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Customers’ Choice

$1,221 award

Florence Bank President Kevin Day presents Nikki Lewis, coalition coordinator of first-time grant award winner West Springfield CARE Coalition, with a $1,221 award.

 

Tammy Walunas of the Smith Vocational High School PTO chats

From left, Tammy Walunas of the Smith Vocational High School PTO chats with It Takes a Village volunteer Sierra-Rae Bottum and Mollie Hartford, co-executive director

Florence Bank gave $100,000 to 57 area nonprofits on March 10 at its annual Customers’ Choice Community Grants Program celebration at the Garden House at Look Memorial Park, putting the program over the $1.2 million mark in grants made to community nonprofits over almost two decades. The recipients each garnered at least 50 votes from bank customers in 2019, and the bank also awarded $500 each to six organizations that received between 40 and 49 votes.

 


Grand Tour

Grand Tour

From left, John LaFrancis, chair, Mechanical Engineering Technology; STCC President John Cook; state Rep. Jeffrey Roy; state Sen. Anne Gobi; state Rep. Stephan Hay; STCC graduate Elizabeth Ryan; state Rep. Mindy Domb; and state Rep. Aaron Vega

 

Student trustee Yanira Aviles

Student trustee Yanira Aviles

From the patient simulation center to the mechanical engineering technology lab, state lawmakers toured Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) last month to get a better understanding how it is preparing students for careers and boosting the economic vitality of the region. STCC was the 25th stop for the Joint Committee on Higher Education, which plans to visit all 29 Massachusetts public colleges and universities.

 


 

Picture This

A photo essay of business happenings in Western Mass.

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

 


 

Elevating the Brand

Valley Vodka Inc., maker of V-One Vodka, announced a new partnership with Julious Grant and Ty Law. Grant brings 29 years of executive-level experience in the spirits industry, having held senior leadership roles in sales and marketing in some of the most successful companies in the world. Law, an NFL Hall of Famer, won three Super Bowls as a cornerback with the New England Patriots. This partnership comes on the heels of Valley Vodka Inc. completing a multi-million-dollar purchase and renovation of its own ‘farm to glass’ distillery in Kamien, Poland. “With our new distillery, expanded production, and new packaging, this is the perfect time to introduce more people to our clean-drinking vodka,” V-One creator Paul Kozub said. “Julious and Ty are tremendous assets to help us expand distribution and increase brand awareness.” Pictured, from left, are Grant, Kozub, and Law.

 


Supporting the Community

Florence Bank recently pledged $50,000

Florence Bank recently pledged $50,000 to the YMCA of Greater Springfield to help fund the new wellness and childcare center that opened at Springfield’s Tower Square on Dec. 5. The new, state-of-the-art facility includes a 15,000-square-foot education center that serves infants through elementary-school students. Additionally, the facility includes a new, 12,000-square-foot wellness center with premium strength and conditioning equipment in a space that overlooks the city. Pictured, from left: Jeffrey Poindexter, YMCA of Greater Springfield board chair; Dexter Johnson, YMCA of Greater Springfield president and CEO; and Nicole Gleason, Springfield branch manager and vice president of Florence Bank.

 


Highest Honors

For the third consecutive year, the Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS) Chapter at Western New England University

For the third consecutive year, the Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS) Chapter at Western New England University earned the “highest honors” designation for its campus engagement and programming for the 2018-19 academic year. One indicator of the chapter’s engagement is participation at the annual Global Leadership Summit (GLS), which chapter President Tessa Wood and Secretary Kathryn Wells attended last year. The GLS enables delegates to participate in professional-development workshops and share best practices with student leaders from other BGS chapters worldwide. Pictured, from left: chapter members Wood, Finance Chair Emily Sajdak, Service Chair Krystyna Germano, and Vice President Teddy Doyle.

 


Record Donation

Holyoke Community College (HCC) has received the largest donation

Holyoke Community College (HCC) has received the largest donation in the college’s 74-year history — $7.5 million — from the Elaine Nicpon Marieb Foundation, established by the late Elaine Marieb, a longtime HCC faculty member, alumna, best-selling textbook author, and Northampton native. The donation includes $5 million outright and a $2.5 million matching gift that will go toward future renovations of HCC’s main science facility, the Marieb Building, as part of a multi-phase plan to expand the recently opened Center for Life Sciences to encompass the entire three-story structure. Pictured: HCC Biology Professor Emily Rabinsky (center) teaches a biotechnology lab in the Center for Life Sciences.

 


Advocating for Girls

Executives from Girls Inc. of the Valley recently joined executives

Executives from Girls Inc. of the Valley recently joined executives from Girls Inc. of Lynn, Worcester, and Berkshires on the State House floor to highlight the Eureka! program — which prepares teenage girls to participate and excel in cutting-edge, dynamic STEM careers — and advocate for its inclusion in the state budget. Pictured, from left: Ruth Roy, campaign director, Girls Inc. of the Valley; Kelly Marion, CEO, Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center, home of Girls Inc. of the Berkshires; Victoria Waterman, CEO, Girls Inc. of Worcester; Agnes Nkansah, Girls Inc. of Worcester Eureka! alumna and student at Brandeis University; Suzanne Parker, executive director, Girls Inc. of the Valley; Deb Ansourlian, executive director, Girls Inc. of Lynn; Brenda Nikas-Hayes, director of Eureka!, Girls Inc. of Worcester; Sidney Hamilton, outreach and site coordinator, Girls Inc. of the Berkshires; Lena Crowley, director, Teen and Middle School Program, Girls Inc. of Lynn; and Alexandra DeFronzo, supervisor of STEM Programs, Girls Inc.

 


Read Across America Day

First American Insurance Agency recently took part in Read Across America Day

First American Insurance Agency recently took part in Read Across America Day by reading to students at Saint Stanislaus School as part of its Kids First campaign. The campaign is an ongoing effort to support children and teens in Western Mass. through education and play. The staff volunteers time and resources through several activities and fundraisers throughout the year. Pictured, from left: Theresa Kelly, Kristie Learned, Ginger Marszalek, and Meghan Harnois from First American Insurance Agency.

 


 

Agenda

Bowl for Kids’ Sake

March 27-28: Bowl for Kids’ Sake, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County’s biggest fundraiser of the year, will take place on March 27 at Shelburne Falls Bowling Alley and March 28 at French King Bowling Center in Erving. This year’s theme, “Slide Back to the 60’s,” will feature a life-size plinko game, 60’s dance instruction, a newlywed-themed photo booth, era-themed music, costume contests, bowling, and much more. There is no cost to attend the event, but fundraising is strongly encouraged. Big Brothers Big Sisters programs are provided at no cost to the children or children’s families, nor to the volunteer mentors. It is a 100% donor-supported nonprofit that has been serving the youth of Franklin County for 53 years. For more information about the event or to register to attend, visit www.bbbs-fc.org or call (413) 772-0915.

Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series

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

Unify Against Bullying Cut-a-Thon

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

Disability Film Festival

April 5: Whole Children, a program of Pathlight, will partner with Five College Realtors to present the fifth annual Focus on Disability Film Festival at 4 p.m. at the Northampton Center for the Arts, 33 Hawley St., Northampton. The festival will feature seven films, including six short films from SproutFlix, which exclusively distributes films featuring people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and will conclude with the premiere of This Is Me, a Pathlight-made original documentary. All the films highlight the importance of the performing and visual arts in the lives of people with disabilities. This Is Me is about Whole Children’s performing-arts program, now in its ninth year, and was filmed during the creation of last year’s original production. It discusses the history of the program and what is means to the actors, who are local children and adults with disabilities, and their families. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Amherst author Cammie McGovern and featuring young adults with disabilities who express themselves through performing arts. A reception will follow the panel. All proceeds from the film festival support Whole Children’s inclusive programming for children and teens. Whole Children, a program of Pathlight, offers a wide range of after-school, weekend, and vacation enrichment programs for children of all ages and abilities, particularly those with special needs. Classes include gymnastics, art, martial arts, dance, music, social skills, yoga, sports, and theater.

Elms College Executive Leadership Breakfast

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

Bay Path President’s Gala

April 18: Bay Path University’s fourth annual President’s Gala will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel. While the event will continue its tradition of raising funds for student scholarships, it will also celebrate the legacy of Carol Leary, who will retire in June after 25 years as Bay Path president. The gala will feature a tribute to Leary and her husband Noel, silent and live auctions, dinner, and dancing with live entertainment. Last year’s event netted more than $360,000 in support of student scholarships. The President’s Gala will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception and silent auction, followed by a seated dinner at 7:30 p.m. The tribute will start at 8:30 p.m., and at 9 p.m., guests will be invited to dance the night away. To learn more about the gala, including sponsorships, purchasing tickets, and donating to or participating in the auction, visit www.baypath.edu/gala or contact Meg Morrill at (413) 565-1396 or [email protected]

Knights of Columbus Golf Tournament

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

Hooplandia

June 26-28: Hooplandia, the largest 3-on-3 basketball competition and celebration on the East Coast, will take place on June 26-28, 2020, hosted by Eastern States Exposition and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The event will feature hundreds of games for thousands of players of all ages and playing abilities, with divisions for young girls, boys, women, men, high-school elite, college elite, pro-am, ‘over the hill,’ wheelchair, wounded warrior, Special Olympians, veterans, first responders, and more. More than 100 outdoor blacktop courts will be placed throughout the roadway and parking-lot network of the Eastern States Exposition fairgrounds in West Springfield. Slam-dunk, 3-point, free-throw, dribble-course, vertical-jump, and full-court-shot skills competitions will be spotlighted. Themed state courts will be mobilized along the Exposition’s famed Avenue of States. Featured ‘showcase games’ will be held on new court surfaces in the historic Eastern States Coliseum and on the Court of Dreams, the center court of the Basketball Hall of Fame. To register or for more information, visit www.hooplandia.com.

Difference Makers

Sept. 10: Due to coronavirus concerns, BusinessWest has decided to postpone its 12th annual Difference Makers event that was scheduled to take place on Thursday, March 19. The event will now take place on Thursday, Sept. 10 at the Log Cabin. With the growing concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, and under the CDC’s recommendations, BusinessWest felt this was the most appropriate and responsible action to take. Event sponsors include Burkhart Pizzanelli, Mercy Medical Center/Trinity Health Of New England, Royal, P.C., and TommyCar Auto Group, while the Tom Cosenzi Driving for the Cure Charity Golf Tournament, MHA, and United Way of Pioneer Valley are partners. For more info visit www.businesswest.com or call (413) 781-8600.

Chamber Corners

AMHERST AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.amherstarea.com
(413) 253-0700

• April 15: April After 5, 5-7 p.m., sponsored by Paciorek Electric at its DiamondBack Properties, LLC Building, 65D Elm St., Hatfield, with food and drink catered by Grill N’ Chill. Enjoy this night of networking with people from across the Valley. Cost: $10 for members, $15 for non-members.

GREATER NORTHAMPTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.explorenorthampton.com
(413) 584-1900

• May 6: May [email protected] netWORK, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Look Park, Florence. Sponsored by Greenfield Community College Foundation, Keiter Builders LLC, and Webber & Grinnell Insurance. Our netWORK [email protected] series will feature a nonprofit in the Greater Northampton community and invite [email protected] guests to participate in a project to benefit that organization. Cost: $10 for members, $15 for non-members. To register, visit northampton.chambermaster.com/events/details/2020-arrive-5-network-may-6-3809.

• June 3: June [email protected], 5-7 p.m., hosted by Greenfield Cooperative Bank, Florence. Networking event. Cost: $10 for members, $15 for non-members. To register, visit northampton.chambermaster.com/events/details/2020-arrive-5-june-3-3810.

GREATER WESTFIELD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.westfieldbiz.org
(413) 568-1618

• April 24: Legislative Luncheon – This event will be rescheduled – please stay tuned – hosted by Shortstop Bar & Grill, 99 Springfield St., Westfield. Mike Dobbs of Reminder Publications will moderate a panel of legislators at our annual Legislative Luncheon. This is an opportunity for your voice to be heard on issues or budget items that affect your business or employees. Confirmed panelists include state Reps. Natalie Blais, Aaron Vega, and John Velis; and Westfield Mayor Donald Humason. Invited panelists include state Sen. Adam Hinds and state Reps. Nicholas Boldyga, Smitty Pignatelli, and Lindsay Sabadosa. Cost: $35 for members, $50 for non-members. For more information and to register, visit westfieldbiz.org/events or call (413) 568-1618.

SPRINGFIELD REGIONAL CHAMBER

www.springfieldregionalchamber.com
(413) 787-1555

• May 6: Rise & Shine Breakfast, Networking Opportunity, and Educational Program, 7:15-9 a.m., hosted by the Log Cabin, 500 Easthampton Road, Holyoke. Sponsored by United Personnel and MassHire Hampden County Workforce Board. Cost: $25 for members in advance ($30 at the door), $35 general admission ($40 at the door).

• May 14: Stars & Strikes Celebrity Bowling Fundraising Competition, 5:30-8 p.m., hosted by MGM TAP Sports Bar, One MGM Way, Springfield. Cost: $20 for members and potential members in advance ($30 at the door). Includes heavy hors d’oeuvres, unlimited bowling, and games.

To register for any chamber event, visit www.springfieldregionalchamber.com, e-mail [email protected], or call (413) 755-1310.

WEST OF THE RIVER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.ourwrc.com
(413) 426-3880

• May 5: Job Fair 2020 – Local Jobs For Local People, 4-7 p.m., hosted by Storrowton Tavern/Carriage House, West Springfield. The West of the River Chamber will host a local job fair. West Springfield and Agawam businesses, along with other employment opportunities, will be showcased for the public. High-school students, college students, and adults will attend this event looking to begin or advance their careers. This event is free and open to the public. To be a participating vendor, register online at www.westoftheriverchamber.com.

