Sheraton Springfield Takes Steps to Stand Out in the Marketplace
Stacy Gravanis acknowledged the obvious when it comes to the convention and meetings market in the Northeast, and the country as a whole — there is no shortage of competition.
And in this climate, the assignment is also obvious — to find a way, or several ways, as the case may be, to stand out in this crowded marketplace.
The Sheraton Springfield has been doing that since it opened more than 30 years ago, said Gravanis, general manager of the facility, and it keeps looking for new, innovative, and, well, cool ways of continuing that practice. Cool as in a Ding-Dong cart. Indeed, the nostalgic summertime staple, sometimes seen patrolling neighborhoods and often seen parked at pools and lakes, became part of the landscape at the downtown Springfield landmark during the first week in August.
It was parked on the grounds, providing a unique opportunity to cool down during what has been an oppressive summer to date — for guests and downtown workers alike. And it became another way to bring value and something different to visitors, said Gravanis, who told BusinessWest that this is all part of the work to not only stand out — as important as that is — but also to help build relationships and turn customers into repeat customers, a critical assignment in this industry.
“The goal is to find that connection to them and build loyalty,” she told BusinessWest, adding that the Ding-Dong cart is just one example of programs, products, and services that go into the connection-building process.
Katie DiClemente, assistant director of Sales and Marketing for the Sheraton agreed. She said that conventions and meetings comprise a large slice of the business at the Sheraton, one where building relationships and generating repeat business is essential.
DiClemente noted that the facility hosts dozens of convention groups a year, such as the Pancretan Association of America, which was in town from June 28 to July 3 and brought 475 people to the hotel. Meanwhile, its assorted meeting spaces host a wide array of gatherings, from company retreats and annual meetings to team-training sessions, to educational seminars.
The hotel’s portfolio of facilities and its unique layout (more on that later) are attractive selling points, she said, as is the region and its many attractions.
Both Gravanis and DiClemente said an already attractive mix of attractions, from Six Flags to the Dr. Seuss museum, has been significantly bolstered by MGM Springfield, which they expect to help bring new convention business to the 413.
For this issue and its focus on meetings and conventions, BusinessWest talked with Gravanis and DiClemente about the Sheraton’s ongoing work to stand out in the market, and how it is creating new flavors of customer service — figuratively but also quite literally.
Getting the Scoop
One of the largest facilities of its kind in the region, the Sheraton boasts 325 hotel rooms, more than 36,000 square feet of meeting space, including a ballroom and eight meeting rooms on the third floor, six meeting rooms on the second floor, and two additional meeting rooms on the fourth floor, leaving plenty of space for large conventions.
DiClemente says the 10,000 square foot ballroom can hold up to 1,000 people depending on the type of event, with a 500-person cap for a banquet-style event.
But size is not the only attractive quality. Indeed, DiClemente said the setup of the meeting spaces at the Sheraton Springfield is unlike most other hotels.
“The flow of our space is something that definitely attracts people to our hotel,” she told BusinessWest. “We’re not a conference-style hotel where you’re walking down a long hallway and going to your meeting rooms and finding it that way. We’re an atrium style, so if your meeting room is on the second floor, you can look down and see where you need to go. The natural light shines through the atrium.”
This natural light, and all that comes with it, has attracted a number of groups to the Sheraton — and Greater Springfield. The Pancretan Association of America (PAA), a national organization comprised of members who support and perpetuate Cretan culture through scholarship, educational, cultural, and philanthropic programs for those in the United States, Canada, and Crete, is an example of the how the region and the hotel are drawing local, national, and even international groups.
And bringing them here is a collaborative effort, said Gravanis, adding that the hotel works closely with the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau (GSCVB), keeping in daily contact with Director of Sales Alicia Szenda.
“We have a really great relationship with her being the director of sales,” said DiClemente. “If the convention center has a lead where they need overnight rooms, that’s sent to the [GSCVB] and Alicia is that middleperson between the MassMutual Center and the hotels in the area.”
Once that lead is sent out to the hotels, they bid on the piece of business, which is sent directly to Szenda. Of course, this region is usually competing against several other cities in for the right to host specific conventions, which brings us back to that notion of standing out — and building relationships.
Again, the Ding-Dong cart was just part of it.
Aside from the ice cream runs, Gravanis said the hotel staff works to stay in touch with clients — be they groups or individuals — through birthday and anniversary cards and other touch points to build a relationship and, hopefully, a long-term relationship.
“Whether it’s a local client or a client out of a different city, it’s so important to build that relationship with them and that’s something we do every day,” said DiClemente. “It’s really a top priority for our sales team.”
