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Business Briefs: BerkShares to offer ‘Entry to Entrepreneurship;’ new BTCF board members; Fairview named ‘top hospital’; Iredale VP joins VIM board

BerkShares' “Entry to Entrepreneurship” is business education that is community-supported, community-taught, and focused on inspiring ‘import-replacement’ businesses that will fill gaps in the local economy.

BerkShares to offer business planning course for young people

Great Barrington — For the second year in a row, BerkShares, Inc. will offer a business-planning course for young people ages 14 through 25. “Entry to Entrepreneurship” will take place once a week at Berkshire Community College’s South County Center beginning on Tuesday, January 26. The program will culminate with a public event on Tuesday, April 12, during which program participants will present their business plans and receive an award of 200 BerkShares each.

“Entry to Entrepreneurship” is business education that is community-supported, community-taught, and focused on inspiring ‘import-replacement’ businesses that will fill gaps in the local economy. The approach is a part of a larger initiative spearheaded by BerkShares, Inc. called “Community Supported Industry,” which builds on the community-supported agriculture (CSA) model to find ways that Berkshire citizens can identify local business opportunities and work together to turn them into enterprises that become part of the local economy.

Participating students will be guided through the process of writing business plans by members of the local business community. A different guest will teach the lesson each week, bringing a wide diversity of skills and experience to the course. Mentors will offer students one-on-one advice. Last year’s graduates developed plans for a honey mead company, a compost pick-up service, a sugar-free popsicle business, a line of natural soaps, and a mobile grocery market.

Online registration is now open and space is limited. A deposit of $25 or 25 BerkShares is required. Those with questions or interest in becoming a mentor or a funder are asked to contact Alice Maggio at (413) 528-1737 or


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Boyd, MacDonald join BTCF board

Ellen Casey Boyd
Ellen Casey Boyd.
Michael MacDonald
Michael MacDonald.

Sheffield — Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation (BTCF) has announced that two Berkshire County residents, Ellen Casey Boyd of West Stockbridge and Michael MacDonald of Pittsfield, have joined its board of directors.

Ellen Casey Boyd has served as event coordinator of the Literacy Network of South Berkshire, director of development at the Starlight Children’s Foundation of New England, and manager of corporate relations at the American Cancer Society’s Eastern Division. She is an advisory committee member of BTCF’s Denise Kaley Fund and a volunteer with Berkshire Hills Youth Soccer. A cum laude graduate of Skidmore College, she lives full-time in West Stockbridge with her husband and two children.

Michael E. MacDonald is the executive vice president and general counsel of Petricca Industries in Pittsfield. He was previously an associate at Cook & Shepard and a partner at Cain, Hibbard, Myers & Cook. He has served as president of Berkshire Theatre Group; Downtown Pittsfield, Inc.; and Downtown Investment Company. His awards include the Massachusetts Bar Association Community Service Award and the Colonial Theatre Community Service to the Arts Award.

BTCF has also welcomed two other local board members: Thaddeus Gray of Lakeville, Conn., and Richard Weininger of Claverack, N.Y.


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National healthcare organizations recognize Fairview Hospital

Fairview Hospital.

Great Barrington — The Leapfrog Group has named Fairview Hospital to its Top Hospitals list for the fourth year in a row. Fairview Hospital was one of 98 hospitals recognized and selected from hospitals participating in the Leapfrog Group’s annual survey.

Fairview Hospital also received a five-star ranking from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in its 2014 Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey. Of the 3,500 hospitals reviewed, only 251 received national recognition.

Doreen Hutchinson, Vice President of Operations and Chief Nurse at Fairview Hospital, stated, “Fairview has made tremendous progress and is committed to providing high-quality health care that earns the support and trust of our community. Achieving these distinctions drives us to continually strive for higher quality and service.”


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Iredale Mineral Cosmetics VP joins VIM Berkshires board

Dan Head Shot
Daniel Burke.

Great Barrington — Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires (VIM) has announced that Iredale Mineral Cosmetics, Ltd., Vice President of Finance and Controller Daniel J. Burke, CPA, has joined its board of trustees.

“We are thrilled to have Dan join our team at VIM,” said Arthur Peisner, chairman of VIM’s board of trustees. “His extensive financial expertise and management background will serve our organization well as we continue to grow in our second decade.”

Burke moved to the Berkshires in 2004 after working for a Connecticut-based manufacturer and distributor of eyeglass lenses and for public accounting firms. Burke recently finished a term on the board of the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce and will begin his work for VIM in mid-January. He currently serves on VIM’s finance committee.



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