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From left to right: Berkshire Natural Resources Council President Jenny Hansell; Rep. William 'Smitty' Pignatelli, D-Lenox, Tom Stokes; BNRC founding director George Wislocki; Jim Hatch; and BNRC board member Don McGillis at the June 10 unveiling of the redesigned trailhead kiosk at BNRC's Yokun Ridge South preserve. Photo courtesy Berkshire Natural Resources Council

Business Briefs: BNRC upgrades trails; Juntos Avanzamos designation for Greylock; award for Darrow School; home-buying seminar; Berkshire Workforce Board meeting

By Friday, Jun 21, 2019 Trade and Commerce

Berkshire Natural Resources Council upgrades trails for summer season

Lenox — On June 10, Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli, D-Lenox, joined members of the Berkshire Natural Resources Council board of directors, volunteers, staff and nature trail enthusiasts to unveil a redesigned trailhead kiosk and enhanced on-trail signage at BNRC’s flagship conservation reserve, Yokun Ridge South at Olivia’s Overlook. Similar upgrades have also been completed at 16 other BNRC trail sites across Berkshire County.

Each updated kiosk features a large map of the reserve and its trail system; notes on the natural, cultural and ownership history of the protected lands; and suggested activities for each property. Also available at the kiosks are free, newly revised paper trail maps for visitor use. Easier-to-read on-trail signage, mostly in the form of large brown signs with white letters, has also been installed on many trails.

“These kiosk and signage improvements, coupled with BNRC’s new Berkshire Trails app, will help everyone explore the richness of the Berkshires’ hiking trails and outdoor opportunities,” said BNRC President Jenny Hansell. At the unveiling ceremony, Pignatelli spoke to the crowd of the economic importance of conservation land and outdoor recreation opportunities in the Berkshires.

–E.E.

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Greylock Federal Credit Union’s community development team holds a flag depicting the credit union’s recent Juntos Avanzamos designation at a celebration held June 17 at Greylock’s West Street branch in Pittsfield. Photo courtesy Greylock Federal Credit Union

Greylock celebrates Juntos Avanzamos designation

Pittsfield — Greylock Federal Credit Union’s pledge to serve the Hispanic community recently received national recognition, and its Lee and West Street branches are now designated Juntos Avanzamos credit union locations by national community development organization Inclusiv. The community celebrated this award Monday night with nearly 300 people gathered outside Greylock’s West Street branch.

Gloria Escobar, a core member of Greylock’s community development team and a key driver of the Hispanic initiative, opened the festivities. The family-friendly event was complete with Hispanic foods, dance and music. The formal presentation of the proclamation included the story of Nancy Gómez, who left Colombia with her husband and children two years ago to settle in the Berkshires; a poem recited by Gómez’s daughter Guadalupe; and congratulatory remarks from Inclusiv, the Cooperative Credit Union Association, Mayor Linda Tyer and Greylock President John Bissell.

–E.E.

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Darrow School receives 2019 Circle of Excellence Award

New Lebanon, N.Y. — The Darrow School’s Designing Darrow campaign has received a 2019 Circle of Excellence Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education judges’ panel due to its approach to meeting the needs of a challenging fundraising opportunity. Not only has the program been successful, but the engaging and modern materials hold true the roots of school, thanks to Pittsfield, Massachusetts-based Hammill Design, which created the campaign’s graphics, logo and brochure.

More than 2,800 entries were submitted from throughout the world for this year’s Circle of Excellence Awards. Winners were selected based on factors including overall quality; innovation; use of resources; and the impact on the institution and its external and internal communities such as alumni, parents, students, and faculty and staff.

The multi-phase Designing Darrow objective provided major improvements to a number of campus facilities including a complete kitchen renovation, construction of a state-of-the-art performing arts center, development of a campus core green space, improved pathways, creation of a signature fabrication laboratory (the “Fab Lab”), and substantial upgrades to faculty housing.

–E.E.

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Salisbury Bank to offer seminar on first time home-buying, credit scores

Spring Burke. Photo courtesy Salisbury Bank

Great Barrington — On Wednesday, June 26, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Community Health Programs, Salisbury Bank will offer a seminar about buying a first home and credit scores.

The seminar will cover the basics that first-time homebuyers need to know, including saving for a down payment, loan application documents, mortgage qualification, credit scores and improving credit.

Presenter Spring Burke has been in the banking industry since she was 15, when she was part of her school’s work-study program. Her official career was launched in 2001 at Canaan National Bank, which was acquired by Salisbury Bank in 2004. Burke has been named a Five Star Mortgage Professional five years in a row by Connecticut Magazine.

The seminar is free and open to the public. Reservations are suggested but not required. For more information or to reserve a spot contact Genia Wilson (860) 453-3496 or evwilson@salisburybank.com and type “Home & Credit” in the subject line.

–E.E.

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Berkshire Workforce Board honors area businesses, elects officers

Berkshire Workforce Board’s board of directors President Eva Sheridan, Sen. Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield, and BWB director Heather Boulger at BWB’s June 13 annual meeting. Photo courtesy Berkshire Workforce Board

Pittsfield — The MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board held its annual meeting June 13 at Berkshire Health Systems, at which were highlighted several accomplishments including the college and career readiness programming, training initiatives, employer outreach and engagement, rapid response services to assist those impacted by company closings, and more collaborative efforts in meeting the demand for more highly skilled workers.

During fiscal year 2019, the BWB leveraged over $2.8 million, which convened 46 companies for human resource networking; evaluated 18 programs impacting 150 people; trained 50 individuals; placed 389 high school students in internships, assisted more than 3,174 students in college and career readiness activities; provided data to 120 organizations, which generated $1.6 million in new resources; convened the Berkshire Skills Cabinet, generating $1.5 million; assisted three companies in transition, impacting 150 workers; and the MassHire Career Center provided employment services to 3,900 job seekers and 321 employers.

Sen. Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield, was recognized as the 2019 Workforce Catalyst for his continued workforce advocacy, and assisted President Eva Sheridan in honoring 2019 Employers of the Year Stephen Boyd of Boyd Technologies and Mike Coggins of Haddad Auto Group; 2019 Educator of the Year Lisa Mendel of Mount Greylock Regional School; and 2019 Workforce Professional William Murray from the MassHire Berkshire Career Center. Tonja Mettlach from the Massachusetts Workforce Association provided an overview of statewide workforce initiatives.

In other business, the board of directors elected the FY ‘20 officers, who include President Eva Sheridan of Main Street Hospitality Group, vice presidents Stephanie Kinstle of Cranwell Resort and Albert Ingegni III of Berkshire Health Systems, youth council Chair Doug McNally of Frost Hollow Associates, treasurer James Brosnan of McCann Technical School, secretary Chelsea Tyer of Neenah Paper and member at-large Robert Keegan of Crescent Creamery.

Jerry Burke from Hillcrest Educational Centers, Rebecca Recker from Unistress and Sarah Alfonso from Canyon Ranch have been appointed by Mayor Linda Tyer to the board. The board thanked outgoing board member Michael Supranowicz from Hillcrest Educational Centers for his 17-year commitment.

The board also voted on the Workforce Business Plan for FY ’20.

–E.E.


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