Gravanis added, again, that the area itself is a huge selling point for the Sheraton, and it is becoming more so through the addition of MGM Springfield, which has the potential to bring a wide array of meetings and conventions to the city, many of which will require large amounts of hotel rooms and other facilities.
Since it opened nearly three decades ago, the Sheraton has been one of the key players in the region’s large and important hospitality sector.
It has been one of the important pieces in the puzzle when it comes to the infrastructure needed to bring meetings and conventions, and, therefore, revenue and vibrancy, to the region.
It has maintained this position by being innovative and always finding ways to stand out. And the Ding-Dong cart, as cool as it is, is just the latest example.
Kayla Ebner can be reached at [email protected]
The following is a compilation of recent lawsuits involving area businesses and organizations. These are strictly allegations that have yet to be proven in a court of law. Readers are advised to contact the parties listed, or the court, for more information concerning the individual claims.
HAMPSHIRE SUPERIOR COURT
Cutler Associates Inc. v. One East Pleasant, LLC
Allegation: Breach of contract: $468,000
David Mitowski v. Easthampton Electrical Services Inc. and Timothy J. Hodnicki
Allegation: Breach of contract, failure to pay wages: $40,000
Teresa Beaudry v. Amherst College and trustees of Amherst College
Allegation: Negligence; slip and fall causing personal injury: $25,000+
Five Star Building Corp. v. Danco Management Inc. and Millstone Creations Inc.
Allegation: Breach of contract, negligence, breach of implied warranty of good faith and fair dealing: $405,257.70
Kimberly A. Lucas and Antonio R. Lucas v. ST Floor Covering, LLC
Allegation: Negligence; slip and fall causing personal injury: $625,341.83
Historic Round Hill Summit, LLC and PeoplesBank v. Crocker Building Co. Inc. and Safco Foam Insulation, LLC
Allegation: Negligence, breach of contract, breach of implied warranty of good and workmanlike service: $3,000,000+
PALMER DISTRICT COURT
ArcBest Logistics Inc. v. Hilltop Wood Components, LLC
Allegation: Money owed for shipping services provided: $18,998.85
WESTFIELD DISTRICT COURT
Donna Pittello and Jean Aube v. Smith & Son Jewelers Inc.
Allegation: Fraud, breach of contract: $24,999
Nicole Q. Radwanski and Andrew E. Radwanski as parents and legal guardians of the minor Jacob E. Radwanski and individually v. Girls & Guss, LLC d/b/a A Dream Come True Learning Center
Allegation: Negligence causing personal injury, reckless infliction of emotional distress: $8,984.20+
Geof E. Spear v. New England Sports Center, Renfroe H. Larue Trust, Donald Lynch Blvd. Realty Trust d/b/a New England Sports Center, New England Sports Management Corp., and Donald Lynch Blvd. Realty Trust d/b/a New England Sports Management Corp.
Allegation: Negligence; slip and fall causing personal injury: $4,798.03
These regional and statewide nonprofits can help families make decisions and access resources related to elder-care planning.
1 Beacon St., #2301, Boston, MA 02108
(866) 448-3621; states.aarp.org/region/massachusetts
Administrator: Mike Festa
Services: A nonprofit, nonpartisan, social-welfare organization with a membership of nearly 38 million that advocates for the issues that matter to families, such as healthcare, employment and income security, and protection from financial abuse.
THE CONVERSATION PROJECT
20 University Road, 7th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 301-4868; www.theconversationproject.org
Administrator: Kate DeBartolo
Services: Helps people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care; its team includes five seasoned law, journalism, and media professionals working pro bono alongside professional staff from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
ELDER SERVICES OF BERKSHIRE COUNTY INC.
877 South St., Suite 4E, Pittsfield, MA 01201
(413) 499-0524; www.esbci.org
Administrator: Christopher McLaughlin
Services: Information and referral, care management, respite care, homemaker and home health assistance, healthy-aging programs, and MassHealth nursing home pre-screening; also offers housing options, adult family care, group adult foster care, long-term-care ombudsman, and money management, and oversees Senior Community Service Aide Employment Program.
GREATER SPRINGFIELD SENIOR SERVICES INC.
66 Industry Ave., Suite 9, Springfield, MA 01104
(413) 781-8800; www.gsssi.org
Administrator: Jill Keough
Services: Dedicated to maintaining quality of life for older adults, caregivers, and people with disabilities, through programs and services that foster independence, dignity, safety, and peace of mind; services include case management, home care, home-delivered meals, senior community dining, money management, congregate housing, and adult day care.