YOUNG PROFESSIONAL SOCIETY OF GREATER SPRINGFIELD

springfieldyps.com

• April 16: YPS Third Thursday Networking Night, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Towne Taproom. Enjoy complimentary appetizers and a cash bar. Cost: free for YPS members, $10 for non-members. Register at springfieldyps.com.

• May 2: Fourth annual YPS Adult Field Day, 9 a.m. to noon, hosted by Extra Innings and Train for Life of Chicopee. This throwback to elementary school is built with adults in mind for a team-building competition. Register at www.runreg.com/ypsfieldday. Registration includes participation in activities, after party and lunch from 350 Grill, T-shirt, DJ, prizes, refreshments, and more. Early-bird pricing and sponsorships are available.

Chamber Corners

AMHERST AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.amherstarea.com

(413) 253-0700

• March 4: Driven By Community, 5-7 p.m., a multi-chamber event at Mercedes-Benz of Springfield with the Amherst Area Chamber, East of the River Chamber, Greater Northampton Chamber, West of the River Chamber, Hampshire County Young Professionals, and Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield. Sample food, drink, and learn something about area nonprofits. Meet someone new and learn more about businesses in your community. Cost: $10 for members, $15 for non-members.

• March 11: March After 5, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Pulse Café, Hadley. Our monthly networking event with a focus on healthy living and eating. Cost: $10 for members, $15 for non-members.

• April 2: Margarita Madness, 5-7:30 p.m., hosted by Insterskate 91 at Hampshire Mall. Presented by Steve Lewis Subaru. Mix, mingle, and network at our largest signature event of the year. Enjoy an evening of tasty margaritas and vote for your favorite. Local restaurants will showcase their fare, and dozens of raffles prizes will be donated by Amherst Area Chamber members. Cost: $35 pre-registered, $45 at the door.

• April 15: April After 5, 5-7 p.m., sponsored by Paciorek Electric at its DiamondBack Properties, LLC Building, 65D Elm St., Hatfield, with food and drink catered by Grill N’ Chill. Enjoy this night of networking with people from across the Valley. Cost: $10 for members, $15 for non-members.

 

GREATER EASTHAMPTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.easthamptonchamber.org

(413) 527-9414

• March 4, 11, 18, 25; April 1: Her Place at the Table, 7:45-9 a.m., hosted by the chamber office, 33 Union St., Easthampton. A five-part series designed to help women increase confidence and build leadership skills to be wildly successful and take their place at the table. Cost for all five sessions: $99 per person for members, $129 for future members. Pre-registration is required. For more information and to register, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org or call the chamber at (413) 527-9414.

• March 13: St. Patrick’s Day Luncheon, noon to 2 p.m., hosted by Summit View Banquet House, 555 Northampton St., Holyoke. Join us as we salute Greater Easthampton St. Patrick’s Day Committee award winners and enjoy a traditional corned-beef lunch. Cost: $25 for members, $35 for future members. Pre-registration is required; there will be no registrations at the door. For more information and to register, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org or call the chamber at (413) 527-9414.

• March 19: Books & Joe with Moe, 8:30 a.m., hosted by the chamber office, 33 Union St., Easthampton. The second meeting of the Chamber Book Club. For more information and to register, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org or call the chamber at (413) 527-9414.

• March 24: Speed Networking Breakfast, 7:15-9 a.m., hosted by Summit View Banquet House, 555 Northampton St., Holyoke. We are partnering with the Springfield Regional Chamber for another fun-filled networking event. Kick-start your day and join us for breakfast. Cost: $20 for members, $30 for walk-ins. To register, visit www.springfieldregionalchamber.com, e-mail [email protected], or call (413) 755-1310.

GREATER NORTHAMPTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.explorenorthampton.com

(413) 584-1900

• March 4: March Arrive @5: Multi Chamber Networking Event, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Mercedes-Benz of Springfield, 295 Burnett Road, Chicopee. Cost: $10 for members, $15 for non-members. Register at northampton.chambermaster.com/events/details/2020-arrive-5-march-4-3807.

• April 1: April [email protected] netWORK, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Smith Vocational School, 80 Locust St., Northampton. Our netWORK [email protected] series will feature a nonprofit in the Greater Northampton Community and invite guests to participate in a project to benefit that organization. Cost: $10 for members, $15 for non-members. Register at northampton.chambermaster.com/events/details/2020-arrive-5-network-april-1-3808.

GREATER WESTFIELD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.westfieldbiz.org

(413) 568-1618

• March 13: 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; coffee bar sponsor: Westfield Starfires; in-kind sponsor: Flowers by Webster. Join us for our annual St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast as we honor our 2020 Sons of Erin Colleen, Brigid Mary Moriarty, and her court; Irish Woman of the Year, Beth Burns; Irish Man of the Year, Mark Hanrahan; Parade Marshal, Packie Smith; and Billy Buzzee St. Pat on the Back, Jim Hogan. The guest speaker is Associate Justice Edward McDonough Jr. of the Massachusetts Appeals Court. The chief greeter is Chuck Kelly. Platinum sponsor: Westfield State University; coffee bar sponsor: Westfield Starfires; bronze sponsor: Armbrook Village; in-kind sponsor: Flowers by Webster. Cost: $28 for members, $43 for non-members. For more information and to register, visit www.westfieldbiz.org/events or contact the chamber at (413) 568-1618.

• March 23: Block Party, 4-6 p.m. It’s time to rock the block in Southwick. The Block Party is co-hosted by Your CBD Store, 549 College Highway, and New England Chimney Sweeps & Masonry Inc., 535 College Highway. Join us for an open house to meet the hosts and chamber businesses for drinks, appetizers, networking, and more. Chamber members are welcome. Southwick businesses are encouraged to join the chamber by March 23 for 10% off their membership rate. For more information and to register, e-mail [email protected] or call (413) 568-1618.

SPRINGFIELD REGIONAL CHAMBER

www.springfieldregionalchamber.com

(413) 787-1555

• March 6: Outlook 2020 hosted by U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., hosted by MassMutual Center, 1277 Main St., Springfield. Cost: $60 for members in advance, $80 general admission. Tables of 10 available. Reservation deadline: Feb. 26. No walk-ins will be accepted.

• March 24: Multi-chamber Speed Networking in partnership with the Greater Easthampton Chamber of Commerce, 7:15-9 a.m., hosted by Summit View Meeting House, 555 Northampton St., Holyoke. Cost: $20 for members in advance ($30 at the door), $30 general admission in advance ($40 at the door).

• April 7: Mayors Forum featuring Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, West Springfield Mayor Will Reichelt, and others, 7:15-9 a.m., hosted by the Delaney House, 3 Country Club Road, Holyoke. Cost: $30 for members in advance ($35 at the door), $40 general admission ($45 at the door).

