Business Briefs: ‘Employer of the Year’ honors for BTG; cyber security workshop for nonprofits; certifications for Berkshire Money Management; BTCF awards grants; Greylock reports solid 2017

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By Wednesday, Apr 11 Trade and Commerce
From left to right: Massachusetts House of Representatives Intern Heather representing Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, D-Pittsfield; Berkshire Theatre Group ticket office manager Sophia Cordeiro; David Brien of Berkshire Pathways; Berkshire Pathways employment coordinator Jennifer Daniels; Berkshire Theatre Group ticket office associate Joanne Rosier; and Berkshire Theatre Group general manager Kait Stinchcomb at the Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition’s annual employment celebration at the State House in Boston on April 3. Photo courtesy Berkshire Theatre Group

Berkshire Theatre Group honored as employer of the year by Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition

Pittsfield — Berkshire Theatre Group has announced that it was honored April 3 as employer of the year for “providing valuable employment opportunities for the members of Berkshire Pathways,” at the Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition’s annual employment celebration at the State House in Boston. BTG ticket office associate Joanne Rosier was also honored as a Clubhouse member and BTG employee.

In addition, BTG received a congratulatory citation in recognition of its Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition Employment Award from the Massachusetts House of Representatives, offered by Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, D-Pittsfield. BTG also received a congratulatory citation and the Massachusetts Senate in recognition of “providing employment to members of Berkshire Pathways through work with Human Resources Unlimited and the Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition,” offered by Sen. Adam G. Hinds, D-Pittsfield.

–E.E.

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Nonprofit Center of the Berkshire to hold workshop on cyber security

Rob Horner. Photo courtesy Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires

Great Barrington — The Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires will present the workshop “Cyber Security” Wednesday, April 18, from 10 a.m. to noon at Berkshire Community College South County Center.

In the two-hour workshop led by IT consultant Rob Horner, participants will learn the most important computer security practices, what to do if their computers or email get hacked, how to secure email and browsers, common types of malware and anti-malware techniques, and other tips and tricks to prevent security issues and identity theft.

Located in Great Barrington, Horner and Ken Benson specialize in computer and device repair, technology purchasing assistance, setup and tutoring, networking, website design, and hosting and maintenance in the Berkshire-Taconic region.

The cost of the workshop is $35. For more information or to register, call (413) 528-4521.

–E.E.

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Berkshire Money Management gains new certifications

Allen Harris. Photo courtesy Berkshire Money Management

Lauren Russo. Photo courtesy Berkshire Money Management

Dalton — Berkshire Money Management’s founder and CEO Allen Harris and client success coordinator Lauren Russo have both achieved their Certified Value Builder certification after a combination of online, case-study and international training. CVBs are trained to work with business owners to utilize the Value Builder System, a specific methodology and software designed for business owners who want to retire by selling their businesses at a premium, increasing the profits and value of the business. In addition, Harris has also earned the designation of Certified Business Valuation Specialist by passing courses including “Evaluating Business Entities,” “Financial Statement Analysis” and “Classical Valuation Approaches.”

–E.E.

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Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation awards $6.5 million in grants

Sheffield — The Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation has announced that it awarded $6.5 million in grants and scholarships in 2017, an increase of over $500,000 from 2016. The foundation distributed an additional $6.7 million to more than 50 nonprofits with whom the organization partners in stewarding financial resources used to build healthy and vibrant communities.

Individuals, schools and nonprofits in Berkshire, northwest Litchfield, Columbia and northeast Dutchess counties received grants in a variety of interest areas including $2.5 million for education; $1.6 million for health and human services; $1.1 million for arts and culture; and $1.1 million for civic, environmental and religious activities.

New and existing donors contributed a total of $15.7 million in gifts in 2017. Those gifts, combined with asset growth through sound investment performance, helped BTCF surpass $150 million under management as the foundation marked its 30th anniversary.

–E.E.

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Greylock Federal Credit Union reports solid 2017 at annual meeting

Pittsfield — Greylock Federal Credit Union reported a solid 2017 at its 83rd annual meeting held March 27 at the Colonial Theatre. In its 82nd year of operation, Greylock’s core operating earnings were $6.7 million, up from $4.7 million the prior year, with total assets of about $1.16 billion. Greylock’s regulatory capital ended the year at 10.30 percent, up from 9.94 percent in 2016, improving upon Greylock’s “well-capitalized” rating as determined by the National Credit Union Administration. During 2017, Greylock grew its loan portfolio to more than $959 million and continued its position as the county’s top originator of mortgage loans and consumer loans.

In its 2017 Community Development Program, Greylock:

  • Made nearly 900 loans to credit-challenged borrowers;
  • Originated $1.6 million in affordable used-auto loans through a program that helps to boost credit scores;
  • Helped keep 30 families in their homes through foreclosure-prevention programs;
  • Created a Safety Net loan program providing affordable access to emergency funds for borrowers with challenged credit;
  • Offered interactive financial literacy training to nearly 5,700 students in western Massachusetts;
  • Provided more than 1,500 people with one-on-one financial wellness counseling sessions; and
  • Held 67 county-wide member-education classes at various locations, which were attended by nearly 1,000 people.

Other 2017 highlights included:

  • Launching a new online and mobile banking system, and adding more than 2,000 active new users;
  • Completing a merger with Landmark Credit Union in North Adams;
  • Expanding the Community Development Program to include new lending programs benefitting financially underserved members; and
  • Redesigning the website to offer a more community-oriented, user friendly look and feel.

At the end of 2017, Greylock posted the following results:

  • Over 82,000 member-owners;
  • $1.16 billion in total assets;
  • $959 million in total loans; and
  • $1.014 million in total deposits.

–E.E.


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