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Thomas Burke to Chair Western Mass. Sports Commission

SPRINGFIELD — The Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau (GSCVB) announced that Thomas Burke will serve as the new chairman of the Western Mass. Sports Commission (WMSC), a division of the GSCVB. Burke replaces John Heaps Jr., president and CEO of Florence Bank, who served a two-year term as chairman.

Burke was the co-owner of Burke Beverage in Chicopee for 28 years before selling the company in 2004. Since 2005, he has served as a coach at Granby High School for varsity golf and girls basketball. Burke has been, or is currently, involved in a variety of civic organizations, including the Jimmy Fund Council of Western Mass., Spirit of Springfield, the Springfield Parking Authority, the Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Springfield Youth Commission.

“There is so much excitement surrounding Springfield and Western Mass., and I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of it,” Burke said. “Hosting upcoming events like the MIAA boys and girls basketball state championships in March 2016 and the UMass Holiday Showcase in December will prove to be great events for the area in the immediate future, only followed by bigger events like the International Jugglers Association Festival in 2018.”

The Western Mass. Sports Commission is a division of the GSCVB that seeks to increase the economic impact of sporting events in the area by coordinating regional sporting event bids, hosting and marketing the events, and raising the stature and awareness of the region as a sports and tourism destination.

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