• April 29: Beacon Hill Summit, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 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. Includes lunch and reception. Cost: $180 for members, $225 general admission.

To register for any chamber event, visit www.springfieldregionalchamber.com, e-mail [email protected], or call (413) 755-1310.

WEST OF THE RIVER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.ourwrc.com

(413) 426-3880

• March 4: Driven by Community, a multi-chamber networking event, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Mercedes-Benz of Springfield in Chicopee. Join us as we network with some of the region’s chambers and organizations. Fun, food, and friends. Register online at www.westoftheriverchamber.com.

• March 19: Mayoral Breakfast, 7:30-9 a.m., hosted by Storrowton Tavern & Carriage House, West Springfield. Presenting Sponsor: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. Join us for an informative discussion with our mayors, who will update guests on all that is going on in our towns individually and collaboratively. To register or sponsor, visit www.westoftheriverchamber.com.

• April 16: Networking Lunch, noon to 1:30 p.m., hosted by Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Riverdale Street, West Springfield. Enjoy a sit-down lunch while networking with fellow chamber 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 (plus lunch), $10 for non-members (plus lunch). Attendees will order off the menu and pay separately that day. Register online at www.westoftheriverchamber.com.

YOUNG PROFESSIONAL SOCIETY OF GREATER SPRINGFIELD

springfieldyps.com

• March 19: YPS Third Thursday Networking Night, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Trinity Pub at the Irish Cultural Center. Enjoy free appetizers, a cash bar, and live Irish music. Cost: free for YPS members, $10 for non-members. Register at springfieldyps.com.

• April 16: YPS Third Thursday Networking Night, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Towne Taproom. Enjoy complimentary appetizers and a cash bar. Cost: free for YPS members, $10 for non-members. Register at springfieldyps.com.

Company Notebook

Bay Path University Names Sandra Doran Its Sixth President

Sandra Doran

LONGMEADOW — The Bay Path University board of trustees announced today that Sandra Doran has been selected by unanimous vote to become the sixth president of Bay Path effective June 30. She will succeed Carol Leary, who retires in June following her 25-year presidency of Bay Path. Doran’s appointment is the culmination of a comprehensive, 10-month, national search process. “Sandy Doran is a charismatic leader who cares deeply about women’s education and is passionate about access to education and student success,” said Jonathan Besse, board chair. “She has an impressive and broad background in a variety of complex organizations, all of which flourished greatly under her leadership.” Doran is currently president of Salem Academy and College in Winston-Salem, N.C. As president, she led an inclusive and aggressive strategic planning process that resulted in a transformation of the college as evidenced by unprecedented growth in enrollment and fundraising. “I am humbled by the trust the board has placed in me to continue the spirit of innovation here at Bay Path,” Doran said. “The visionary nature of President Leary is inspiring and unprecedented in higher education, and I look forward to working with the Bay Path faculty and staff to build on her legacy. Serving our students, and providing them with a superior learning experience, gives us all great joy. I look forward to engaging with all members of our community, students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, and our business and philanthropic partners.” Doran holds a juris doctor degree from the Syracuse University College of Law and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Southern Methodist University. Before serving at Salem, Doran was CEO at Castle Point Learning Systems (CPLS), a company that develops innovative teaching and learning technologies incorporating artificial intelligence and adaptive learning algorithms to provide better student outcomes in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Prior to her position at CPLS, she was president of the American College of Education in Indianapolis, where she grew the organization into the fifth-largest graduate school of education in the country, serving more than 5,000 adult and non-traditional students. Her professional experience also includes positions at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey as an entrepreneur-in-residence, as well as at the New England Board of Higher Education as national policy director. Early in her legal career, she transitioned into higher education, joining Lesley University in Cambridge in 2004 as chief of staff, vice president, and general counsel. Doran currently serves as chair of the board for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation and on the board of the Online Learning Consortium. She was named the Triad Business Journal’s Most Admired CEO, and Power Player of 2019.

AIC to Offer Graduate Program in Cannabis Science and Commerce

SPRINGFIELD — American International College (AIC) will offer a master of science program in cannabis science and commerce beginning in the fall of 2020, the first of its kind in this region. The 30-credit, hybrid graduate program is designed for individuals interested in a career in the cannabis industry and will provide students with an understanding of the science, business, and legal issues associated with the cannabis industry. The program offers education in the areas of basic science, including chemistry, horticulture, cultivation, uses, and delivery systems; business management, marketing, and operations; and federal and state laws and policies. According to a March 2020 jobs report issued by Leafly, the world’s largest cannabis website, over the past four years, legal cannabis has supported nearly a quarter of a million jobs. That equates to a 15% annual uptick in employment. For more information regarding the AIC’s master of science program in cannabis science and commerce, visit www.aic.edu/cannabis.

MGM Springfield Revenues Rebound in January

SPRINGFIELD — The Massachusetts Gaming Commission reported that gross gaming revenue (GGR) at MGM Springfield totaled $20.6 million in January, up from $18.9 million in December, which was its worst-ever full month. Meanwhile, the Encore Boston Harbor casino recorded $48.6 million in GGR in January, down from $54 million in December, while Plainridge Park Casino posted $11.1 million in January, an almost $900,000 increase from December and its first monthly uptick since last spring. MGM Springfield’s January GGR totaled included $14.9 million from slot machines and $5.7 million from from table games. The facility named a new president and chief operating officer following December’s poor numbers, replacing Michael Mathis with Chris Kelley.

Country Bank Donates More Than $900,000 in 2019

WARE — Country Bank reported its donations to area nonprofits totaled $905,049 last year. Throughout 2019, more than 500 organizations in the communities the bank serves received donations, including the Children’s Trust, Ludlow Community Center Boys and Girls Club, Ronald McDonald House, Habitat for Humanity, Project Bread, and the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, among many others. Recognizing the importance and overwhelming need to help organizations that address hunger, Country Bank provided monetary donations exceeding $100,000 to food programs throughout the region. The recipients of these funds included Friends of the Homeless, Springfield Rescue Mission, and the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, as well as many local food pantries. In addition, Country Bank’s employee charitable giving program raised more than $30,000 in 2019 through events such as jeans days, bake sales, and raffles, and employees volunteered more than 1,000 hours of personal time at various events within the bank’s communities.

Bank of America Entrusts More Than $22 Million to Community Foundation

SPRINGFIELD — After collaborating with the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts (CFWM) for 29 years, the Bank of America in May transferred three trusts totaling more than $22 million to the Valley-wide grant funder. The move brings CFWM’s total earned assets from roughly $153 million to $175 million and bolsters its role as an enduring philanthropic leader in the Pioneer Valley. Founded in 1990, CFWM administers a charitable endowment consisting of more than 600 separately identified funds totaling approximately $175 million. Some of these charitable assets are unrestricted and used to meet emerging and changing needs in the region. Others support named nonprofit organizations or provide financial support to college-bound students. Still others are donor-advised, offering flexibility to donors in timing, amount, and beneficiary of their giving. Last year, CFWM awarded $7.3 million in grants to nonprofits and $2.2 million in scholarships and interest-free loans to more than 770 area students. The Bank of America funds will continue to support a wide variety of organizations for generations to come, from grassroots community food pantries to region-spanning arts programs — and will preserve the original donors’ wishes to support their communities in perpetuity. The three trusts transferred from the bank to the foundation are the Eugene A. Dexter Charitable Fund, established in 1944; the Nan and Matilda Heydt Fund, established in 1960; and the Valley Charitable Trust Fund, established in 1960. All three were originally created to support and serve charitable organizations and interests with a focus on Springfield and Hampden County.

