City Briefing: Women’s leadership conference; Southampton library grant; Easthampton rain garden event


Staff Writer

Published: 05-18-2023 8:00 PM

EASTHAMPTON — The Chamber of Greater Easthampton is hosting a women’s leadership conference on June 16 featuring several speakers who will share their personal stories and insights on leadership, career development, and understanding the power of knowing one’s worth.

The conference, sheLEADS, will be held at the Williston Northampton School, 19 Payson Ave. in Easthampton. The daylong event is designed to empower women in all stages of their careers by providing them with the tools, knowledge, and connections they need to achieve their professional goals and offers opportunities to build networks and relationships to share insights with like-minded professionals from around the region, according to Moe Belliveau, executive director of the chamber.

The two keynote speakers of the event are Sabrina Antoine Correia, vice president of public engagement and corporate responsibility for New England at JPMorgan Chase, and Lindsay Barron LaBonte, Northampton branch manager of Applied Mortgage.

sheLEADS will also feature a panel discussion on the question: “Is Money Power?” Panelists include Karen Curran of Curran & Keegan Financial in Hadley; Diane Dukette, chief development officer for Cooley Dickinson Hospital; Ashleigh Beadle, vice president of human resources of New York-based computer support services firm Sourcepass; and Joanna Ballantine, vice president of philanthropic services for the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts in Springfield.

Attendees of sheLEADS also have the opportunity to participate in a workshop focused on the RACI framework, which stands for responsible, accountable, consulted and informed, as it pertains to communication and collaboration. That session is led by Tiffany Espinosa, executive director of professional and graduate education at Mount Holyoke College.

Registration for sheLEADS is now open. As of Friday, tickets will sell for $119. For more information, visit

Southampton library
receives national grant

Edwards Public Library in Southampton was selected as one of 240 libraries to participate in Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities, an American Library Association (ALA) initiative that provides community engagement and accessibility resources to small and rural libraries to help them better serve people with disabilities.

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The $10,000 grant will be used to perform a facility upgrade to energy efficient lighting that will improve the quality of library visits for visually impaired patrons and reduce the library’s energy consumption and costs, Library Director Johanna Rodriguez Douglass said.

“The lights in our stacks are quite dim. This grant will help our patrons with visual impairments to take advantage of our collection,” Douglass said in a statement. “It will help us improve our services and ensure that this population feels welcome and comfortable in our space.”

As part of the grant, Douglass will take an online course in how to lead conversations and will host a conversation with residents about resources for the blind and visually impaired.

The library has scheduled this event with Valley Eye Radio on Wednesday, June 14 from 3 to 4 p.m.

Those interested in getting involved or taking part in the conversation can contact Douglass at 413-527-9480 or visit for more information.

Easthampton to host
rain garden, stormwater
consultation event

Easthampton will provide consultation to residents on how to implement rain gardens and manage stormwater on their property Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at Parsons Street Park.

The event — geared to the New City neighborhood community, but is open to all — is designed to help residents take the next steps in managing stormwater and increasing climate resilience on their own properties, according to Assistant Planner Jamie Webb.

“While the city has taken active steps to plan for future upgrades and repairs to stormwater infrastructure systems, residents can also play an important role. By implementing strategies at home that better accommodate precipitation events and allow stormwater to infiltrate into the ground, residents can collectively contribute to improving the resiliency of stormwater management throughout the community,” Webb said.

Over the next few years, the public stormwater and drainage infrastructure in Easthampton’s New City neighborhood will receive substantial improvements to its infrastructure due to the aging public water, sewer and drainage systems. This event serves as a way to encourage residents to leverage the green infrastructure projects that will be made in the municipality by taking small steps of their own to attempt resident-scale resilient stormwater solutions.

Those interested in a free consultation can sign up at

More information is available at