Our Sincere Appreciation to Our Keynote Speakers

  • Congressman Richard Neal
    Representative June Speakman State of Rhode Island General Assembly
    Senator Jake Oliveira of Massachusetts Legislature


    Congressman Richard Neal was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1988 and served his first two terms on the House Banking Committee before joining the Ways and Means Committee in 1993.  In January 2019, Congressman Neal was elected by his colleagues to assume the esteemed position of Chairman, marking the first time since 1875 that a representative from Massachusetts had done so.

    Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Congressman Neal and the Ways and Means Committee worked tirelessly to bring relief to the American people.  The first relief bill, the CARES Act, included several provisions including federal unemployment compensation, economic assistance payments, and telehealth flexibility.

    Chairman Neal is the dean of both the Massachusetts Delegation and the New England Congressional  Delegation.  He is an At-Large Whip for the House Democrats and is the Democratic Leader of the Friends of Ireland Caucus.

    Congressman Neal has received many awards and honorary degrees in his career including an Honorary Degree of Humane Letters from Mount Holyoke College where he is a former trustee and an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from Ulster University in Northern Ireland.  Prior to his time in Congress, Congressman Neal was a high school teacher, member of the Springfield City Council, and Mayor of the City of Springfield from 1984 to 1988.




    Sentor Paul Mark of the Democratic Party is a member of the Massachusetts State Senate, representing Berkshire, Hampden, Franklin, and Hampshire District. He assumed office on January 4, 2023. His current term ends on January 1, 2025.

    Senator Mark earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance from Southern New Hampshire University in 2005, a master’s degree in labor from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2007, a juris doctor from Suffolk University in 2009, an associate degree in telecommunications from Springfield Technical Community College in 2010, and a doctorate in law and public policy from Northeastern University in 2010. Mark’s career experience includes working as an attorney with the Law Offices of Paul W. Mark, a visiting professor with the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and an adjunct professor with Greenfield Community College.

    Senator Mark has been assigned to numerous committees since his election and is currently serving on the following committees:

  • Joint Committee on Advanced Information Technology, the Internet, and Cybersecurity
  • Joint Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures, and State AssetsVice Chair
  • Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities Joint Committee
  • Higher Education Joint Committee
  • Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Joint Committee
  • Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development Joint CommitteeChair
  • Transportation Joint CommitteeVice Chair
  • Veterans and Federal Affairs Joint Committee
  • https://ballotpedia.org/Paul_Mark


Senator Jake Oliveira proudly serves the residents of the Hampden, Hampshire & Worcester District, which includes twelve communities, including his hometown of Ludlow. 

Jake has been working in public service for two decades. He started his career in public service in his junior year at Ludlow High School, serving as the student representative to the Ludlow School Committee. He followed that up with four years as a member of the Ludlow Town Meeting and twelve years as an elected Ludlow School Committee Member. 

Through his work on the school committee, Jake was elected as the youngest President of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees in 2016. In addition, he served as a member of the National School Boards Association Board of Directors and a board member of the Lower Pioneer Valley Collaborative that oversees vocational/technical education for Ludlow students.

Jake was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 2020, where he served the 7th Hampden District for one term before being elected Senator in 2022. Now in the Senate, Jake is the Chair of the Municipalities and Regional Government Committee and Vice Chair of both the Public Health Committee and the Tourism, Arts & Cultural Development Committee.  

Jake is an alumnus of Framingham State University, where he served three years as a member of the university’s Board of Trustees. He was awarded Business West’s 40 Under 40 distinction in 2019, and he currently resides on East Street in Ludlow, next door to his grandmother, Lena.