Eversource Earns Award for Using Smart Technology to Reduce Peak Energy Usage

BOSTON — An Eversource program that pays customers to use less electricity during high-demand periods has received an award for Outstanding Achievement in Residential Program Design & Implementation by the Assoc. of Energy Services Professionals. The award recognizes the company’s ConnectedSolutions demand-response program, which leverages customer-owned devices, such as wireless thermostats, battery storage, and electric-vehicle chargers, to reduce electric use during peak periods, when the cost and greenhouse-gas emissions of electricity in New England are at their highest. More than 9,000 customers have enrolled in the volunteer demand-response program in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Customers allow their devices to automatically communicate with Eversource during regional peak energy periods, resulting in a short reduction of power or, in the case of batteries, a reduction of the stored energy. Residential customers with eligible connected wireless thermostats, battery storage, or electric-vehicle chargers can participate and earn incentives ranging from $20 to more than $1,000 a year. The energy company anticipates that, at full enrollment, the collective ability to call on these customers during high-demand periods could have the environmental equivalent effect of taking 20,000 homes off the grid.

EforAll Holyoke Seeks Mentors for Summer Business Accelerator

HOLYOKE — EforAll Holyoke is actively seeking both English- and Spanish-speaking volunteers to participate as mentors in the summer 2020 business accelerator program. Accelerator mentors come from a variety of backgrounds and use their business and leadership experience to guide new entrepreneurs through the process of turning their idea into a growing business. Mentors work in teams of three and are matched with an entrepreneur based on schedule availability and the desire to work together. The team meets as a group to help reaffirm topics and themes raised during classes, while also strategizing with the entrepreneur on how to reach their specific goals during the program. This is a high-touch, year-long commitment. Mentor teams have 90-minute, in-person meetings for three months and then meet once a month for the following nine months. Anyone interested can e-mail [email protected] for more information.

Picture This

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


Accessible Design Award

At its annual awards gala, the Boston Society of Architects (BSA) presented Caolo & Bieniek Associates Inc. with the 2019 Accessible Design Award for its work at Westfield State University’s Davis Hall. The award honors design excellence in buildings that are accessible for people of all abilities, with an emphasis on projects that exceed the legal accessibility requirements in anticipation of diverse user needs and benefits. The residence-hall addition and renovation, designed in coordination with the university and Stegman+Associates Inc., includes new private and multi-user restrooms, providing access to all students.

Pictured, from left: Janet Stegman, owner, Stegman+Associates; Janet Chrisos, deputy director, Massachusetts State College Building Authority; Steven Taksar, vice president, Administration & Finance, Westfield State University; Curtis Edgin, president, Caolo & Bieniek Associates.


Grand Opening

The Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated the ribbon cutting and grand opening of Hadley Dental Care on Jan. 31. More than 50 community and business leaders stopped by to see the state-of-the-art technology and hear about the client-centric care offered by Dr. Tapan Pujara, DDS and Dr. Chaitalee Ganatra, DDS (pictured). The practice is located at 1 Mill Valley Road, Unit D, Hadley. A celebration followed the ribbon cutting next door at the Taproom, featuring networking, food, and prizes.

 


Charitable Champions List

Pioneer Valley Financial Group is one of 20 financial-advisory firms selected for the Invest in Others Charitable Foundation’s 2019 Charitable Champions List, which recognizes advisory firms for their exemplary efforts to give back to their communities by promoting a culture of philanthropy among employees and financial advisors. Invest in Others received dozens of applications, which were evaluated blindly by a judging panel made up of financial advisors. Applications were evaluated on criteria including employee benefits, company contributions, and philanthropic events and programs offered by the firms.

 


Getting a Boost

Led by state Rep. Carlos Gonzalez, the Springfield legislative delegation was able to secure a $250,000 appropriation for the UMass Center at Springfield. On Feb. 10, a ceremonial check was presented by the delegation at the center, located in Tower Square in downtown Springfield. At that event, UMass Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy introduced Jamina Scippio-McFadden as the new director of the center, which opened its doors in 2014. Pictured below: Scippio-McFadden and Gonzalez address those gathered for the check presentation.

From left, state Sen. James Welch, state Rep. Angelo Puppolo, McFadden, Gonzalez, state Rep. Bud Williams, and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno gather around the ceremonial check.


 

Agenda

Real-estate Licensing Course

Feb. 19 to March 19: 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. The course will be completed on March 19. Tuition is $400 and includes the book and materials. For an application, call the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley at (413) 785-1328 or visit www.rapv.com.

Legal Interpreting Certificate Program

Starting Feb. 25: Interested in working as a legal interpreter? Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) will a training course that runs through April, with classes meeting Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Offered as a certificate program through the Workforce Development Center at STCC, this class is open to Spanish-, Portuguese-, Arabic-, and Russian-speaking students who would like to expand their interpreting skills in legal settings. Interpreting is a high-demand field, with jobs expected to grow by 19% through 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Large increases in the number of non-English-speaking people in the U.S. will drive growth, the bureau reports. The course will cover the most in-demand types of hearings, such as due-process hearings, unemployment hearings, and depositions. Students will learn legal terminology and procedural protocols needed to interpret for these various types of hearings. In addition, students will have the opportunity for intense practice through mock hearings, which will give them the experience and comfort level needed to apply for work in the field. Trained legal interpreters are in demand throughout Massachusetts and nationwide in law offices, schools, state agencies, and contracting agencies. For more information and to enroll online, visit stcc.edu/wdc/descriptions/legal-interpreting. To contact the Workforce Development Center office, call (413) 755-4225.

Springfield Rotary Club Luncheon

Feb. 28: Paul Aquila, registered principal with Raymond James Financial Services and founder of Longview Investments, LLC, a diversified financial-services firm offering wealth management in Connecticut and Massachusetts, will address the Springfield Rotary Club’s luncheon meeting on Friday, Feb. 28. He will discuss donor-advised funds — what they are, how to use them, and how they can help clients integrate their values into their investments. The Springfield Rotary Club meets every Friday at 12:15 p.m. in the MassMutual Room at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, and is a member of Rotary International. The Rotary luncheon with Aquila costs $18 per person and is open to the public.

