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Business Briefs: Mahaiwe board changes; Mass. Dental Society grants; grant for Berkshire United Way; Berkshire Money Management certifications; Kimball Farms accreditation

The Massachusetts Dental Society Foundation has awarded a total of more than $75,000 in “Expanding Access to Dental Care” grants to four organizations in Massachusetts, including two in Berkshire County.


Mahaiwe announces new board members, leadership

Great Barrington — The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center’s board of directors has announced that it has elected a new board chair and slate of officers for 2019, in addition to having added three new board members in recent months. Margaret Deutsch was elected chair, succeeding Maggie Buchwald, who held the position for six years. Buchwald will continue to serve on the board as past chair. Also elected to the board’s executive committee were Alan S. Jaffe and Mandy Pieczarka as vice chairs, Jeffrey N. Cohen as treasurer, Ron Ashendorf as clerk, and Lola Jaffe as founder. The new board members are Barbara Cutler; Benjamin Liptzin, M.D.; and Judd Shoval.

Barbara Cutler. Photo: Walter McBride

Cutler spent more than two decades as a practicing attorney. The last 10 years of her practice she was president of Mediate Inc., a subsidiary of the Feinberg Group, serving as the court-appointed special master in several New York City public disputes concerning homelessness and welfare. Cutler was the co-creator of Project E.R.A.S.E., an in-school asthma program for underprivileged New York City children. She has been a trustee of the New York Theatre Workshop for the past 26 years and also served on the boards of Berkshire Playwrights Lab and LiveOnNY.

Benjamin Liptzin, M.D. Photo courtesy Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center

Liptzin retired in 2016 having served as Baystate Health chair of psychiatry for 25 years and as deputy chair of the department of psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine. He currently serves on the board of Aston Magna and chairs the development committee for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College. He previously served on the boards of the Springfield Symphony, Jewish Federation of Western MassachusettsNational Alliance for Mental Illness of Western Massachusetts and Alzheimer’s Association Massachusetts Chapter.

Judd Shoval. Photo courtesy Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center

Shoval is the chair and founder of Shoval Enterprises, a family office engaged in various investment activities with an emphasis on financial services, clean/green energy, and real estate investments and management. He is a co-founder and past CEO of Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies, and past CEO of First Peoples National Bank, currently owned by Wells Fargo & Company. He has been involved with various nonprofit organizations, including serving on the board and investment committee of King’s College, as well as past tenures in similar capacities with a hospital system, a college preparatory school and religious organizations.


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Mass. Dental Society awards grants to Berkshire County programs

Southborough — The Massachusetts Dental Society Foundation has awarded a total of more than $75,000 in “Expanding Access to Dental Care” grants to four organizations in Massachusetts, including two in Berkshire County. The goal of the grants is to improve the oral health of residents of the Commonwealth by supporting sustainable programs that improve access to dental care.

Hillcrest Dental Care Inc. in Pittsfield received a $20,000 grant to help the organization provide care to underserved Berkshire County children via a portable dental unit. The portable unit is expected to serve at least 400 children in Berkshire County in its first year. It will be transported to sites including Head Start, other early childhood programs, public and private schools, the Salvation Army, places of worship, and other community organizations. The unit also will visit Hillcrest Educational Centers’ three residential programs and day school for youth with psychiatric, behavioral, and developmental disorders.

Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires in Great Barrington received a $16,000 grant to fund additional dental hygienist hours to support the all-volunteer dentists in its free dental clinic. VIM’s dental program is the fastest growing of its services. Some patients have never seen a dentist or haven’t had care in years, and many require extensive treatment plans carried out over several months. VIM expects to treat an additional 200 patients in the upcoming year.


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Berkshire United Way receives $10,000 grant from Avangrid Foundation

Pittsfield — Berkshire United Way has announced the receipt of a $10,000 Avangrid Foundation grant to support early childhood literacy efforts throughout Berkshire County, in partnership with Berkshire Gas Company.

Reacting to the grant, Berkshire United Way president and CEO Kristine Hazzard commented: “Berkshire United Way invests in proven early childhood development strategies, such as home visiting and licensed pre-school programs provided by our local partners. These programs help put children on the track to success in school, which ultimately increases their long-term earning potential and reduces future social costs.”

“Effective childhood development programs establish the very foundation upon which a child needs to build in order to grow, to learn and to thrive. Without instilling these fundamentals, a child is at a grave disadvantage as they try to navigate their way in today’s world. We are so thankful the Berkshire United Way has recognized this need and is supporting these efforts in Berkshire County and we are thrilled to offer our support,” said Chris Farrell, manager of corporate communications and government relations at Berkshire Gas.


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Berkshire Money Management team members earn new certifications

Scott Little. Photo courtesy Berkshire Money Management

Dalton — Three team members from Berkshire Money Management have spent the season studying and working to earn new certifications to better serve existing and potential clients. To that end, Vice President Scott Little recently passed his Certified Elder Planning Specialist exam. The CEPS program is a ten-module course, taught over two days, with each module containing information about understanding the aging process, recognizing and addressing clients with diminished capacity, legal planning for elders, end of life planning that is relevant to helping older clients.

Zack Marcotte. Photo courtesy Berkshire Money Management

Zack Marcotte recently received his Retirement Management Advisor designation. The RMA is a rigorous, three-tiered program that focuses on building custom retirement income plans to mitigate clients’ risks and to master the retirement planning advisory process, all within an increasingly regulatory environment.

Allen Harris. Photo courtesy Berkshire Money Management

BMM founder and CEO Allen Harris has received the Certified Value Growth Advisor credential. To receive the credential, he had to satisfy Corporate Value Metrics’ stringent criteria of professional standards in business and operations and financial advisory. CVGAs help business owners create balanced and efficient enterprises and help position them to support long-term, sustainable, profitable growth.


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Kimball Farms awarded five-year accreditation from CARF International

Lenox — Kimball Farms Life Care has earned a five-year term of accreditation from CARF International.

“Only about 10% of the continuing care retirement communities in the country have achieved five-year accreditation status,” said Bill Jones, president of Berkshire Healthcare. In Massachusetts, only seven CCRCs hold five-year CARF accreditation, two of which—Kimball Farms as well as Day Brook Village Senior Living in Holyoke—are Berkshire Healthcare Systems affiliates.

An organization receiving a five-year term of accreditation has voluntarily put itself through a rigorous peer review process and demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site survey that it is committed to conforming to CARF’s accreditation conditions and standards. “The CARF survey process is an extensive analysis and evaluation of the standards of care,” said Albert Ingegni, Berkshire Healthcare’s vice president of housing services. The Kimball Farms team spent months preparing for the survey, which covered all service levels.



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