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'Green Drinks' hopes to stir up conversation on new economy

By G. Michael Dobbs, Managing Editor SPRINGFIELD "Green Drinks" doesn't refer to a glass of creme de menthe or a cup of green tea. Instead the phrase is the name of an international networking effort to encourage the growth of green technology and jobs on a local basis. Last week, thanks to Dawn Creighton, an account executive and employment specialist for Masslive, Springfield started its own chapter with a networking session at Theodore's on Worthington Street. The chapter meets from 5 to 7 p.m. at Theodore's on the fourth Tuesday of the month. According to the parent organization's Web site, "These events are very simple and unstructured, but many people have found employment, made friends, developed new ideas, done deals and had moments of serendipity. It's a force for the good and we'd like to help it spread to other cities." Creighton explained she had been going to the Northampton chapter of the international organization now in 424 cities in 42 countries for the past year and decided to bring it to Springfield. She explained that each chapter sets its own course and although socializing and building an audience is the primary aim for now, she didn't rule out having programming that would address green development. People who might think their business isn't part of the green movement are wrong, according to Creighton. "Every business is impacted by [the] green [movement]," she said. Creighton scheduled the meetings in Springfield so they wouldn't conflict with those of any other business group. John Majercak, the director of ReStore, the Springfield-based recycling home improvement center, has been in the forefront of the area's green movement for years and has been participating in the Northampton Green Drinks chapter. Majercak said there have been a number of connections made between the participants in the Northampton group. That group, which has been meeting for two years, has also allowed an interaction between the educational communities with local businesses. For more information, contact Creighton at dcreight@masslive.com.

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