HIGHLAND VALLEY ELDER SERVICES
320 Riverside Dr., Florence, MA 01062
(413) 586-2000; www.highlandvalley.org
Administrator: Allan Ouimet
Services: Care management, information/referral services, family caregiver program, personal emergency-response service, protective services, home-health services, chore services, nursing-home ombudsman services, adult day programs, elder-care advice, bill-payer services, options counseling, respite services, representative payee services, local dining centers, personal-care and homemaker services, and home-delivered meals.
101 Munson St., Suite 201, Greenfield, MA 01301
(413) 773-5555; www.lifepathma.org
Administrator: Barbara Bodzin
Services: Private, nonprofit corporation that develops, provides, and coordinates a range of services to support the independent living of elders and people with disabilities; also supports caregivers, including grandparents raising grandchildren.
MASSACHUSETTS ASSOC. OF OLDER AMERICANS
19 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111
(617) 426-0804; www.maoamass.org
Administrator: Chet Jakubiak
Services: Aims to improve the economic security of older Massachusetts residents through research and advocacy on policies that may reduce risk and hardship; fights against the dual stigma of being old and mentally ill, to preserve Medicare and Social Security, to ensure access to community-based long-term care, and to obtain mental healthcare for elders suffering from depression and other brain disorders.
MASSACHUSETTS EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF ELDER AFFAIRS
1 Ashburton Place, Unit 517, Boston, MA 02108
(617) 727-7750; www.mass.gov/elders
Administrator: Elizabeth Chen
Services: Connects seniors and families with services like senior centers, councils on aging, nutrition programs such as Meals on Wheels, exercise, health coaching, and more; supports frail adults through programs and quality-improvement initiatives in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities; caregiver support programs.
MASSACHUSETTS SENIOR LEGAL HELPLINE
99 Chauncy St., Unit 400, Boston, MA 02111
(800) 342-5297 ; www.vlpnet.org
Administrator: Joanne Allison
Services: The Helpline is a project of the Volunteer Lawyers Project of Boston that provides free legal information and referral services to Massachusetts residents age 60 and older; the Helpline is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to noon.
Administrator: Marylou Sudders
Services: Connects elders, individuals with disabilities, and their caregivers with agencies and organizations that can best meet their needs; staff can also assist with determining eligibility for and applying to MassHealth.
VA CENTRAL AND WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS HEALTHCARE SYSTEM
421 North Main St., Leeds, MA 01053
(413) 584-4040; www.centralwesternmass.va.gov
Administrator: John Collins
Services: Provides primary, specialty, and mental-health care, including psychiatric, substance-abuse, and PTSD services, to a veteran population in Central and Western Mass. of more than 120,000 men and women.
WESTMASS ELDERCARE INC.
4 Valley Mill Road, Holyoke, MA 01040
(413) 538-9020; www.wmeldercare.org
Administrator: Roseann Martoccia
Services: Provides an array of in-home and community services to support independent living; interdisciplinary team approach to person-centered care; information, referrals, and options counseling as well as volunteer opportunities available.
The following business incorporations were recorded in Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties and are the latest available. They are listed by community.
Teresa’s Enterprises Inc., 378 Walnut St. Ext., Agawam, MA 01001. Louis F. Bonavita, 67 Alexander Dr., Agawam, MA 01001. Operation of on-premises services of beverage, food, and entertainment.
Victor Ivancev, DMD P.C., 148 Amity St. Amherst, MA 01002. Victor Ivancev, 88 Silver St., Greenfield, MA 01301. Dental services.
Site Welding Services Corporation, 475 Somers Road, East Longmeadow, MA 01028. Justin Howell, same. Welding business.
Tint Zone Corp., 79 Farmington Circle, Feeding Hills, MA 01030. Vyacheslav Babinov, same. Auto window tinting.
Renew Window Cleaning Inc., 2 Prospect St., Hatfield, MA 01038. Melody Edwards, same. Residential and commercial cleaning services.
Radishes Inc., 27 Margaret St., Monson, MA 01057. Alison Metcalfe, same. Manage a hair salon and spa.
Salsa Gypsies Inc., 80 Damon Road Apt. 7302, Northampton, MA 01060. Maricel Lucero, same. Organize and facilitate cultural trips to Cuba.
RW Gavin III Contracting Inc., 80 Plinn St., Pittsfield, MA 01201. Roger W. Gavin, same. General contracting.