Difference Makers Gala

March 19: The 11th annual Difference Makers gala will take place at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. BusinessWest launched its Difference Makers program in 2009 to celebrate individuals, groups, organizations, and families that are positively impacting the Pioneer Valley and are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region. The class of 2020 is profiled in the Feb. 3 issue of BusinessWest. Tickets cost $75. To reserve a spot, e-mail [email protected] or visit businesswest.com. Difference Makers is sponsored by Burkhart Pizzanelli, Royal, P.C., Mercy Medical Center/Trinity Health of New England, and TommyCar Auto Group, and the Tom Cosenzi Driving for the Cure Charity Golf Tournement, MHA, and United Way of Pioneer Valley are partners. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available.

Women’s Leadership Conference

March 27: Bay Path University’s division of Strategic Alliances announced that producer, author, entrepreneur, educator, and, of course, top model Tyra Banks will bring her bold attitude, unique style, and well-honed business acumen to Springfield as the keynote speaker at the 25th annual Women’s Leadership Conference (WLC). This year’s theme, “Own Your Now,” will encourage conference guests to examine the forces that have shaped their careers, relationships, and aspirations; recognize what drives them and what holds them back; and empower them to confidently move forward. Suzy Batiz, who will deliver the morning address to open the conference, earned a place on Forbes’ list of most successful self-made women — and an estimated net worth of $260 million — by creating of a suite of eco-minded household products, including Poo-Pourri, a toilet spray she developed to combat bathroom odors. Patrice Banks (no relation to Tyra) will address the audience at lunchtime. She is the owner of the Girls Auto Clinic and Clutch Beauty Bar, an auto mechanic shop and beauty bar staffed by women. She is also the founder of the SheCANics movement, which looks to demystify car repair and engage more women in the automotive industry. Breakout sessions — focused on navigating the complicated relationships, personalities, and dynamics of the workplace and the impact those have on our careers and opportunities — will be led by bestselling authors and researchers including Laura Huang, Harvard Business School professor and author of Edge: Turning Adversity into Advantage; Emily Esfahani Smith, author of The Power of Meaning; Dr. Ramani Durvasula, licensed clinical psychologist and author of Don’t You Know Who I Am: How to Stay Sane in the Era of Narcissism, Entitlement and Incivility; and Jennifer Romolini, author of Weird in a World That’s Not: A Career Guide for Misfits. For further information on the conference and to register, visit www.baypathconference.com.

Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series

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

Unify Against Bullying Cut-a-Thon

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

Elms College Executive

Leadership Breakfast

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

Hooplandia

June 26-28: Hooplandia, the largest 3-on-3 basketball competition and celebration on the East Coast, will take place on June 26-28, 2020, hosted by Eastern States Exposition and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The event will feature hundreds of games for thousands of players of all ages and playing abilities, with divisions for young girls, boys, women, men, high-school elite, college elite, pro-am, ‘over the hill,’ wheelchair, wounded warrior, Special Olympians, veterans, first responders, and more. More than 100 outdoor blacktop courts will be placed throughout the roadway and parking-lot network of the Eastern States Exposition fairgrounds in West Springfield. Slam-dunk, 3-point, free-throw, dribble-course, vertical-jump, and full-court-shot skills competitions will be spotlighted. Themed state courts will be mobilized along the Exposition’s famed Avenue of States. Featured ‘showcase games’ will be held on new court surfaces in the historic Eastern States Coliseum and on the Court of Dreams, the center court of the Basketball Hall of Fame. A year-long community outreach effort will begin immediately. Registration will open on March 1, 2020. Information and engagement is available now through www.hooplandia.com or on Instagram: @hooplandia.

Chamber Corners

AMHERST AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.amherstarea.com
(413) 253-0700

• March 4: Driven By Community, 5-7 p.m., a multi-chamber event at Mercedes-Benz of Springfield with the Amherst Area Chamber, East of the River Chamber, Greater Northampton Chamber, West of the River Chamber, Hampshire County Young Professionals, and Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield. Sample food, drink, and learn something about area nonprofits. Meet someone new and learn more about businesses in your community. Cost: $10 for members, $15 for non-members.

• March 11: March After 5, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Pulse Café, Hadley. Our monthly networking event with a focus on healthy living and eating. Cost: $10 for members, $15 for non-members.

• April 2: Margarita Madness, 5-7:30 p.m., hosted by Insterskate 91 at Hampshire Mall. Presented by Steve Lewis Subaru. Mix, mingle, and network at our largest signature event of the year. Enjoy an evening of tasty margaritas and vote for your favorite. Local restaurants will showcase their fare, and dozens of raffles prizes will be donated by Amherst Area Chamber members. Cost: $35 pre-registered, $45 at the door.

• April 15: April After 5, 5-7 p.m., sponsored by Paciorek Electric at its DiamondBack Properties, LLC Building, 65D Elm St., Hatfield, with food and drink catered by Grill N’ Chill. Enjoy this night of networking with people from across the Valley. Cost: $10 for members, $15 for non-members.

 

GREATER EASTHAMPTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.easthamptonchamber.org
(413) 527-9414

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

• Feb. 25: Networking by Night, 4-6 p.m., hosted by Packard’s, 14 Masonic St., Northampton. We will enjoy a fun-filled evening of building friendships and business relationships, along with food, a cash bar, and networking. Cost: free for members, $25 for future members. Pre-registration is required and closes on Feb. 15. There will be no at-the-door registrations. For more information and to register, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org or call the chamber at (413) 527-9414.

• March 4, 11, 18, 25; April 1: Her Place at the Table, 7:45-9 a.m., hosted by the chamber office, 33 Union St., Easthampton. A five-part series designed to help women increase confidence and build leadership skills to be wildly successful and take their place at the table. Cost for all five sessions: $99 per person for members, $129 for future members. Pre-registration is required. For more information and to register, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org or call the chamber at (413) 527-9414.

• March 13: St. Patrick’s Day Luncheon, noon to 2 p.m., hosted by Summit View Banquet House, 555 Northampton St., Holyoke. Join us as we salute Greater Easthampton St. Patrick’s Day Committee award winners and enjoy a traditional corned-beef lunch. Cost: $25 for members, $35 for future members. Pre-registration is required; there will be no registrations at the door. For more information and to register, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org or call the chamber at (413) 527-9414.

• March 19: Books & Joe with Moe, 8:30 a.m., hosted by the chamber office, 33 Union St., Easthampton. The second meeting of the Chamber Book Club. For more information and to register, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org or call the chamber at (413) 527-9414.

• March 24: Speed Networking Breakfast, 7:15-9 a.m., hosted by Summit View Banquet House, 555 Northampton St., Holyoke. We are partnering with the Springfield Regional Chamber for another fun-filled networking event. Kick-start your day and join us for breakfast. Cost: $20 for members, $30 for walk-ins. To register, visit www.springfieldregionalchamber.com, e-mail [email protected], or call (413) 755-1310.

GREATER NORTHAMPTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.explorenorthampton.com

(413) 584-1900

• Feb. 25: Nonprofit Resource Roundtable, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Come together with nonprofit professionals for a monthly conversation facilitated by Kristin Elechko of Cascade Consulting. Cost: free. RSVP at www.northamptonchamber.com/chamber-events/workshops.

