The kitchen garden at Olana State Historic Site in Hudson, New York, has been awarded a grant for its restoration (see item below). Photo: John Eberle, "Gardener, Charles Frier in the Kitchen Garden near the barn complex at Olana," photograph, September 29, 1906, OL.1987.131.32A. Collection Olana State Historic Site.

Business Briefs: New board members for CHP; BTG receives grant; grant for Olana’s kitchen garden; real estate licensing course; Cross Insurance acquires second Pittsfield agency

Under terms of the acquisition, Colt Insurance becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Cross Insurance and will continue to operate under the same name.

CHP names two new board members

Chuck Leach.
Chuck Leach.
Allyson Holmes.
Allyson Holmes.

Great Barrington — Community Health Programs (CHP) has named Chuck Leach of Lee and Allyson Holmes of North Adams to its board of directors.

Leach is president and CEO of Lee Bank and previously worked for Berkshire Bank and TDBank branches throughout New England and New York. He also serves on the boards of Berkshire United Way and Downtown Pittsfield Inc. A graduate of Colby College and Claremont Graduate College Business School, Leach is also an avid mountain biker.

Holmes is an associate at Smith Green & Gold in Pittsfield where her work involves estate planning, elder law and real estate. A Berkshire native, she returned to the region after spending nine years in Boston. Holmes also serves on the North Adams planning board and participates in Running with the Law, a nonprofit that utilizes road races to raise money for local causes.

–E.E.

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BTG receives $25,000 grant

Pittsfield — Berkshire Theatre Group (BTG) has announced that it has received a $25,000 grant from the Falmouth-based Josephine and Louise Crane Foundation.

BTG’s artistic director/CEO Kate Maguire said, “The entire Crane family has been loyal, generous, and supportive of Pittsfield and Berkshire County throughout the decades. The Crane Family understands our struggle and our need; they recognize the fundamental economics of Western Massachusetts.”

The Josephine and Louise Crane Foundation was established in 2008 as a result of the merger of the Josephine B. Crane Foundation and Louise Crane Foundation and aids arts, cultural, human services, and other nonprofit organizations through gift-making.

–E.E.

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Olana Partnership awarded grant for kitchen garden

Strategic landscape design plan of Olana's kitchen garden (detail), 2015. Image courtesy Olana Partnership.
Strategic landscape design plan of Olana’s kitchen garden (detail), 2015. Image courtesy Olana Partnership.

Hudson, N.Y. — A New York State Environmental Protection Fund grant has been awarded to the Olana Partnership to restore Olana’s historic 1.2-acre kitchen garden. The garden was a principal element of artist Frederic Church’s working and ornamental farm, central to his vision of Olana, and yet it has been absent from Olana’s 250-acre artist-designed landscape for over 100 years. The grant amount is for $197,878 and the Partnership has already raised $65,960 in private donations–a requirement of the grant–to fulfill the project. When completed, the garden will be an integral part of the visitor experience at Olana State Historic Site and will serve as a hands-on laboratory for the Partnership’s ongoing educational programs.

–E.E.

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BCC to offer real estate licensing workshop

Pittsfield — Berkshire Community College (BCC) will offer the course “Real Estate Licensing for the Salesperson” beginning Monday, Jan. 30, 2017.

Workshop participants will study basic real estate principles and the laws governing real estate licensing. Topics will include brokerage and agency, contract law, finance, appraising, deeds, closing and settlement, taxation and rental consumer protection issues. The course will be taught by licensed real estate educator Peter West.

Tuition is $450. Registration should be completed no later than one week before the course starts. All materials are included in the tuition fee. For more information or to register, call (413) 236-2127.

–E.E.

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Cross Insurance acquires second Pittsfield agency

Pittsfield — Cross Insurance, a subsidiary of Cross Financial Corp., has further expanded its presence in the local area with the purchase of Pittsfield-based independent insurance agency Colt Insurance, founded 80 years ago by Samuel Colt.

Under terms of the acquisition, Colt Insurance becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Cross Insurance and will continue to operate under the same name. Michelle Orlando will oversee the combined insurance agencies as president. Kelly Collins, former owner and president of Colt Insurance, will continue working for Colt as executive vice president of the agency. Colt’s staff of 14 employees will continue on and additional hirings are expected in the future as the agency continues to grow under Cross. The financial terms of the acquisition are not being disclosed. The announcement of Cross’ first Pittsfield acquisition, Bardwell Bowlby & Karam Insurance Agency Inc., was made in June.

–E.E.