Win Place Show Live Another Life Inc., 310 Shore Road, Pittsfield, MA 01201. Jennifer B. Sabino, same. The rescue of horses and rehabbing them for placement in appropriate homes.
Renegade Souls Inc., 490 College Highway, Southwick, MA 01077. Robert Plati, same. Charity motorcycle rides for various organizations and individuals needing funding.
Rudra San Inc., 90 Middle St., Springfield, MA 01104. Joshua Marrero, 965 Berkshire Ave., Indian Orchard, MA 01151. Operate a food truck that serves hot/cold food.
5 Starcarpet Inc., 106 Edgemont St, Springfield, MA 01109. Johnatan S, Alvarado, same. Floor installations.
711 Andy Realty Inc., 711 Boston Road, Springfield, MA 01119. Ravinder Arora, 191 Elm St., East Longmeadow, MA 01028. Real estate.
Teiba Inc., 392 Amostown Road, West Springfield, MA 01089. Falih Hasan Sofaji, same. Facilitates international trades.
The Great Pretenders Inc., 49 Simmons Brook Dr., Westfield, MA 01085. Patricia Labelle, same. To promote, sponsor, and support musical related programs and services to those assisting in and primary activities are by and for individuals that has been officially diagnosed with breast cancer.
Fun in the Sun
Summertime is a great time to get away, but in Western Mass., it’s also a great time to stick around and enjoy the many events on the calendar. Whether you’re craving live music or arts and crafts, historical experiences or small-town pride, the region boasts plenty of ways to celebrate the summer months. Here are a few dozen ideas to get you started.
Granby Charter Days
Dufresne Park, Route 202, Granby, MA
• June 14-16: This annual town fair celebrates the adoption of Granby’s charter in 1768. This year’s event promises an array of local vendors and artisand, arts and crafts, contests, tractor pulls and an antique tractor show, an oxen draw, helicopter rides, a petting zoo, live music headlined by Trailer Trash, midway rides, a pancake breakfast, fireworks, and more.
Worthy Craft Brew Fest
201 Worthington St., Springfield, MA
• June 15: Smith’s Billiards and Theodores’ Booze, Blues & BBQ, both in the city’s entertainment district, will host two dozen breweries, live music, and food served up by Theodores’, Thai Chili Food Truck, and Nora Cupcake Co. The event will also feature a home-brew contest; Amherst Brewing will make the winner’s beer and serve it at next year’s Brew Fest.
Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival
358 George Carter Road, Becket
Admission: Prices vary
• June 19 to Aug. 25: Now in its 86th season, Jacob’s Pillow has become one of the country’s premier showcases for dance, featuring more than 50 dance companies from the U.S. and around the world. Participants can take in scores of free performances, talks, and events; train at one of the nation’s most prestigious dance-training centers; and take part in programs designed to educate and engage audiences of all ages.
Out! for Reel LGBT Films
274 Main St., Northampton, MA
• June 22: Out! For Reel LGBTQ Films celebrates National Pride Month with a mini film fest at the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton. This year’s theme is “This American Lesbian Life: Uplifting (and Fun) Stories in Short Films.” Out! For Reel invites everyone in the community to enjoy these entertaining, inspiring, and award-winning films.
New England Food Truck Festival
1305 Memorial Ave., West Springfield, MA
• June 22-23: The New England Food Truck Festival, on the grounds of the Eastern States Exposition, is the largest event of its kind in New England, featuring close to 50 of New England’s premier food trucks, live music, and family fun. An array of entertainment is slated throughout the weekend, from local bands to face painting, to enjoy along with a taco, grilled cheese, or hundreds of other tasty options.
The Capitol Steps
55 Lee Road, Lenox, MA
• June 28 to Aug. 30: Since they formed in 1981, political satirists the Capitol Steps have recorded more than 30 albums and can be heard four times a year on NPR during their “Politics Take a Holiday” specials. They will release their new CD, The Lyin’ Kings, in time for their annual summer residency at Cranwell Spa and Golf Resort. Cranwell performances are nightly excluding Tuesdays throughout the summer.
Old Sturbridge Village Independence Weekend Celebration
1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge
Admission: $14-$28; free for children under 4
• July 3-4: At this celebration of America, visitors can take part in a citizens’ parade, play 19th-century-style ‘base ball,’ march with the militia, make a tri-cornered hat, and sign a giant copy of the Declaration of Independence. Children and families will enjoy some friendly competition with games, and a reproduction cannon will be fired. On July 4, a citizen naturalization ceremony will take place on the Village Common.
