so — that will be another note of progress for the region’s expanding hotel scene, Wydra said.

“Brands are important,” she noted. “I think a brand kind of promises something, if the property does it right. People know what they’re going to get. They know they’re going to get a certain style room, they’re going to get a free breakfast, affinity programs, whatever it is they want.”

Greater Springfield is a brand of sorts, too, even though it can be a tough sell during the winter, which is why events like the recent AHL All-Star weekend are so desirable, driving room nights during a challenging time of the year for the hospitality industry.

But there’s still plenty of room for hotels to flourish, Szenda said, as evidenced by the challenge of cobbling together enough rooms when multiple conventions and event planners want to swoop in during the same weekend — typically between spring and fall.

“During the summer months, we do quite well on weekends, with Six Flags and other activities,” Wydra said. “It’s always midweek that we’re trying to find business, and especially in the winter.”

But a rising tourism brand, buoyed most recently by MGM Springfield — and increased convention volume, much of which promises to become repeat business — is certainly changing the demand picture for the better.

Joseph Bednar can be reached at [email protected]

Chamber Corners

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

YOUNG PROFESSIONAL SOCIETY OF GREATER SPRINGFIELD
springfieldyps.com

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

Agenda

Real-estate Sales Licensing Course

Feb. 20 to March 25: The Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley will sponsor a 40-hour, 14-class sales licensing course to help individuals prepare for the Massachusetts real-estate salesperson license exam. Tuition costs $400 and includes the book and materials. The course curriculum includes property rights, ownership, condos, land use, contracts, deeds, financing, mortgages, real-estate brokerage, appraisal, fair housing, consumer protection, Massachusetts license law, and more. Classes meet Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. at the association office, 221 Industry Ave., Springfield. For an application, contact Joanne Leblond at (413) 785-1328 or [email protected] or visit www.rapv.com.

‘Living Contemplatively in a Busy World’

March 3: Elms College will host a day of reflection titled “Living Contemplatively in a Busy World” on Sunday, March 3 from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Decice Hall at the Marian Center, 1365 Northampton St., Holyoke. “This day of reflections, personal exploration, and prayer invites you to respond, from the busy-ness of your days, to God’s desire for deeper life with you,” said Virginia Collins-English, a certified spiritual director, retreat director, writer, and psychotherapist who will lead the day of reflection. All are welcome, including those who are ‘spiritual but not religious,’ those who feel marginalized by the church, and those of all faiths. Attendees should bring a bag lunch. Beverages and dessert will be provided. Sponsored by the Religious Studies Department and the Institute for Theology and Pastoral Studies, this event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register, call (413) 265-2575 or e-mail [email protected]

 

Outlook Luncheon

March 4: Margaret Carlson, columnist for the Daily Beast, will be the keynote speaker at the Springfield Regional Chamber’s annual Outlook luncheon, to be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 pm. at the MassMutual Center, 1277 Main St., Springfield. Presented by Health New England, the Springfield Regional Chamber Outlook is the area’s largest legislative event, attracting more than 700 guests and presenting expert speakers on local, state, and federal issues. The event is sponsored by platinum sponsors Eastern States Exposition, Eversource, MassMutual Financial Group, and United Personnel; and gold sponsors Bulkley Richardson and Berkshire Bank. Program/reception sponsors are Comcast, Mercy Medical Center, BusinessWest, the Healthcare News, and the Republican, with Zasco Productions as sound sponsor. Carlson was formerly chief political columnist for Bloomberg News and White House correspondent for Time. She appeared on CNN’s Capital Gang for 15 years. Speaking about the federal outlook will be U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, whose new role is chair of the powerful, tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. He will provide his insights into the committee’s work, the 116th Congress, and front-burner issues facing the American people. In addition, Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy will offer the state outlook. Tickets cost $60 for Springfield Regional Chamber members and $80 for general admission. Reserved tables of 10 are available. Reservations must be made by Wednesday, Feb. 20 by visiting www.springfieldregionalchamber.com or e-mailing [email protected] No walk-ins will be accepted, and no cancellations will be accepted once the reservation deadline has passed.

Difference Makers

March 28: BusinessWest launched its Difference Makers program in 2009 to celebrate individuals, groups, organizations, and families that are positively impacting the Pioneer Valley and are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region. The class of 2019 was profiled in the Feb. 4 issue and will be feted at the Difference Makers Gala on March 28 at 5 p.m. at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. Tickets are on sale now for $75. To reserve a spot, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100, or e-mail [email protected] The presenting sponsor is Baystate Health/Health New England, and other event sponsors include Royal, P.C., Burkhart Pizzanelli, P.C., Development Associates, Tommy Car Auto Group, and Viability Inc.

Women’s Leadership Conference

March 29: In celebration of women everywhere knocking down doors and breaking through glass ceilings, Bay Path University will host its 24th annual Women’s Leadership Conference (WLC) at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. This one-day event, which has become the region’s prime women’s leadership event for professional networking and enrichment, will challenge women seeking to make career or life changes to look at the power within to make their dreams a reality, and to dare to ask “why not me?” instead of “why me?” Delivering the keynote address will be award-winning actress, dancer, and singer Rita Moreno, one of only four women who have achieved the EGOT, the grand slam of entertainment-industry awards, by winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. Throughout her 70-year career, Moreno has had memorable roles in the musical films The King and I and West Side Story, and in 2004 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor. Mel Robbins, a serial entrepreneur, best-selling author, life strategist, internationally recognized social-media influencer, and one of the most sought-after motivational speakers in the world, will deliver the conference’s luncheon keynote. She is the CEO and co-founder of the Confidence Project, a media and digital learning company working with Fortune 500 brands to help employees build habits of confidence and courage. The conference’s opening keynote speaker will be announced soon. In addition to the three keynote speakers, breakout sessions focused on reimagining the narrative around women in leadership will be led by Cy Wakeman, drama researcher, global thought leader, New York Times best-selling author, and president and founder of Reality-Based Leadership; Kim Meninger, certified executive and leadership development coach and president and founder of Executive Career Success; Dr. Kristina Hallet, board-certified clinical psychologist, and associate professor of Psychology at Bay Path, executive coach, and best-selling author; and Kim Lear, founder of Inlay Insights, storyteller, writer, and researcher. For further information on the conference and to register, visit www.baypathconference.com.

Springfield Art Stop

April 26: The Springfield Cultural Partnership (SCP) announced the return of Art Stop, a pop-up gallery/street festival hybrid, from 5 to 8 p.m. The SCP is partnering with venues downtown to open galleries in unexpected spaces simultaneously. Additionally, several existing Springfield art galleries along this year’s route will also participate as stops along the Art Stop. Between the galleries, which will have the typical artist talks and receptions, there will be street performances. Art Stop was designed to activate underutilized community spaces with colorful art, create economic opportunity for artists, and bring communities together. Galleries will all be located in downtown Springfield. Each individual gallery opening will have an reception with the artist on site to both sell and talk about their work. This year, the SCP has also partnered with several downtown restaurants that will offer a discount on food to Art Stop attendees who present their Art Stop ‘passport’ on April 26. The SCP, along with organizing the curation of art in the pop-up spaces, is hiring unique buskers to encourage attendees to walk from place to place. Guides will be strategically placed to guide attendees along the Art Stop route. The performers will showcase an array of dance, music, and entertainment. All locations are within a walkable area.