Berkshire Natural Resources Council names Hansell as new president
Pittsfield — The Berkshire Natural Resources Council’s board of directors has appointed Jenny Hansell of Sharon, Connecticut, as its next president. Hansell will succeed Tad Ames, who will step down from the organization at the end of the calendar year.
Hansell has served as the executive director of the North East Community Center in Millerton, New York, since 2001. The center serves northeastern Dutchess County, New York, with programs for people of all ages including the Millerton Farmers Market, a Dial-A-Ride bus, afterschool programs, job training and paid internships for teens and young adults, support for families in crisis and public events such the Spring for Sound music festival. All of the center’s current programs were developed under Hansell’s leadership.
“It is an honor to have the opportunity to join BNRC at this critical moment in its evolution so I can help bring The High Road to fruition,” said Hansell. “I am looking forward to the chance to get to know and work with the organization’s talented staff, board, volunteers and community partners, to walk the trails from New Marlborough to Williamstown, and play a part in the preservation of our beautiful Berkshires for generations to enjoy.”
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Pittsfield police chief joins Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s board
Sheffield — Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation has announced that Michael Wynn of Pittsfield has joined its board of directors.
Wynn has been serving Pittsfield for more than 20 years and has led the Pittsfield Police Department as its chief of police since December 2007. He began his career in 1993 as the first director of the Westside Neighborhood Resource Center. He attended police academy in 1995 and joined the Pittsfield Police Department in 1996. In 2003 he was selected to serve as a Drug Enforcement Administration Leadership Fellow, working in the DEA’s leadership development unit in Quantico, Virginia. Wynn is a certified trainer in disciplines including defensive tactics, patrol procedures, cultural diversity, bias crimes, leadership and workplace discrimination. As the president of Victory Force Options Training, he has provided education to law enforcement supervisors since March 2007.
Wynn graduated from Taconic High School; attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland; and graduated from Williams College in Williamstown with a degree in English literature and American studies.
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Oblong Books & Music hosts Hillary Rodham Clinton
Rhinebeck, N.Y. — On Thursday, Dec. 7, Oblong Books & Music hosted former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for a book signing of her memoir “What Happened,” which describes her experiences of the events of the 2016 presidential election.
“We are grateful for the overwhelming support from the community for this momentous event. The evening went very smoothy thanks to our partners in local law enforcement, the tireless staff of Oblong, and the near-perfect planning of our Event Director, Helen Seslowsky. To watch Secretary Clinton greet and personally engage with nearly 1,000 people in 4 hours was a sight to behold…” said Suzanna Hermans, who co-owns Oblong Books & Music with her father, Dick Hermans.
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Whitney Center for the arts appoints new director
Pittsfield — The Whitney Center for the Arts has appointed Monica Bliss as its new director of performing arts.
A resident of New Lebanon, New York, Bliss volunteered as president and chair of publicity for the Town Players of Pittsfield. She previously worked as a sales manager for Barrington Stage Company. A graduate of Wahconah Regional High School in Dalton, Bliss studied opera at the Hartt School of Music in West Hartford, Connecticut; and theater at Berkshire Community College and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams. As a soprano in the Berkshire Opera Festival chorus, Bliss has performed with many local music and theater groups including Shaker Mountain Opera, Berkshire Concert Choir, Berkshire Lyric, Town Players of Pittsfield, Ghent Playhouse, the BCC Players and Berkshire Theatre Group.