Westfield State Hosts Successful Annual Chamber of Commerce Breakfast

Mar 27, 2024
Senator John Velis and an attendee of this year's Chamber of Commerce breakfast. Her name tag is unclear. He is dressed in a suit with a green tie, and she wears a white-and-green sweater along with a sheer, green shawl. Black glasses sit atop her head. In the background, white-clothed tables full of plates and food rests and one of the Colleen's Court women from Holyoke stands off to the side as she talks to someone else.

Senator John Velis, along with other state representatives, showed their support and spoke at this year's Chamber of Commerce breakfast event.

Westfield State University hosted its highly anticipated annual Chamber of Commerce breakfast on March 15, bringing together members of the Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce from Blandford, Chester, Granville, Huntington, Montgomery, Russell, Southwick, Tolland, and Westfield. The event, held in Scanlon Hall from 7-9 a.m., drew 150 attendees who gathered for a morning of networking and insights from esteemed speakers, all against the backdrop of St. Patrick's Day festivities.

The Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce has long been a driving force in fostering a thriving business environment by championing collaboration among a diverse range of businesses. Each year, their breakfast events are eagerly awaited, offering a platform for businesses to connect and gain valuable perspectives from community leaders.

The breakfast featured a lineup of notable speakers, including Mayor Michael McCabe of Westfield, State Senator John Velis, State Representative Kelly Pease, and State Representative Michael Finn. Dr. Michael Freeman, Chief of Staff at Westfield State, delivered a keynote address, emphasizing the importance of partnership in driving local economic growth and community development.

Adding to the celebratory atmosphere, local singer and songwriter Dee Reilly delighted the audience with lively performances of traditional Irish songs, in honor of St. Patrick's Day. Colleens Court from Holyoke also graced the event with their presence, further enhancing the sense of community spirit and collaboration.

The success of the breakfast was attributed to the support of sponsors such as Westfield State University, Tighe & Bond, and the Westfield Boys & Girls Club, whose contributions helped create a memorable experience for all attendees.

Reflecting on the event, Joanna Bigelow, Director of Event Management at the University, expressed satisfaction with the turnout and the positive energy that permeated the gathering. "It went great," she remarked. "A lot of people were in attendance, there was great music, a delicious breakfast, and everyone was decked out in green."

Amanda Waterfield, Executive Director of the Chamber of  Commerce, agreed with Bigelow’s sentiments. “We had a great turnout. The emcee, Mayor McCabe, and Rep. Finn told jokes that were light-hearted and well-received. We finished the program ahead of schedule, and people seemed to appreciate the chance to visit with one another after the breakfast wrapped up.”

Overall, the event reaffirmed the Chamber of Commerce's commitment to fostering a dynamic business ecosystem and strong community partnerships.