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Business Briefs: Flying Cloud founder to step down; BTCF summer grants; name change for Donovan & O’Connor

As Flying Cloud’s founder and first executive director, Jane Burke has overseen the organization’s growth from an inventive experiment on a family farm in New Marlborough to an effective educational force reaching more than 3,500 young people.

Flying Cloud Institute founder Jane Burke to step down

Jane Burke
Jane Burke.

New Marlborough — Flying Cloud Institute has announced that Executive Director Jane Burke will step down at the end of 2016 after 32 years in the role.

As Flying Cloud’s founder and first executive director, Burke has overseen the organization’s growth from an inventive experiment on a family farm in New Marlborough to an effective educational force reaching more than 3,500 young people, as well as hundreds of teachers in science and arts programs via schools and other local partners throughout Berkshire County.

A search committee led by Flying Cloud’s board chair Amy Rudnick and supported by Jennifer Dowley of Dowley Associates has been formed to search for Burke’s successor. As part of the transition plan, Flying Cloud Institute has moved its office from its New Marlborough campus to Great Barrington and will be a tenant at the newly renovated St. James Place. The summer program remains on the New Marlborough campus. Lisa Lesser of the Framingham, Mass., school district has been hired to be director of Flying Cloud’s STEM in Schools program.


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BTCF tops $2 million in summer grants, scholarships

Sheffield — The board of directors of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation (BTCF) has announced the recipients of the second round of grantmaking for 2016. The foundation distributed a total of $430,378 in grants to individuals and nonprofits in the four-county region it serves; $496,786 in scholarships to graduating high school seniors; and grants totaling over $1.1 million from donors with charitable funds at the foundation.

In Berkshire County, the foundation awarded grants from the Fund for Williamstown, the James and Robert Hardman Fund, the New World Fund, the Simple Gifts Fund, five education enrichment funds, and 41 scholarship funds.

Education and enrichment: Grants to regional schools, school districts, and education programs in Berkshire County totaled $45,247. Select grant recipients include Berkshire County Head Start ($7,000) for a “Lunch and Learn” summer program for students in the Pittsfield Public Schools; Flying Cloud Institute ($3,000) to enhance STEM programming at Undermountain Elementary School and Mount Everett Regional High School in Sheffield; and Williamstown Elementary School ($4,000) for its math club.

Scholarships: A total of $303,986 in scholarships was awarded to Berkshire County students. Of that total, $86,750 was awarded by the Zenas and Winthrop Crane Scholarship Funds, which support graduates of Wahconah Regional High School; $72,500 by the McLaughlin-Wilson Scholarship Fund for residents of Monterey; and $17,000 by the Honorable James P. Dohoney Scholarship Fund for high school seniors in southern Berkshire County.

Arts and culture: Grants to arts organizations and arts programs in Berkshire County totaled $45,610. Select grant recipients include, Berkshire Pulse ($1,000) for an after-school dance program at Undermountain Elementary School; Community Access to the Arts ($2,000) to exhibit paintings and artwork by artists with disabilities at the Clark Art Institute; and WilliNet ($2,500) for a website project.

Health and human services: Nonprofits and individuals providing social and human services across the county received $45,706 in grants. Select grant recipients include Volunteers in Medicine ($5,000) to provide care and interpretation services to immigrant patients; Berkshire Food Project ($3,000) to serve free, hot meals during the week and provide emergency food assistance on weekends; and yoga instructor Connie Wilson ($400) to teach basic skills to elementary school students at New Marlborough Central School.

Environment: Grants to environmental organizations and programs totaled $20,855. Select grant recipients include Hoosac Harvest ($2,500) for its Subsidized Shares program which connects lower-income community members with farms, farmers, and locally grown food; Mass Audubon ($1,200) to offer an earth science program at Morris Elementary School; Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation ($800) to provide transportation to its Sheep Hill conservation property; and Greenagers ($3,000) for its environmental education projects.

Full, online lists of regional grants and scholarships are available.


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Donovan & O’Connor to undergo name change

Chris S Dodig
Chris S. Dodig.

North Adams — Donovan & O’Connor, LLP has announced that, as of Friday, July 15, it will be known as Donovan O’Connor & Dodig, LLP. The addition of Chris S. Dodig’s name marks the first name change for the well-known law firm since 1954.

Chris Dodig joined the firm in 1990 at age 24, after receiving his Juris Doctorate from Albany Law School, and currently focuses his practice on litigation including serious injury cases. He has been the firm’s first managing partner, as well as its director of marketing for the past 20 years. In addition to practicing law, Dodig has been a Big Brother and has served on the board of directors of the Family Life Support Center/Louison House; the Brien Center, the North County Development Corporation, and the Northern Berkshire United Way and has been elected to the Mt. Greylock Regional School Committee. He has been a coach in the Williamstown/Lanesborough youth basketball and softball leagues and participates regularly in the Community Reading Day at Lanesborough Elementary School. Dodig has also served as president of the Berkshire County Bar Association and is a member of the board of governors for the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys. Dodig resides in Lanesborough with his wife, Michelle, and daughters Erin and Grace.



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