Main Street, Monson
• July 4: In 1979, a group of parishioners from the town’s Methodist church wanted to start an Independence Day celebration focused on family and community. The first Summerfest featured food, games, and fun activities. With the addition of a parade, booths, bands, rides, and activities, the event — now celebrating its 40th anniversary — has evolved into an attraction drawing more than 10,000 people every year.
Berkshires Arts Festival
380 State Road, Great Barrington
Admission: $7-$14; free for children under 10
• July 5-7: Ski Butternut may be best-known for … well, skiing, of course. But the property also plays host to the Berkshires Arts Festival, a regional tradition now in its 18th year. Thousands of art lovers and collectors are expected to stop by to check out and purchase the creations of more than 175 artists and designers, and take in a performance by ‘chamber-folk’ trio Harpeth Rising on July 6.
Brimfield Outdoor Antiques Show
Route 20, Brimfield
• July 9-14, Sept. 3-8: After expanding steadily through the decades, the Brimfield Antique Show now encompasses six miles of Route 20 and has become a nationally known destination for people to value antiques, collectibles, and flea-market finds. Some 6,000 dealers and close to 1 million total visitors show up at the three annual, week-long events; the first was in May.
1021 West St., Amherst
Admission: Festival pass, $236; tickets may be purchased for individual events
• July 11-14: Boasting an array of concerts, lectures, and workshops, Yidstock 2019: the Festival of New Yiddish Music brings the best in klezmer and new Yiddish music to the stage at the Yiddish Book Center on the campus of Hampshire College. The eighth annual event always offers an intriguing glimpse into Jewish roots, music, and culture.
Green River Festival
One College Dr., Greenfield
Admission: Weekend, $139.99; Friday, $44.99; Saturday, $69.99; Sunday, $64.99
• July 12-14: For one weekend every July, Greenfield Community College hosts a high-energy celebration of music; local food, beer, and wine; handmade crafts; and games and activities for families and children — all topped off with hot-air-balloon launches and Friday- and Saturday-evening ‘balloon glows.’ The music is continuous on three stages, with more than 35 bands slated to perform.
Northeast Balloon Festival
41 Fair St., Northampton, MA
Admission: $7.50-$15; free for children under 13
• July 12-14: This annual event, held at the Three County Fairgrounds, features balloon rides, walk-in balloons, nighttime balloon glows, and pilot meet-and-greets, as well as a vendor expo, craft beer, live music, and more. More than 30 of New England’s top food trucks will offer an array of tastes, while amusement rides and a petting zoo have been added for the first time.
Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival
300 North Main St., Florence
Admission: $5-$18, free for children under 6
• July 20: Celebrating its 26th anniversary this year, the largest Scottish festival in Massachusetts, held at Look Park, features Highland dancers, pipe bands, a pipe and drum competition, animals, spinners, weavers, harpists, Celtic music, athletic contests, activities for children, and the authentically dressed Historic Highlanders recreating everyday life in that society from the 14th through 18th centuries.
Ludlow Fish & Game Club
200 Sportsmans Road, Ludlow, MA
• July 27: Celebrate Ludlow began in 2000 as an extension of a parade and picnic in 1999 to celebrate the town’s 225th anniversary, and has continued annually ever since. The event, held at Ludlow Fish & Game Club and put on with the help of numerous local nonprofit organizations, typically features live bands, food, games, activities for children, and fireworks to cap off the evening.
Hampden County 4-H Fair
1305 Memorial Ave., West Springfield
• July 28: More than 200 youth from Hampden County, and 4-H members from Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire, and Worcester counties, will showcase projects they have made, grown, or raised during the past year. Events include a horse show and other animal exhibitions, a fun run, a talent show, a scavenger hunt, raffle drawings, arts and crafts, and more.
High Hopes Music and Arts Festival
One MGM Way, Springfield, MA
• Aug. 3: Paddle Out Productions is partnering with MGM Springfield to bring a day of music, food, and arts to the Plaza at MGM Springfield. Renowned Queen tribute band Almost Queen will headline the bill and will be joined by Roots of Creation’s Grateful Dub, a reggae-infused tribute to the Grateful Dead; the Eagles Experience; and local acts Atlas Grey and Joon.
Kids Safety Expo
1000 Hall of Fame Ave., Springfield, MA
• Aug. 3: Children and parents can combine fun activities with critical safety education during the 11th annual Kids Safety Expo at the Basketball Hall of Fame. Attendees will have meet-and-greets with area law-enforcement officers, popular characters, and local mascots, and the first 500 children who attend will receive complimentary bicycle helmets.
Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival
Court Square, Springfield
• Aug. 10: The sixth annual event will offer a festive atmosphere featuring dozens of locally and internationally acclaimed musical artists. More than 10,000 people are expected to attend. This internationally heralded festival has become a powerful expression of civic pride, uniting the region’s diverse cultural communities through music, arts, education, and revelry.
Downtown Get Down
Exchange Street, Chicopee
• Aug. 23-24: Downtown Chicopee will once again be transformed into a massive block party. Now in its fifth year, the event — which typically draws some 15,000 people to the streets around City Hall — will feature live music from nine bands, as well as attractions for children, local food vendors, live art demonstrations, and a 5K race on Aug. 24.
• Aug. 23-25: Celebrate Holyoke is a three-day festival that made its return in 2015 after a 10-year hiatus. This year’s festival, expected to draw more than 10,000 people downtown, will include plenty of live musical performances, food and beverages from local restaurants, activities for children and families, and goods from local artists, crafters, and creators of all kinds.
Red Fire Farm Tomato Festival
7 Carver St., Granby, MA
Admission: $5; free for children under 8
• Aug. 24: When the tomatoes are ripe and delicious in the August fields, Red Fire Farm hosts its annual Tomato Festival. Attendees can taste (and buy) a rainbow of tomato varieties grown on the farm and vote for their favorites. Bands play out back while visitors snack on food from local vendors, go on a wild edibles walk, pick cherry tomatoes, listen in on a cooking workshop, and more.
22 St. George Road, Springfield
• Sept. 6-8: Every year, St. George Cathedral offers thousands of visitors the best in traditional Greek foods, pastries, music, dancing, and old-fashioned Greek hospitality. In addition, the festival offers activities for children, tours of the historic St. George Cathedral and Byzantine Chapel, vendors from across the East Coast, icon workshops, movies in the Glendi Theatre, cooking demonstrations, and more.
Mattoon Street Arts Festival
Mattoon Street, Springfield
• Sept. 7-8: Now in its 47th year, the Mattoon Street Arts Festival is the longest-running arts festival in the Pioneer Valley, featuring about 100 exhibitors, including artists that work in ceramics, fibers, glass, jewelry, painting and printmaking, photography, wood, metal, and mixed media. Food vendors and strolling musicians help to make the event a true late-summer destination.
1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams
Admission: $48-$135 for three-day pass; free for children under 6
• Sept. 20-22: The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art is known for its musical events, and the Fresh Grass festival is among the highlights, showcasing more than 50 bluegrass artists and bands over three days. This year, the lineup includes Greensky Bluegrass, Calexico and Iron & Wine, Andrew Bird, Mavis Staples, Kronos Quartet, Tinariwen, Steep Canyon Rangers, and many more.
All Summer Long
Valley Blue Sox
MacKenzie Stadium, 500 Beech St., Holyoke
Admission: $5-$7; flex packs $59-$99
• Through. Aug. 1: Western Mass. residents don’t have to trek to Boston to catch quality baseball. The Valley Blue Sox, two-time defending champions of the New England Collegiate Baseball League, play close to home at MacKenzie Stadium in Holyoke. Frequent promotional events like postgame fireworks and giveaways help make every game a fun, affordable event for the whole family.
Bullens Field, Westfield, MA
• Through. Aug. 4: The newest baseball team to land in Western Mass., the Starfires, a member of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, is playing its inaugural season at Bullens Field in a city with plenty of baseball history. The league itself has been expanding and growing its attendance in recent years, and 30 of its players were drafted last June by major-league organizations.
Berkshire Botanical Garden
5 West Stockbridge Road, Stockbridge, MA
Admission: $12-$15; free for children under 12
• Through. Oct. 11: With 15 acres of public gardens, Berkshire Botanical Garden’s mission is to fulfill the community’s need for information, education, and inspiration concerning the art and science of gardening and the preservation of the environment. In addition to the garden’s collections, visitors can enjoy workshops, special events, and guided tours.
Crab Apple Whitewater Rafting
2056 Mohawk Trail, Charlemont
Admission: Varies by activity
• Through. Oct. 14: Wanna get wet? Crab Apple is a third-generation, multi-state family business that operates locally on the Deerfield River in the northern Berkshire Mountains of Western Mass. Its rafting excursions range from mild to wild, full- or half-day runs, in rafts and inflatable kayaks. In short, Crab Apple offers something for everyone, from beginners to more experienced rafters.