• March 4: March Arrive @5: Multi Chamber Networking Event, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Mercedes-Benz of Springfield, 295 Burnett Road, Chicopee. Cost: $10 for members, $15 for non-members. Register at northampton.chambermaster.com/events/details/2020-arrive-5-march-4-3807.

• April 1: April [email protected] netWORK, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Smith Vocational School, 80 Locust St., Northampton. Our netWORK [email protected] series will feature a nonprofit in the Greater Northampton Community and invite guests to participate in a project to benefit that organization. Cost: $10 for members, $15 for non-members. Register at northampton.chambermaster.com/events/details/2020-arrive-5-network-april-1-3808.

GREATER WESTFIELD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.westfieldbiz.org
(413) 568-1618

• March 2: Mayor’s Coffee Hour, 8-9 a.m., hosted by Tighe & Bond, 53 Southampton Road, Westfield. Join us for coffee with Westfield Mayor Donald Humason. The event is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is requested so we may give our host a proper head count. For more information and to register, visit westfieldbiz.org/events or call (413) 568-1618.

• March 13: 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; coffee bar sponsor: Westfield Starfires; in-kind sponsor: Flowers by Webster. Join us for our annual St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast as we honor our 2020 Sons of Erin Colleen and her court, Irishwoman of the Year, Irishman of the Year, and Parade Marshal. Guest speaker is Associate Justice Edward McDonough Jr. of the Massachusetts Appeal Court. Cost: $28 for members, $43 for non-members. For more information and to register, visit www.westfieldbiz.org/events or contact the chamber at (413) 568-1618.

SPRINGFIELD REGIONAL CHAMBER

www.springfieldregionalchamber.com

(413) 787-1555

• Feb. 20: Third annual Fire & Ice Craft Cocktail Competition, 5:30-8 p.m., hosted by Springfield Country Club, 1375 Elm St., West Springfield. Cost: $50 for members in advance ($60 at the door), $60 general admission in advance ($70 at the door).

• Feb. 27: Leadership Institute professional development program kickoff, 1-4:30 p.m., hosted by TD Bank Conference Center, 1441 Main St., Springfield.

• March 6: Outlook 2020 hosted by U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., hosted by MassMutual Center, 1277 Main St., Springfield. Cost: $60 for members in advance, $80 general admission. Tables of 10 available. Reservation deadline: Feb. 26. No walk-ins will be accepted.

• March 24: Multi-chamber Speed Networking in partnership with the Greater Easthampton Chamber of Commerce, 7:15-9 a.m., hosted by Summit View Meeting House, 555 Northampton St., Holyoke. Cost: $20 for members in advance ($30 at the door), $30 general admission in advance ($40 at the door).

• April 7: Mayors Forum featuring Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, West Springfield Mayor Will Reichelt, and others, 7:15-9 a.m., hosted by the Delaney House, 3 Country Club Road, Holyoke. Cost: $30 for members in advance ($35 at the door), $40 general admission ($45 at the door).

• April 29: Beacon Hill Summit, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 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. Includes lunch and reception. Cost: $180 for members, $225 general admission.

To register for any chamber event, visit www.springfieldregionalchamber.com, e-mail [email protected], or call (413) 755-1310.

WEST OF THE RIVER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.ourwrc.com

(413) 426-3880

• Feb. 27: Co-chamber Lunch ‘n’ Learn Seminar: “The State of Small Business in Western Mass.,” 12-1:30 p.m., hosted by Springfield Country Club, West Springfield. Enjoy lunch while learning about changes in small-business laws, minimum wage, PFML, and ways to overcome business challenges in Western Mass. Join us and ERC5 as we learn all there is to know. Register online at www.westoftheriverchamber.com. For more information, contact the chamber office at (413) 426-3880 or [email protected]

• March 4: Driven by Community, a multi-chamber networking event, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Mercedes-Benz of Springfield in Chicopee. Join us as we network with some of the region’s chambers and organizations. Fun, food, and friends. Register online at www.westoftheriverchamber.com.

• March 19: Mayoral Breakfast, 7:30-9 a.m., hosted by Storrowton Tavern & Carriage House, West Springfield. Presenting Sponsor: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. Join us for an informative discussion with our mayors, who will update guests on all that is going on in our towns individually and collaboratively. To register or sponsor, visit www.westoftheriverchamber.com.

• April 16: Networking Lunch, noon to 1:30 p.m., hosted by Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Riverdale Street, West Springfield. Enjoy a sit-down lunch while networking with fellow chamber 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 (plus lunch), $10 for non-members (plus lunch). Attendees will order off the menu and pay separately that day. Please note, we cannot invoice you for these events. Register online at www.westoftheriverchamber.com.

YOUNG PROFESSIONAL SOCIETY OF GREATER SPRINGFIELD

springfieldyps.com

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

• March 19: YPS Third Thursday Networking Night, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Trinity Pub at the Irish Cultural Center. Enjoy complimentary appetizers, a cash bar, and live Irish music. Cost: free for YPS members, $10 for non-members. Register at springfieldyps.com.

• April 16: YPS Third Thursday Networking Night, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Towne Taproom. Enjoy complimentary appetizers and a cash bar. Cost: free for YPS members, $10 for non-members. Register at springfieldyps.com.

• May 2: Fourth annual YPS Adult Field Day, 9 a.m. to noon, hosted by Extra Innings and Train for Life of Chicopee. This throwback to elementary school is built with adults in mind for a team-building competition. Register at www.runreg.com/ypsfieldday. Registration includes participation in activities, after party and lunch from 350 Grill, T-shirt, DJ, prizes, refreshments, and more. Early-bird pricing and sponsorships are available.

Company Notebook

Normandeau Technologies Inc. Can Help Companies Comply Kari’s Law

WEST SPRINGFIELD — Is your business telephone system compliant with Kari’s Law, which went into effect on Feb. 16? Normandeau Technologies Inc. (NTI) can help businesses determine compliance with the law. To reach NTI, call (413) 584-3131. Kari’s Law requires telephone systems to provide direct dial and routing to 911 with no prefixes or other button press, as well as on-site notification of a 911 call being made, with a ‘dispatchable location’ conveyed (for example, which floor and room of an office building a worker is on or which classroom a student is calling from). In addition to facing potentially devastating civil liabilities should a tragedy occur, businesses that fail to comply with the law risk fines, and may be subject to additional penalties for each day they remain non-compliant. With Kari’s Law now included within the amended Communications Act, the Federal Communications Commission has the power to enforce the rules, assign judgments, and collect penalties. Kari’s Law is named after Kari Hunt, who was tragically murdered in her hotel room in 2013 after multiple failed attempts by her daughter to dial 911. Medical examiners agree that, had her daughter been able to reach emergency services, Hunt would have survived the attack. The law is designed to ensure that anyone, anywhere can reach emergency services and that critical location data is provided with that call.

