Berkshire Nonprofit Award winners feted at breakfast
Pittsfield — The winners of the Berkshire Nonprofit Awards were announced Tuesday at a breakfast presentation and celebration at the Country Club of Pittsfield. A sold-out crowd of 240 honored 21 finalists, with Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli, D-Lenox, acting as emcee. Held by the Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires in partnership with the Berkshire Eagle, the inaugural event paid tribute to the nonprofit sector’s employees and volunteers for their outstanding commitment and contributions to the Berkshire community.
In April, a panel of judges reviewed over 60 nominations and chose three finalists and one winner in each of seven categories. The winners are Kristine Hazzard of Berkshire United Way for Executive Leadership, James Mahon of Berkshire Food Project for Board Leadership, June Wolfe of Construct Inc. for Super Staffer, Jay Weintraub and Mark Lefenfeld of Backyard Bounty of the Berkshires for Rising Star, Amy Guachione of Berkshire Children & Families for Volunteer, Kelly Akroman of Moments House for Unsung Hero, and Carole Siegel of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College and Berkshire Children & Families for Lifetime Achievement. Berkshire Nonprofit Award winners received framed posters featuring representations of themselves on the cover of an imaginary “Berkshire Nonprofit PEOPLE” magazine; a citation from the Commonwealth signed by Sen. Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield; and a Blue Q tote bag sporting the expression “Living the Dream.”
Said Wolfe: “My favorite thing about working for a nonprofit is the level of commitment you find in this field. No one is here for the pay or the bonuses or the benefits. People work here because they are trying to make positive change.”
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Main Street Hospitality appoints Robert Mickey as senior director of regional operations
Mickey brings 20 years of hospitality experience to MSHG. His tenure at Old Edwards Hospitality Group in Highlands, North Carolina, was preceded by work at the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, as vice president of guest relations. Mickey also served as director of room operations at the Sea Island Company in St. Simons Island, Georgia.
In his new role for MSHG, Mickey will focus on leading operations at the Red Lion Inn while providing oversight and support to MSHG properties the Porches Inn at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Hotel on Northin Pittsfield and Briarcliff in Great Barrington.
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Community Health Programs welcomes Dr. Lisa Nelson
Great Barrington — Family medicine physician Dr. Lisa Nelson has joined the medical team at Community Health Programs’ Great Barrington Health Center.
Nelson, a Lenox resident, has practiced family medicine since 2005 in Pittsfield, and has served as director of medical education at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge. She has also served as medical director for the Nutrition Center in Pittsfield. She earned both her undergraduate and medical degrees at UMass Medical School. She completed her internship and residency in family medicine at Boston Medical Center and South Boston Community Health Center.
Nelson is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Massachusetts Academy of Family Physicians. She also serves on the faculty of UMass Medical School and the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. She is also lead faculty and coordinator of continuing medical education programs at Kripalu. She is co-author of “Yoga and Diabetes,” and her practice focuses on the prevention and treatment of chronic disease through changes in diet, exercise and stress.
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Roots Rising to shift to single managing organization
Pittsfield — Developed via collaboration by Alchemy Initiative and Berkshire Botanical Garden and launched in 2017, the farm-based youth development program Roots Rising will become a program of Alchemy Initiative, with BBG stepping aside as a program partner. Now that the program is in operation, the two organizations have agreed that a shift to a single managing organization will ensure the most efficient oversight of the program’s continued growth and success.
Roots Rising’s founding co-directors Jessica Vecchia of Alchemy Initiative and Jamie Samowitz of BBG will continue to manage the program, as Samowitz moves her employment to Alchemy Initiative. Roots Rising will now have three seasonal farm crews each year, increasing the number of teens hired per year from 24 to 36. Recruiting is currently underway for the 2018 summer farm crew 2018.
In 2017, Roots Rising interviewed 120 applicants and hired 24 teens; devoted 4,260 hours of labor to strengthening the local food system; and helped expand the county’s only mobile food pantry, stocking and distributing 3,600 pounds of food each week to neighbors in need. Community support has played a critical role, including a successful crowdfunding campaign that brought in $30,000 and an award of $10,000 in a nationwide vote taken by the members of the Garden Club of America and sponsored by the Lenox Garden Club.
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Williams College appoints directors of financial aid, admission
Williamstown — Williams College has announced the appointment of Ashley Bianchi as director of financial aid and Sulgi Lim as director of admission. Bianchi is currently the director of financial aid at Lafayette College and previously worked at Rhodes College and the College of Charleston. Lim currently serves as the deputy director of admission at Williams, where she has been a member of the college’s admission team since 2007.
Bianchi, who will begin her appointment Monday, July 30, comes to Williams with experience in fostering socioeconomic diversity among student populations, increasing the number of Pell Grant recipients, reducing loan indebtedness and assisting undocumented students’ transitions to college. At Lafayette, she has also played key roles in two presidential working groups, the Student Support Task Force, selecting scholarship students, and serving as a Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment (SASH) advocate. She received her bachelor’s degree in educational psychology from Mississippi State University and her master’s degree in higher education and student affairs from the University of South Carolina.
Lim, a 2006 Williams graduate, started her career at McKinsey & Company before joining the college’s admission team. During her tenure, she has provided strategic and operational leadership for student recruitment and selection, and played a key role in the college’s international recruitment efforts and partnership with QuestBridge. As the architect of the Williams’ Slate admission software platform, Lim reimagined how and what information the admission team should capture from internal and external data sources, and designed an innovative system that is accessible to users and for reporting and research. She’s expected to earn her Master of Business Administration from Case Western Reserve University in 2019.