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Business Briefs: New director at Construct Inc.; Guido’s food program donations; performance award for Hilton Garden Inn; music grant for BCArc; Best of Service award for Gallery315 Home; Maple Hill Creamery in Farm to Fork Fondo

A native of Wisconsin, Jane Ralph joins Construct Inc. from north central Vermont where she served as executive director of the Clarina Howard Nichols Center, an agency offering domestic and sexual violence victims and survivors emergency shelter, support and services.

Construct Inc. gains new director, three-year plan

Jane Ralph.
Jane Ralph.

Great Barrington — Construct Inc. has welcomed the appointment of Jane Ralph as its new director and has unveiled a new strategic three-year plan.

Following an extensive search and selection process by Construct’s board of directors, Ralph was selected in December as successor to retiring founder Cara Davis. A native of Wisconsin, Ralph joins Construct from north central Vermont where she served as executive director of the Clarina Howard Nichols Center, an agency offering domestic and sexual violence victims and survivors emergency shelter, support and services. In her new role as director, Ralph’s critical responsibilities will include fundraising, programming, strengthening community awareness and engagement, and expanding permanent housing options.

With 2017 underway, Ralph and the board began the ambitious task of devising a new three-year action plan leading up to the organization’s 50th anniversary in 2020. Central to the plan is the fulfillment of the state mandate that each town provides 10 percent of its housing stock to low- or moderate-income housing. Construct’s newest affordable housing project, Forest Springs, brings the organization one step closer in realizing this goal. With construction slated to commence in April, Forest Springs, will be comprised of 11 one-, two- and three-bedroom affordable rental units on State Road in Great Barrington. Purchased in 2012, Construct recognized the site’s tremendous potential with its access to public transportation, utilities and the Berkshire Hills Regional School District.

–E.E.

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Guido’s customers donate to emergency food programs

Pittsfield — Guido’s Fresh Marketplace has announced that its customers donated over $1,500 to local emergency food programs over the holiday season through an in-store holiday giving program. The customer donation is a cash donation over and above the annual $5,000 fresh produce donation Guido’s provides to local food programs. This year’s recipients were Construct Inc., First United Methodist Church of Pittsfield, South Congregational Church, and St. Stephen’s Parish.

–E.E.

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Hilton Garden Inn receives performance award

Left to right: Robin Peck, director of sales & marketing, HGI Lenox Pittsfield; John Greenleaf, global head, Hilton Garden Inn/HGI Brand Management; Patty Jordan, general manager, HGI Lenox Pittsfield
Left to right: Robin Peck, director of sales & marketing, HGI Lenox Pittsfield; John Greenleaf, global head, Hilton Garden Inn/HGI Brand Management; Patty Jordan, general manager, HGI Lenox Pittsfield

Lenox — Hilton Worldwide recently recognized Hilton Garden Inn Lenox Pittsfield as the Brand Performance Award winner for its outstanding achievements during the past year. The property, which is owned by Shanti Hospitality and managed by Emerald Hospitality Associates, received the honor as a best-in-class performer from among the brand’s 700 hotels worldwide.

Though the award recognizes performers in the top 5 percent of the brand, Hilton Garden Inn Lenox Pittsfield is ranked in the top 2 percent of 675 hotels worldwide with superior service and high quality scores. In recognition of the achievements, Hilton Garden Inn Lenox Pittsfield received a trophy to display in its lobby. The property was selected as one of nearly 27 individual and hotel recipients from around the world to be recognized as a brand leader with special recognition.

–E.E.

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BCArc receives grant for music outreach

Pittsfield — Berkshire County Arc has been awarded a $15,000 innovation grant for social and community inclusion for its Collaborative Music Outreach Project by the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services. The project will be in partnership with Berkshire Music School.

In partnership with families, BCArc and Berkshire Music School will create musical opportunities through an innovative project so young adults with disabilities receive the support to participate in musical endeavors to enhance social and inclusion experiences.

The Collaborative Music Outreach Project strives to create experiences that combine personal choices and community integration with professional oversight and family involvement that helps those supported by BCArc flourish and grow The design of the project is a music scholarship program to sponsor at least 10 young adults that will have the benefit of a person-centered music plan that will guide them as they enrich their musical talents and reach their personal goals.

–E.E.

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Gallery315 Home wins Best of Service award

Sheffield — Gallery315 Home has announced that it has won the “Best of Service 2017″ award on Houzz, a platform for home remodeling and design. The 16-year old interior design firm was among those chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals around the world.

The Best Of Houzz awards are given annually. Architecture and interior designers are recognized with the award “Best Of Houzz 2017” badge, which will appear on winners’ profiles as a sign of their commitment to excellence.

–E.E.

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Maple Hill Creamery partners with Farm to Fork Fondo

Kinderhook, N.Y. — Dairy processor Maple Hill Creamery has signed on as a featured partner of the 2017 Farm to Fork Fondo, a series of non-competitive cycling events in the Northeast featuring ride options from 10 to 100 miles and on-farm aid stations where participants sample chef-prepared treats made from each farm’s ingredients.

The 2017 sponsorship will include Maple Hill Creamery pre-ride Fuel Up Stations at each Farm to Fork Fondo event and Maple Hill products in the post-ride Finisher Tent recovery area as well as in select menus for catered post-ride barbecues and pre-ride gourmet Meet the Farmers dinners.

–E.E.

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