Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson; Columbia County Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Jeffrey C. Hunt, CCE; Greylock President/CEO John L. Bissell; and the first three members of Greylock’s Hudson branch team: manager Kasey Nobles; assistant manager Shanatia Bygrave, and branch specialist Victoria Bemiss at the recent groundbreaking of Greylock’s first New York state branch in Hudson. Photo courtesy Greylock Federal Credit Union

Business Briefs: Greylock expands to Hudson; Downtown Pittsfield ambassadors; Villages of the Berkshires grant; Jacob’s Pillow commission; new Mezze co-cowners

Villages of the Berkshires is launching an effort to provide volunteer services such as friendly visitors or companionship, local transportation, technology support, and basic household repairs and assistance to seniors in the Berkshires.

Greylock Federal Credit Union expands to Hudson

Hudson, N.Y. — Greylock Federal Credit Union has broken ground on a multimillion dollar, full-service branch at 464 Fairview Ave. Participants in the golden shovel ceremony included Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson; Columbia County Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Jeffrey C. Hunt; Greylock President/CEO John L. Bissell; and the first three members of Greylock’s Hudson branch team: manager Kasey Nobles; assistant manager Shanatia Bygrave, and branch specialist Victoria Bemiss.

PWCampbell Rendering of Greylock Federal Credit Union’s future branch on Fairview Avenue in Hudson, N.Y. Image courtesy Greylock Federal Credit Union

The chamber of commerce has been working with Greylock for more than a year through the research stage of this project, and Bissell indicated that Greylock already has a sizable membership in Columbia County. “More than 1,600 folks in Columbia County have already joined Greylock, entrusting us with nearly $30 million in loan and deposit relationships,” Bissell said.

The new branch will include space for personal financial education, coaching and community meetings. Greylock’s branch professionals will act as financial coaches to help address the needs of underserved and underresourced members of the community by providing free financial counseling, educational opportunities, and specialized financial products designed to build credit and grow family assets.

The new facility will also include three drive-up teller windows, an ATM, multiple teller stations, private member service offices, a waiting area with coffee bar, and a children’s space.

The planning, research, design and construction has been overseen by PWCampbell of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The construction is scheduled to take six months to complete. However, due to delays from COVID-19, Greylock will set an official opening date at a later time.

–E.E.

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Downtown Pittsfield ambassadors officially on the streets of downtown Pittsfield

Downtown Pittsfield Inc. ambassadors Melvin Wright and Amarie Starr. Photo courtesy Downtown Pittsfield Inc.

Pittsfield — Since July 1, pairs of friendly faces have been taking to the streets of downtown Pittsfield to be approachable sources of directions, information and assistance for residents, visitors, business owners and the general public during the summer. This year, thanks to sponsorship by the city of Pittsfield, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, Lee Bank and Pittsfield Garden Tour, Downtown Pittsfield Inc.’s Downtown Pittsfield Ambassadors will be on the streets through Labor Day at peak times for visitors.

In addition to sharing information to help visitors and residents find what they need, the ambassadors are trained and certified by the Pittsfield Police Department in CPR, AED, first aid and public safety protocol. Ambassadors observe street activity and, when needed, call for assistance via police radios, with which they are equipped. Ambassadors walk in pairs along the downtown loop, donning distinctive uniforms identifying them as official representatives of Pittsfield and greeting everyone with a friendly hello.

The Downtown Pittsfield Ambassador Program is a partnership between Downtown Pittsfield Inc. and the Pittsfield Police Department. The program addresses increased visitor presence during the summer and helps to relieve the demand on police presence downtown. It is based on similar models implemented in other cities around the country. This year, the program will focus on downtown’s response to COVID-19 by providing masks to people who do not have them, picking up trash, and helping guide foot traffic to places to eat and shop.

–E.E.

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Villages of the Berkshires launches services, receives grant

Lenox — Villages of the Berkshires is launching an effort to provide volunteer services such as friendly visitors or companionship, local transportation, technology support, and basic household repairs and assistance to seniors in the Berkshires. The program will be initially available in the towns of Lenox, Stockbridge, Lee and Pittsfield and it is planned to be expanded to the towns of Sheffield, Alford, Great Barrington and Egremont in the near future.

Backed by a recently announced grant from Community Care Corps, a funding source established by the Administration for Community Living, Villages of the Berkshires will build and train a base of local volunteers to assist older residents under a program to be established in cooperation with Berkshire Community College and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College.

Villages of the Berkshires President Howard Shapiro said: “After more than two years of effort in organizing Villages of the Berkshires and being set back by the unforeseen restrictions imposed to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Villages is launching its program to serve the everyday needs of older Berkshire residents who make up over 40% of the county’s population. The Villages is pushing forward so that we are in a position to increase our services when and as applicable state protocols for the COVID-19 virus allow. And we are especially honored that we were the only Village in the country — including the Village network itself — to receive a grant. ”

–E.E.

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Jacob’s Pillow gains the Joan B. Hunter New Work Commission

Becket — Jacob’s Pillow has announced a new commissioning endowment to provide annual support for a choreographic artist and the creation of a new work. The Joan B. Hunter New Work Commission was created by her husband, Jim, to commemorate the birthday of the longtime Jacob’s Pillow trustee and former board of trustees chair.

The inaugural recipient will be selected and announced in September 2020. The $15,000 awarded to an artist chosen by Jacob’s Pillow annually will support research and development of a new work of dance, continuing to grow a major thread of the Pillow’s current strategic plan: boosting the artistic core through Vision ‘22. The new work may or may not premiere at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.

This commissioning support increases the Pillow’s ability to support choreographic careers and grow the body of works by dance artists worldwide while adding to opportunities for artists.

–E.E.

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Mezze Restaurant Group announces new co-owners

Linda Stripp. Photo courtesy Mezze Restaurant Group

Williamstown — In recognition of their many years of service and their importance to the future of the business, co-owners Nancy Thomas and Bo Peabody have announced Linda Stripp and Nicholas Moulton will become new co-owners of Mezze Restaurant Group.

Stripp has been working for the organization for 20 years, starting with the team in 2000 and, as director of Mezze Catering + Events, she is charged with shaping the overall direction of catering operations. Stripp is primarily focused on planning and managing special events including weddings, rehearsal dinners, cocktail parties, corporate functions and galas. Her lead role is in client relations, working with catering clients at every stage of planning.

Chef Nicholas Moulton. Photo courtesy FED Guides

Moulton has been executive chef of Mezze Restaurant Group since 2014. An alumnus of Mezze Bistro where he worked for four years as sous chef, Moulton is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and is dedicated to highlighting local foods from the Berkshire region. A two-time champion on Food Network’s “Guy’s Grocery Games,” he has earned the celebrated title “Veggie King” and competed on the show once again this past Wednesday.

–E.E.