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WNEC to host communications conference

SPRINGFIELD Local professionals and students will have the chance to network with and learn from leaders in business and media during Western New England College's (WNEC) Communication and Leadership Conference on April 7. The conference runs from 7:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. on the college's main campus. The conference features a variety of workshops that will help participants improve their leadership skills and better promote their messages. This year's event is an expansion of the college's communications conference that took place each January for the past six years. "We've expanded the workshop offerings in order to provide participants with more tools to advance their careers and their organizations," Brian Zelasko, director of community relations at WNEC, said. "This year's lineup of presenters is a who's who of local, regional and national experts in communication and media." The conference is presented by WNEC, the Valley Press Club, the Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts and the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield. The conference kicks off with the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield's April Breakfast Club meeting, featuring the results of a WNEC Polling Institute market survey on the image of the city of Springfield. Following the breakfast, conference participants will have the chance to choose from a range of workshops designed to sharpen skills, explore new technologies, and network with fellow professionals. A highlight of the event is the Media Roundtable, featuring reporters, editors and news directors from a wide variety of media outlets, including Reminder Publications' G. Michael Dobbs, sharing inside tips on how to generate publicity. Students will have the opportunity to learn where jobs are growing in the various communications industries, how to make a good first impression and take part in a simulated live television report. During the conference luncheon, the Valley Press Club will present its Lifetime Achievement Award to retired photojournalist Vincent S. D'Addario. For more than 40 years, D'Addario's iconic photographs captured important moments in the lives of the people of the Pioneer Valley, earning him numerous regional and national awards. Conference fees (including breakfast and lunch) are $140 for business professionals, $120 for members of non-profits and $70 for students. Discounts of up to $60 per person are available for those registering by March 23 and for two or more people from the same organization. Tickets to the Lifetime Achievement Award luncheon only are available for $25 each. To register or for more information, call 782-1249 or visit www.wnec.edu/communications.

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