The Zoo in Forest Park
293 Sumner Ave., Springfield, MA
Admission: $5-$10; free for children under 1
• Through. Oct. 14: The Zoo in Forest Park, located inside Springfield’s Forest Park, is home to more than 175 native and exotic animals representing a large variety of species found throughout the world and North America. Meanwhile, the zoo maintains a focus on conservation, wildlife education, and rehabilitation, while offering special events like Zoo on the Go, guided tours, and discovery programs.
Six Flags New England
1623 Main St., Agawam, MA
Admission: $46.99; season passes $75.99
• Through. Oct. 27: Continuing an annual tradition of adding a new major attraction each spring, Six Flags New England recently unveiled Cyborg Hyper Drive, a spinning thrill ride in the dark. Other recent additions include Harley Quinn Spinsanity, the Joker 4D Free Fly Coaster, the looping Fireball, and the 420-foot-tall New England Sky Screamer swings. And the Hurricane Harbor water park is free with admission.
84B Old Main St., Deerfield, MA
free for children under 6
• Year-round: This outdoor museum interprets the history and culture of early New England and the Connecticut River Valley. Visitors can tour 12 carefully preserved antique houses dating from 1730 to 1850, and explore world-class collections of regional furniture, silver, textiles, and other decorative arts. Summer activities include educational lectures, cooking demonstrations, and exhibitions of period items and art.
The following business incorporations were recorded in Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties and are the latest available. They are listed by community.
Nova Leap Health Ma II Inc., 1593 Northampton St., Holyoke, MA 01040. Christopher Dobbin, 104-37 Wentworth St., Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. Provide personal care services, homemaking, non-medical companion care.
Pilot Recording Studios Inc., 1073 Main St., Housatonic, MA 01236. William Schillinger, same. Recording studio.
Northern Hope Foundation Inc., 30 Burlingame Road, Palmer, MA 01069. Syed M Naveed, 10 Kendall Dr., Northborough, MA 01532. Organization dedicated to improving the lives of children battling debilitating or chronic medical conditions through wish granting services and financial support to them and their families.
Nourish the Sheep Corporation, 152 North St 41, Pittsfield, MA 01201. Zachari Durso, 152 North St., Suite 41, Pittsfield, MA 01201. We connect services and build systems to streamline the process of getting assistance. We offer classes, training and other educational programs to clients and agencies.
Nurclan Inc., 180 Elm St., Suite I, Apt 229, Pittsfield, MA 01201. Nurbek Murzakhanov, same. General freight trucking service.
On Time Inc., 82 Wendell Ave. Ste 100, Pittsfield, MA 01201. Thiago Dos Santos, same. State-to-state transportation.
P&M Mechanical Inc. 27 Gilbert Road, Southampton, MA 01073. Pawel Misniakiewicz, same. HVAC services.
R L Chayle Inc., 176 1/2 Main Street Indian Orchard, Springfield, MA 01151. Renata Lancaster, same. Regulated and licensed sales of marijuana products.
River Valley Chiropractic, P.C., 1003 St. James Ave. Unit 2, Springfield, MA 01104. Spencer R. Burling, same. Chiropractic services.
Picture Perfect Ponds Inc., 1911 East Mountain Road, Westfield, MA 01085. Jeffrey Richard Paquette, same. Building and maintaining landscaping ponds.
JA Inspire Career Exploration Fair
May 28: Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts (JAWM), now celebrating its centennial anniversary, will host the JA Inspire Career Exploration Fair from 8 a.m. to noon at the MassMutual Center, 1277 Main St., Springfield. The JA Inspire program provides students with the opportunity to learn about careers from industry representatives in time to begin planning for high-school coursework and better prepare themselves for life after graduation. The program consists of four in-class lessons, plus the career exploration fair, all designed to engage students and help them explore education and career pathways, showcase careers in Western Mass. with a focus on high-wage and high-demand industries, and connect students with industry representatives who can share career advice and offer interactive exhibits during the career fair. Exhibitor space is still available at no charge. Exhibitors will present interactive and engaging career stations, while providing volunteer mentors to staff the career stations throughout the event. To reserve a career station, contact Connolly at (413) 747-7670 or [email protected] To learn more about the event, visit jawm.org/events or call (413) 747-7670.
Bay Path Graduate Spring Open House
May 29: Ready to take your career to the next level? A professional headshot and a graduate degree can help take you there. Attendees of Bay Path University’s spring graduate open house can meet with programs directors, faculty, admissions team members, and financial-aid representatives, and learn about the graduate-school admissions process, ways to finance an education, and more than 30 graduate degrees and certificates available at Bay Path University online or on campus, while enjoying light refreshments and entering to win raffle prizes. A professional photographer will also be at the event taking free headshots, perfect for use on a LinkedIn profile or résumé. The spring graduate open house is slated for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Bay Path’s Longmeadow campus at 588 Longmeadow St. For more information or to register, visit baypath.edu/visit or e-mail [email protected].
