Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center executive director Beryl Jolly will step down at the end of the year. Photo: Kara Thornton

Business Briefs: Jolly to leave Mahaiwe; CNA training grant; new Berkshire Waldorf School teacher; leadership award for Stapf; merit award for Greylock

'It has been a privilege and joy to shepherd the Mahaiwe Performing Art Center’s growth and development over the last 15 years..' Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center executive director Beryl Jolly

Mahaiwe executive director Beryl Jolly to depart

Great Barrington — Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center executive director Beryl Jolly will step down from her position at the end of 2019. Jolly has led the Mahaiwe for 15 years, overseeing the completion of the theater’s restoration, and launching and leading its year-round programming seasons. She will continue to help the Mahaiwe during the leadership transition in 2020.

“It has been a privilege and joy to shepherd the Mahaiwe Performing Art Center’s growth and development over the last 15 years. During this time we completed a challenging and important restoration, established dynamic and memorable year-round programming, eliminated all debt and built our first cash reserve, and have become a vital cultural resource for diverse audiences,” said Jolly. “I’m proud of our work. And it’s time for me to take on new challenges and adventures. The Mahaiwe is well positioned to continue to thrive and also grow in new ways. I look forward to supporting a positive transition as we each begin these new chapters.”

Jolly arrived in Great Barrington in April 2005 and the theater kicked off its centennial celebration and began year-round programming that May. The restoration of the landmark venue was completed soon thereafter; the Mahaiwe is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Jolly will continue to lead the Mahaiwe as its executive director through December and then move into a consulting role with a focus on assuring a smooth transition during the year ahead. The board will review organization needs and determine next steps on a search process for new executive leadership by the end of the year.


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MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board receives grant for certified nursing assistant training programs

Pittsfield — MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board has announced its receipt of $218,750 to run certified nursing assistant training programs for the next two years. This project is funded by a Senator Kenneth J. Donnelly Workforce Success Grant through the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. It is administered statewide by the Commonwealth Corporation and locally administered by BWB.

Through a comprehensive partnership of Berkshire County’s health care employers, educators, workforce professionals, social service agencies and career development agencies, the Berkshire Nursing Assistant Program proposes to directly address the needs of the health care industry via intensive outreach, recruitment, education and training efforts to develop 70 CNAs throughout the two-year grant. The partnership looks to establish a daytime CNA program, as well as an online CNA program (with Department of Public Health approval) with weekly support services to address the growing problem of nursing assistant shortages. Beginning February 2020, the trainings and services will be free of charge for participants, and geared toward un- and underemployed Massachusetts residents.

This grant was one of 18 projects funded by the Senator Kenneth J. Donnelly Workforce Success Grants, 11 of which focus on health care training opportunities.


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Berkshire Waldorf School welcomes new first-grade teacher

Safina Alessandra. Photo courtesy Berkshire Waldorf School

Great Barrington — Berkshire Waldorf School welcomes Safina Alessandra as first-grade class teacher for the 2020-21 school year. Alessandra was selected from a pool of applicants after an international search. At Berkshire Waldorf School, as in most Waldorf schools worldwide, grade school class teachers practice “looping,” moving through the grade school curriculum with their classes, to build strong, long-term relationships for up to eight years.

Alessandra earned her teaching certificate in Waldorf education from the Alkion Center at Hawthorne Valley in Ghent, New York. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in early childhood and childhood education from the State University of New York at New Paltz; a certificate in childhood education for grades 1-6 from New York state; and a certificate in therapeutic education from Camphill Special School, Glenmoore, Pennsylvania. Alessandra began her teaching career at Camphill Special School and worked as a substitute in both public and private schools, including John L. Edwards Primary School in Hudson, New York, and Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School. Since she joined Berkshire Waldorf School this year, Alessandra has served as a full-time substitute teacher in fifth grade. Alessandra is bilingual. She grew up in Zurich, Switzerland, where she graduated from the Rudolf Steiner Schule. She lives in Columbia County, New York.


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Salisbury Bank’s Jean Stapf earns leadership award

Jean Stapf. Photo courtesy Salisbury Bank

Lakeville, Conn. — Jean Stapf, assistant vice president, wealth manager and trust administrative coordinator at Salisbury Bank and Trust Company, has been selected to receive the Connecticut Bankers Association’s New Leader in Banking award.

Over the last few months, the CBA and Connecticut Banking magazine asked bankers throughout Connecticut to nominate their peers for the leadership award. Nominees must work at a CBA member bank; be an outstanding employee, manager or business leader; and be making a notable impact within their bank and community.

The CBA received a number of nominations that were vetted by an independent panel of judges, none of whom are active bankers. To recognize the 13 winners, a New Leaders Awards Ceremony will be held Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, at the Mohegan Sun Convention Center.


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Greylock Federal Credit Union earns national merit award for employee training

Donna Collins with Greylock Federal Credit Union’s merit award from Credit Union National Association. Photo courtesy Greylock Federal Credit Union

Pittsfield — Greylock Federal Credit Union has received national recognition for its employee training and development program. The Credit Union National Association conferred Greylock with merit honors Nov. 7 at its national conference in Las Vegas. Employee training and development director Donna Collins was present to accept the award.

Greylock’s “Living and Leading with HEART” professional development program, designed by Collins and her team, was recognized by CUNA as a national model that inspires learning, teaches skills that go beyond the classroom and leaves employees empowered.