Hevreh of Southern Berkshire is proud to present our fourth annual BerkshireSPEAKS™ program on October 22nd, 2017. This is an afternoon of inspiring presentations by Berkshire visionaires and trendsetters who are making a real difference in the lives of our area residents. BerkshireSPEAKS™ gives Berkshire organizations a platform to highlight, inform and educate others about issues plaguing our community today and to empower others to act to bring about real change. This year’s presenters include the Michelle Chappell, Homer “Skip” Meade, Andrew Morehouse, Norton Owen, and Ananda Timpane.
Michelle Chappell is the Executive Director of HospiceCare in The Berkshires. She leads a team of specialists who provide quality end of life care to hospice and pediatric palliative care patients. Michelle believes in facilitating and leading a staff that is skilled and compassionate about providing such essential care. Michelle has worked for Berkshire Health Systems for twenty-one years, previously as an Occupational Therapist, Rehabilitation Director and Nursing Home Administrator. Michelle received a Bachelor’s of Applied Science for Occupational Therapy from the University of Sydney in Australia where she was born and raised.
For more than 40 years, Homer “Skip” Meade, the W.E.B. Du Bois scholar and Cornell University graduate, has made his home in Western Massachusetts. He has taught in local and regional schools, served as a member of the W.E.B Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and been involved in crafting curriculum and teacher standards to ensure future academic excellence for a new generation of Americans.
Andrew Morehouse is responsible for the overall management of The Food Bank of Western MA. He also engages in public education and advocacy, carries out fundraising and “friendraising,” and serves on several non-profit boards of directors. Morehouse has served as the Executive Director since 2005 and has devoted his entire professional career to the non-profit sector and, specifically, to social and economic justice issues. Prior to The Food Bank, he was the founding director for ten years of a community development corporation devoted to asset-building strategies of, for, and by low-income residents in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Morehouse has also worked in Washington, DC in community-based programs in the Salvadoran refugee community and in public policy think tanks on U.S. foreign policy in Latin America. Morehouse has a B.A. in Anthropology from Bates College, a M.A. in Economics from the University of Massachusetts, and a M.B.A. from the Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Morehouse has traveled extensively in Latin America, and is bilingual and bicultural.
Norton Owen is a curator, writer, and archivist with more than 45 years of professional experience in the dance field. He has been associated with Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival since 1976. He has served as its Director of Preservation since 1990, overseeing the PillowTalks series as well as projects involving documentation, exhibitions, audience engagement, and archival issues. Norton is the curator of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive, an acclaimed online video resource that reaches audiences worldwide. In 2000, Dance/USA selected him for its Ernie Award, honoring “unsung heroes who have led exemplary lives in dance.” Mr. Owen, a contributing author to numerous book and publications, has also received honors from Dance/USA, Dance Films Association and the José Limón Dance Foundation, and is a past chair of the Dance Heritage Coalition and past President of the O’Donnell-Green Music and Dance Foundation. In recognition of his 40th anniversary at Jacob’s Pillow, the Norton Owen Reading Room was dedicated in his honor.
Ananda Timpane grew up in South County, attending the Stockbridge Plain School, the Great Barrington Steiner School and Hawthorne Valley High School in Ghent. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2002 and is a Masters candidate in the Social Justice Education Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. From 2004-2009, as an Outreach Educator at the Berkshire Violence Prevention Center, Ananda worked with South County youth to prevent sexual harassment, relationship and sexual violence. While at UMass Amherst, Ananda was the Education and Prevention Specialist at the Center for Women and community where she taught and supervised their Educator Advocate program until 2012. In her current role at RSYP, Ananda continues to support youth with the behind the scenes work it takes to run a small youth organization day-to-day. When she is not at RSYP, Ananda hangs out with her dog, Stella, reads, and keeps tabs on current pop culture trends with a healthy dose of TV watching.