HOLYOKE, Mass. (WGGB) — BusinessWest Magazine honored this year’s Difference Makers at a dinner tonight at the Log Cabin in Holyoke.
This year’s honorees include Michael Cutone, John Barbieri, and Thomas Sarrouf, organizers of Springfield’s C3, or Counter Criminal Continuum, Policing Program. The initiative has succeeded in bringing about reductions in many categories of crime, including larceny, weapons violations, burglary, and motor-vehicle thefts and has helped residents of the Brightwood section of the Springfield become more involved in the safety of their neighborhood.
Also recognized for his work tonight was John Downing, president of Soldier On. Downing has created a number of programs to improve quality of life for veterans returning from service including an initiative that provides veterans with the opportunity to transition from homelessness to home ownership through a program that enables them to purchase an equity stake in their homes.
Bruce Landon, president and general manager of the Springfield Falcons was honored as well for his efforts in enabling the city of Springfield to retain its hockey team which in turn has helped bring more customers to area businesses.
Another honoree tonight was the Sisters of Providence, represented by Sr. Mary Caritas, SP, and Sr. Kathleen Popko, SP. for their long tradition of service to the community, especially in healthcare, education, and social service. The Sisters of Providence is currently celebrating their 140th anniversary.
And the final person recognized was Jim Vinick, senior vice president of investments at Moors & Cabot Inc. He has a long record of service to the community including with the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame which he has served in a number of capacities. Vinick has also been involved with the Jimmy Fund, the fund-raising arm of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
Organizers say they look for people who embody the theory of what they call “The Butterfly Effect.”
“Using their personal and professional connections to create a ripple effect for change in our region,” explains Katie Campiti, Associate Publisher of BusinessWest.
The Difference Makers program was established in 2009.
At tonight’s event at the Log Cabin there was also a performance by the Children’s Chorus of Springfield.