Girls on the Run 5K
June 2: Girls on the Run of Western MA will host its 5K celebration at 10:30 a.m at Springfield College. The mission of Girls on the Run is to inspire girls to be healthy, joyful, and confident using an experiential-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. Girls on the Run is a physical-activity-based, positive youth-development program that uses fun running games and dynamic discussions to teach life skills to girls in third through eighth grade. During the 10-week program, girls participate in lessons that foster confidence, build peer connections, and encourage community service while they prepare for an end-of-season, celebratory 5K event. Participation in the 5K event on June 2 is open to the public. About 950 girls from 68 school sites around Western Mass., as well as 280 volunteer coaches, have participated in the program this season. Around 2,500 participants are expected at the event. The pre-registration cost is $25 for adults and $10 for children and includes a Girls on the Run 5K event shirt. After a group warm-up, the event will begin on the outdoor track on Alden Street and will continue through the campus. Registration is open at www.girlsontherunwesternma.org, and will also be available the day of the event beginning at 9 a.m. For more information about the event, how to register, and volunteer opportunities, visit www.girlsontherunwesternma.org.
Family Business Center Leadership Summit
June 4: The Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley is gathering leaders of Western Mass. companies, agencies, and organizations to explore together the upcoming trends and forces all will need to respond to. About 100 local leaders will participate in a World Café-style session at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, led by strategic leadership coach Ingrid Bredenberg, that will result in an improved perspective on paths forward into the inevitable future. Tickets are $35 (there are also discount packages, sponsor opportunities, and roles as scribes and table hosts), and includes a networking-style dinner and a relevant, practical, stimulating exploration. The FBC is doing this to mark its 25th anniversary and first-ever leadership transition with an event that will creates wins and takeaways for all. For more information and to register, e-mail fambizpv.com/leadershipsummit.
Community Action Awards
June 13: Springfield Partners for Community Action will present a night of celebrating those in action within the community. The Community Action Awards will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Springfield Marriott Hotel and Conference Center. It will be a night of speakers, awards, handing out scholarships to Community Scholarship winners, and a silent auction for guests to participate in. Ticket purchase is available at communityactionevent.eventbrite.com. Springfield Partners for Community Action is the federally designated community action agency of Springfield whose mission is to provide resources that assist those in need to obtain economic stability and ultimately create a better way of life. For more information on the event, contact Natalia Arocho at (413) 263-6500, ext. 6516, or [email protected].
Paid Family and Medical Leave Seminar
June 20: 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. The draft regulations are just that: a draft, and subject to change prior to the issuance of final regulations. But we do know some things 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].
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 is profiled in the April 29 issue of BusinessWest and at BusinessWest.com. Also, the fifth Continued Excellence Award honoree will be announced. Limited standing-room-only tickets are still available for $75 per person. 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 Baystate Health, the Isenberg School of Management, MP CPAs, Mercedes-Benz of Springfield, Live Nation, MGM Springfield, Comcast Business, 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.
June 24-28, July 8-12: The Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative (BFMC) will host two summer filmmaking workshops: one for 15- to 19-year-olds from Monday, June 24 to Friday, June 28, and one for 11- to 14-year-olds from Monday July 8 to Friday, July 12. These week-long workshops will meet daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Berkshire Community College’s South County Campus, 343 Main St., Great Barrington. Early dropoff (9 a.m.) and late pickup (5 p.m.) is available by request. The purpose of the workshops are twofold: for kids to experience what it’s like to work on a real movie crew from creation of an idea to the final edit of the project, and for the group to produce a high-quality short film championed in every aspect by everyone in the group. The kids will work collaboratively — performing as actors on camera; running the lights, camera, and sound; editing; and marketing the film’s premiere to the community. On the final night, parents, friends, and the public will be invited to attend, and the young filmmakers will participate in a question-and-answer session with the audience. Each participant will walk away with a copy of the film and the experience of creating a professional-quality film together. Specific topics covered will include story structure, screenwriting, character development, cinematography, sound recording and mixing, lighting, editing, sound design, and marketing. The course is being taught by writer, director, actor, and educator Patrick Toole. All equipment will be provided. The cost for the week-long workshop is $325. Students will need to bring lunch. Class size is limited. To register online, visit shop.berkshirecc.edu or call (413) 236-2127.