For the past three years, I have helped with the TEDxSpringfield event held at my company’s headquarters in Springfield, MA. While my involvement is very minimal other than the day before and day of the event, I get to attend and interact with the speakers. These two days are my favorite of the year as far as work is concerned. The speakers are fantastic and the topics, for the most part, are very energetic and/or moving. Yesterday was no exception.

The day started off with Sylena Echevarria who works for my company. Sylena’s description of packing her clothes into a plastic bag as she and her mother escaped from her alcoholic and abusive father. They left as soon as his abuse spread from her mother to her. Her mother then proceeded to eventually take care of her father, along with her new husband, until he died. It was a true story of forgiveness.

John “Ringo” Longo then spoke about music and how he has woven music into his life. Next, Bill Miller brought many tears to the audience with his talk about homelessness and how when he started, he was told that sometimes you just have to walk over some homeless to help others. The day continued with many speakers including Nick Cummings who discussed getting “unsad” as he dealt with medical woes as he grew up. The day ended with Angela Lessier who discussed crawling into bed for a month and living off credit cards while she figured out how to create, then start her new business. Each speaker was motivating and had a wonderful story to bring to the audience.

One of the best things about attending this conference each year is getting to have one-on-one conversations with attendees and presenters. It was an exceptional day.

TEDxSpringfield 2015 Angela LussierTEDxSpringfield2015 Nick Cummings TEDxSpringfield2015 - Sylena

16. October 2014 · Comments Off on Listening to Farnoosh Torabi testing out the #TEDxSpringfield stage. · Categories: fall, Instagram, Massachusetts, Springfield

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After a week of spring like weather, it looks like winter has it’s firm grip on New England. We have been quite lucky this winter, only a few weeks of cold and only a few snowstorms. Thursday, I decided to work from home since I had to get my annual physical. The snow came that afternoon and made for a terrible commute from what my co-workers told me on Friday. Springfield, MA has a terrible reputation for managing their roads during the winter, so I was not expecting any changes this year. The Friday commute was very easy, right up to the point where I left I-91 and turned onto Springfield streets.

It was at that moment that my commute turned to more of an ice dance. While I have driven on many icy roads in my life, this was, by far, the worst. I settled in quickly, but continued to worry about someone else sliding into me. There was a full inch or more of ice over the entire road surface – clear indication that Springfield did nothing since the snow had started. Happily, I made it to work unscathed (both me and the car). Fortunately, the city workers had cleared the roads by the time I headed home. I’m certain that there were a few angry calls to the city that day, likely from accident victims.

There are times like this that I feel fortunate to live in a small town, where roads are cleared before I get out of bed, and continuously throughout an winter weather event. We made the right choice to move here – and this is just one more reason!