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Business Briefs: Berkshire Trendsetter winners; Moulton joins Berkshire Grown; CHP welcomes Strickler; gift for GB Rotary Club; Arts Integrative Initiative

Berkshire Grown's board of trustees is pleased to announce that Margaret Moulton has assumed the role of executive director.

Berkshire Trendsetter Awards announced at 1Berkshire’s Celebrate the Berkshires

Pittsfield — With more 350 people in attendance,1Berkshire honored General Dynamics Mission Systems for Putting the Berkshires on the Map and presented the 2018 Berkshire Trendsetter Awards at the eighth annual Celebrate the Berkshires event Sept. 13 at the newly opened Proprietor’s Lodge. The Trendsetter Awards recognize businesses, organizations and individuals whose achievements and commitment have strengthened the local economy and helped the Berkshires grow.

In the Comprehensive Marketing Campaign category, Community Access to the Arts took home the award for its robust social media and marketing campaign, new website, newsletters and cohesive approach to brand. The Newcomer of the Year award was presented to the Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires for its high-impact first year in operations. The Brien Center was named Nonprofit Impact winner for its dedicated service in the behavioral health and treatment services sector. Winning the Creative Economy Standout award was WAM Theatre for being a champion of human rights, working for change by creating opportunities that focus on equal access via its dual mission. Berkshire Agricultural Ventures received the Growing/Advancing the Berkshire Economy award for its dedication to the growth of food entrepreneurs throughout the region. Krystle Gallo of General Dynamics was named the Under 40 Change Maker for her passionate and highly motivated work in local STEM initiatives that target young women. The Entrepreneur/Visionary of the Year award was given to Stephen Boyd for his visionary leadership as both the CEO and board director of Boyd Technologies in Lee; and his role as chair, president and founding partner of the Berkshire Innovation Center in Pittsfield. Closing out the evening, General Dynamics Mission Systems was recognized as the special honoree for Putting the Berkshires on the Map.

–E.E.

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Margaret Moulton joins Berkshire Grown as executive director

Margaret Moulton. Photo: Alison Sheehy

Great Barrington — Berkshire Grown‘s board of trustees is pleased to announce that Margaret Moulton has assumed the role of executive director of the organization.

Moulton’s long-standing commitment to local food and farmers and over 15 years of experience working in the field of community engagement have prepared her to lead Berkshire Grown into its third decade. Moulton has worked with the Trustees of Reservations as an engagement site manager and as a volunteer educator at Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, New York.

“We are thrilled to have Margaret at the helm of the organization. She is uniquely suited to engage growers and eaters alike in the discussion on the importance of local food,” said Allison Rachele Bayles, president of Berkshire Grown’s board of trustees. “More importantly, Margaret has the background in both programming and fundraising that Berkshire Grown needs. She understands the importance of developing creative fundraising strategies and long-lasting relationships with donors and community members.”

–E.E.

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Strickler joins Community Health Programs as chief communications officer

Betsy Strickler. Photo courtesy Community Health Programs

Great Barrington — Community Health Programs has named Elizabeth “Betsy” Strickler as chief communications officer for its countywide health and medical network. In this role, she will lead strategic marketing, communication and fundraising initiatives for the organization.

Strickler was most recently the director of external relations for Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge. She previously worked as director of admission at the Darrow School in New Lebanon, New York, and as director of sales and marketing at Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort in Hancock. She has also worked as an account executive at Lenox-based advertising agency Winstanley Partners, and in the education sector at Miss Hall’s School in Pittsfield, Northfield Mount Hermon, and the University of New England in Maine.

Strickler earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. She is also a graduate of the Berkshire Leadership Program. She currently serves on the board of 1Berkshire and on the steering committee for the Berkshire Initiative for Growth. She is a past chair of the Berkshire Visitors Bureau and a past steering committee member of the Berkshire Leadership Program and Girl Scouts of Western Massachusetts. A native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, she lives in Lee with her family.

–E.E.

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Rotary Club receives $100,000 gift for student scholarships

Great Barrington — The Great Barrington Rotary Club was honored to receive a $100,000 gift from longtime Rotarian William Dempsey. The gift, which will support student scholarships, was received shortly before Dempsey’s death July 22.

Each year the Rotary awards approximately $60,000 to graduates of Monument Mountain and Mount Everett regional high schools. Dempsey’s gift has been placed into the club’s Student Assistance Fund, from which the club has awarded over $1 million in college scholarships over the past 30 years. The William F. Dempsey Scholarship will be awarded each year to a student who plans on pursuing a career in technology.

–E.E.

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Teaching artist Tom Lee and program director Mary Anne Lee addressing Arts Integration Initiative teaching artists Aug. 22 at the Ellsworth Kelly studio in Spencertown, N.Y. Photo courtesy Art Omi

Art Omi, Ellsworth Kelly Foundation partner for arts integration

Ghent, N.Y. — Organized by Art Omi in partnership with and funded by the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation, the $100,000 grant-based Arts Integration Initiative project in the Ichabod Crane and the Taconic Hills school districts brings teaching artists and classroom teachers together to integrate music, visual arts, dance, digital media and drama into existing classroom curriculum in an effort to improve academic performance and add creativity, critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration skills.

The initiative is a research-based approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate understanding of an academic subject through an art form. Under the guidance of classroom teachers and teaching artists, students engage in a creative process that connects an art form and another subject area and meets evolving objectives in both.

Over the summer, educators from the two districts participated in a weeklong intensive and learned valuable tools for bringing the arts into their classrooms. In addition to workshops with master teaching artist Tom Lee and education specialist Lisa Donovan of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, Massachusetts, the teachers took part in hands-on art-making workshops at Art Omi, Olana State Historic Site in Hudson, and the Ellsworth Kelly studio in Spencertown.

“The aim is to develop a sustainable model so that educators continue to develop creative habits that allow students to access learning from multiple points of entry and through multisensory experiences. Arts integration is not merely a teaching style, but rather an ongoing practice of looking, seeing, wondering, thinking, and responding for both teachers and students in a creatively supportive environment,” said Art Omi’s education director Sasha Sicurella.

–E.E.

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