Springfield Museums Seeking Ubora, Ahadi Nominations

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Museums is seeking nominations for the 29th annual Ubora Award and the 11th annual Ahadi Youth Award. These prestigious awards — conferred by the African Hall subcommittee — are awarded to African-American people from Greater Springfield who have gone above and beyond in demonstrating commitment to fields of community service, education, science, humanities, and/or the arts. The nomination deadline for both awards is March 31. True to the Swahili word that comprises its name, the Ubora Award recognizes an adult of African heritage who exemplifies excellence in their commitment to creating a better community through service. Named for the Swahili word for promise, the Ahadi Youth Award is presented to a young African-American who excels in academics and performs admirable service to the Greater Springfield community. Eligible candidates must be age 19 or younger, live in or have strong ties to the Greater Springfield area, and be currently enrolled in grades 10, 11, or 12. A full list of past awardees can be found on the Springfield Museums website. The Ubora and Ahadi awards will be presented at a ceremony at the Springfield Museums in September. Nomination forms can be downloaded by visiting springfieldmuseums.org/ubora. Nominations may be e-mailed to [email protected] or mailed to African Hall Subcommittee, c/o Valerie Cavagni, Springfield Museums, 21 Edwards St., Springfield, MA 01103.

United Personnel Wins Best of Staffing Designation

SPRINGFIELD — United Personnel, a leading Springfield-based staffing firm serving Massachusetts and Connecticut, has won ClearlyRated’s Best of Staffing Client and Talent Award for the third consecutive year. According to ClearlyRated, this industry award recognizes staffing firms that have demonstrated exceptional service quality based exclusively on ratings provided by their clients and placed talent. The Best of Staffing designation serves as a credible point of differentiation for a firm’s commitment to service excellence, providing prospective clients and job seekers with qualitative data critical to vetting staffing and recruiting agencies. United Personnel is based in Springfield with additional offices in Northampton and Chelmsford, as well as New Haven and Hartford, Conn. The agency manages temporary, contract, and direct-hire placements in professional, administrative, information-technology, and light-industrial roles. Focused on placing highly qualified candidates with their clients, United Personnel received satisfaction scores of 9 or 10 out of 10 from a significant number of both clients and candidates placed in jobs, resulting in the Best of Staffing Client and Candidate recognition. These two awards are distinctions that fewer than 2% of all staffing agencies in the U.S. and Canada have earned.

Eversource Customers Benefit from Increase in Reliability

BOSTON — Eversource’s commitment to enhancing system reliability is significantly reducing the number of power interruptions that customers experience, with outages in the Commonwealth down by nearly 17% in 2019 compared to 2018, the company reports. This improvement stems from the energy company’s investments in strengthening and modernizing its electric system, including a program to install more than 1,000 smart fuses to the system throughout the Commonwealth. These smart fuses can automatically restore power to customers when a tree limb temporarily contacts wires and help to protect the electric system when a problem is detected, such as a current surge or overload. Eversource has invested more than $2.5 million to install more than 350 smart fuses on its electric system throughout Massachusetts since 2018. The energy company plans to expand the program in 2020 by installing more than 300 devices on the system throughout the state. In addition to its smart-fuse program, Eversource will continue to install smart switches, devices that enable system operators to remotely reroute power to customers in minutes. The energy company has installed more than 1,100 smart switches over the last five years and continues to replace utility poles with more durable structures, install hundreds of miles of covered wire, and conduct robust tree-trimming programs to ensure the reliable delivery of energy to customers. Eversource customers across New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut all experienced a significant improvement in reliability in 2019. January through December of this year represented the system’s strongest reliability performance across Eversource’s entire service territory since 2013.

Bay Path University Programs Rank Highly on Intelligent.com

LONGMEADOW — Intelligent.com has recognized eight Bay Path University degree programs as some of the best online degree programs available in multiple areas of study. The website is a free, privately supported online platform that’s editorially independent and claims to provide unbiased, accurate, and fact-based information on a wide range of issues surrounding education. According to the website, programs were evaluated on reputation, course strength, cost, faculty, and flexibility. In addition to their numerical rankings, Bay Path’s master of science in accounting and bachelor of science in health services administration degree programs were recognized as “Best Student Resources” in their respective categories, while its bachelor of arts in psychology – counseling foundations and master of science in nonprofit management and philanthropy programs were recognized as the “Best in the Northeast” out of all degree programs assessed in their respective fields. Bay Path’s master of science in leadership and negotiation program was awarded “Best Job Placement Rate” out of the 147 colleges and universities assessed. Other programs awarded include the master of science in applied behavior analysis, the master of science in higher education administration, and the master of fine arts in creative nonfiction, which ranked in the top 8% of creative-writing graduate programs reviewed.

STCC Kicks Off Fundraising Effort

SPRINGFIELD — In celebration of the leap year, the Springfield Technical Community College Foundation has launched a fundraising campaign called “Leap Forward” to support students. The foundation is asking alumni, parents, the community, and friends of the college to make a gift of $29 in the month of February. The contribution will go directly to support the students currently enrolled at STCC. To donate, visit stcc.edu/leap and click on ‘give now.’ The website gives donors the choice to donate in $29 increments, and each $29 represents support for one student. Donors also can enter any amount in an ‘other’ box. In addition, donors can use a drop-down menu to designate their gift for a specific category (where the need is greatest, general scholarship fund, Society of Women Engineers, Hispanic Assoc. in Higher Education, Arts at STCC, STCC athletics, or a named scholarship fund). STCC graduates said financial support from donors made a meaningful difference and were excited to hear about the “Leap Forward” campaign. For questions about the campaign or the STCC Foundation, contact Galanis at (413) 755-4529 or [email protected]

Wilbraham & Monson Academy Cuts Day Tuition by 20%

WILBRAHAM — Wilbraham & Monson Academy (WMA) announced a 20% cut in its day student tuition rate for the 2020-21 academic year. The tuition for Upper School day students will decrease from $42,500 to $34,000. The tuition reset, recently approved by the board of trustees, was made in part because WMA recognized the growing cost of private secondary education, which has outpaced growth in regional household median income. In turn, this has created uncertainty for local families about the attainability of an independent school education. The reset is paired with a new five-day boarding option, two recent $10 million bequests to the endowment, a $6 million library set to open this spring, and a new, 4,800-square-foot, state-of-the-art STEM Lab that will be ready for use in September.

MGM Springfield to Welcome Casual Italian Restaurant Costa

SPRINGFIELD — MGM Springfield will welcome Costa, a classic Italian restaurant serving housemade charcuterie, pizzas, pastas, salads, desserts, and more, to the resort’s food and beverage portfolio on Friday, Feb. 28. This will be Costa’s third outpost, having debuted as Osteria Costa at the Mirage Las Vegas and MGM National Harbor in 2018. Costa at MGM Springfield will be located in the Cal Mare space, which will close on Monday, Feb. 24. For reservations, visit Open Table or call (413) 273-5430.

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