Business Briefs: BNRC conserves Parsons Marsh; new manager for Eat on North; BMM gains compliance officer; new board members for Berkshire Children & Families; Fill-the-Basket campaign

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By Tuesday, Oct 31 Trade and Commerce
The Berkshire Natural Resources Council has purchased Parsons Marsh and 88 acres of forested land along Cliffwood Street and Undermountain Road.

BNRC completes purchase of Parsons Marsh

Lenox — Berkshire Natural Resources Council has purchased the northern end of Parsons Marsh and 88 acres of forested land along Cliffwood Street and Undermountain Road, completing a long-planned initiative to conserve farmland, wildlife habitat and open space in Lenox’s Undermountain Valley.

According to BNRC, the next step in the project is permitting and planning for a universally accessible trail and boardwalk from the west side of the valley on Undermountain Road into Parsons Marsh. In coming years, BNRC will extend the trail system to allow for walks across the valley, and to create links to Kennedy Park. The organization expects that Lenox will be a key hub of its High Road initiative, a plan to create a countywide town-to-town trail network. The Undermountain Valley will create short nature walks for people in Lenox as well as serving as an arrival or jumping off point for longer-distance walkers.

The transactions are largely underwritten by a $433,000 grant from the Massachusetts subcouncil of the Housatonic River Trustee Council. Significant additional funding for the Undermountain Valley initiative was provided by BNRC donors. The town of Lenox, at its annual town meeting earlier this year, voted to support the trail and boardwalk project with a grant of $235,000 from its Community Preservation Act funds. Additional funding for the boardwalk will come from a Massachusetts Recreational Trails Program grant. BNRC will ask its supporters to help underwrite elements of the project that are not supported by the grant funds.

–E.E.

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Eat on North gains new manager

Paul Thayer. Photo courtesy Main Street Hospitality Group

Pittsfield — Hotel on North general manager Paul Clark has announced the appointment of Paul Thayer as the new restaurant manager of the hotel’s restaurant, Eat on North.

Thayer worked with the Williams Inn in Williamstown for the past three years, most recently as director of food and beverage. Prior to that he was the maître d’ hotel at Cranwell Spa & Golf Resort in Lenox. He has also worked at the Julien Restaurant at the Langham Hotel in Boston. In his new position, Thayer will collaborate with executive chef Ron Reda to lead the food and beverage team while managing all facets of restaurant and banquet operations. He is charged with strengthening the Eat on North brand, focusing on providing unparalleled hospitality to guests.

–E.E.

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Berkshire Money Management gains compliance officer

Jayne Bills. Photo courtesy Berkshire Money Management

Pittsfield — Berkshire Money Management has announced that Jayne Bills, a veteran of Citigroup Treasury, has been hired as its compliance officer. Bills will be dealing with the Securities and Exchange Commission and all of its outside regulatory requirements and internal policies, communicating BMM’s ethics principles and compliance regulations to the SEC as well as to BMM’s client community.

Bills attended Providence College in Rhode Island, where she met her husband, Dan. She graduated in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in quantitative economics. The couple lived in the New York City area for a decade and moved to the Berkshires after the birth of their son, August.

–E.E.

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Berkshire Children and Families elects new board members at annual meeting

Pittsfield — Berkshire Children and Families held its annual meeting Oct. 23 at Zion Lutheran Church, at which five new members were elected to its board of directors: retired educator and counselor Carole Siegel, community activist Shirley Edgerton, attorney Virginia Stanton Smith, retired University of Baltimore president and attorney Robert Bogomolny, and retired cardiologist Dr. William K. Levy.

The evening included testimonials from children and families who spoke of the impact of working with BCF. Pittsfield Public Schools superintendent Jason McCandless gave the keynote address, sharing the importance of partnerships in solving the many issues facing the community. Elaborating on the evening’s theme of partnership and innovation, BCF president and CEO Colleen Holmes stated, “BCF will need to look beyond our 130 years of success and risk being on unfamiliar ground. That’s poetic justice given that we ask those we work with and serve to take a chance in order to reach their goals.”

–E.E.

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Salisbury Bank to hold Fill-the-Basket campaign

Lakeville, Conn. — Salisbury Bank has announced that its tenth annual Fill-the-Basket food drive to help local food pantries feed those in need will begin Wednesday, Nov. 1. During the campaign, Salisbury Bank’s 14 branches will collect nonperishable food items, household supplies and cash donations to be distributed directly to food pantries serving each area. Fill-the-Basket will run through Friday, Dec. 22, in all branch locations.

–E.E.


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