Berkshire Community College announces new and returning staff
Pittsfield— Berkshire Community College (BCC) announces the addition of four new staff members and one employee returning to BCC.
Beth Dolan joins BCC as Executive Director of Human Resources. Prior to joining BCC, she had human resources leadership roles in health care, financial services and higher education. Previously, she was Chief Human Resources Officer for Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina and, more recently, she spent 16 years with Granite State College in New Hampshire. There, she was the Chief Human Resources Officer and also served as Vice President of Student & Administrative Services. Raised in the Berkshires, Dolan earned a bachelor of arts degree from Mount Holyoke College and a master’s degree in administration from Boston University. She and her husband Kevin currently reside in Bennington.
Kim Kisselbrock joins BCC as Systems Analyst. Before coming to Berkshire Community College, she was the Director of Information Technology at Berkshire Country Day School for 15 years. With extensive experience in technology, Kisselbrock has previously served as a manager, database analyst, teacher and tutor. She is a certified Reiki Master and enjoys hiking, reading and writing. She lives in Dalton with her husband George, daughter Kara, and dog Scout. Her son Joshua and his wife Sarah live nearby.
Rebecca (Becky) Manship joins BCC’s Human Resources Department as the Human Resources Coordinator. Previously, she was a City of Pittsfield employee for more than 15 years in the Parks and Recreation Department. Manship graduated with a bachelor of science degree from the University of New Hampshire in 2007. She lives in Pittsfield with her husband and dog and enjoys skiing, hiking, biking, kayaking, and spending time with family.
Casey Young joins BCC as Food Security Coordinator in congruency with Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA). She splits her time between BCC and MCLA, working with Student Affairs staff in both locations. A new resident of Pittsfield, Young recently graduated from MCLA with a bachelor of arts in History and Political Science and a minor in Behavioral Analysis. She has been an advocate for students in a variety of roles involving advocacy and programming efforts. Previously, she was a legal research intern for the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Peter Farkas rejoins BCC as Associate Director of Workforce Development and Community Education. He previously held the same position from February to October 2022. Born and raised in Pittsfield, he has over seventeen years of workforce and community development experience, including developing, implementing and supervising grants at a MassHire Career Center and two MassHire Workforce Development Boards in Greater Boston. Farkas has strong experience in developing community partnerships and sector strategies to respond to the regional needs of industry. He holds an MBA from Suffolk University and a bachelor of arts degree from UMass Amherst.
Berkshire Bank welcomes wealth management team members
Berkshire— Berkshire Bank, a leading, socially responsible community bank with financial centers in New England and New York, welcomes Lewis Mai, John Muse, Rebecca Rubino, and Andrew Prancl to the Wealth Management team. With more than 70 years combined experience, these four investment and wealth advisors join Berkshire’s current team in providing exceptional financial guidance and strategies, portfolio management, financial planning, and fiduciary services.
Lewis G. Mai, CFP®, APMA®, investment advisor and financial planner, is responsible for working with clients to help them build, preserve, and transition generational wealth through comprehensive goals based financial planning. He brings over 10 years of experience in the financial services industry. Prior to joining Berkshire, he was an advanced planning associate at First Republic Bank where he worked with high-net-worth investors with a focus in cash flows and estate planning. Mai is a graduate of Roger Williams University with a major in Finance. He also earned several certifications, including Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) and accredited portfolio management advisor (APMA®) designations.
John Muse, CFP®, vice president, investment advisor and financial planner, has over 35 years of experience in the financial services industry, including 25 years of working with clients and families in providing goals-based wealth planning advice and solutions. As a trusted advisor, he has a deep understanding of global financial markets and understands the importance of examining the complex interrelationships of family wealth. Prior to joining Berkshire Bank, he was a wealth advisor at Minot Wealth, an executive director at J.P. Morgan’s Private Bank, and a senior vice president at Merrill Lynch. He is a graduate of Amherst College and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®). Muse is a board member for Hope House Boston and a volunteer coach of youth hockey and baseball.
Rebecca Rubino, vice president, wealth advisor, is responsible for trust and estate administration and client relationship management. She provides fiduciary and administrative oversight for individuals, families, private and corporate foundations, and nonprofit organizations. Rubino has eight years of financial industry experience. Prior to joining Berkshire Bank, Rubino was a philanthropic officer at Bank of America Private Bank where she worked closely with foundations and nonprofit organizations to provide oversight and financial expertise. She previously also served as a trust senior associate supporting high-net-worth individuals and families in administration of personal trust and executing estate plans. She earned her undergraduate degree in Business Management and an MBA with a concentration in Finance from Central Connecticut State University. She is currently pursuing the certified trust and fiduciary advisor designation from the American Bankers Association.
Andrew Prancl, vice president, wealth portfolio manager, has over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry in investment management, strategic asset allocation, portfolio construction and global financial markets. Prior to joining Berkshire Bank, Prancl was vice president at Goldman Sachs Ayco Personal Financial Management. He served in a variety of roles in fixed-income portfolio management, trading, and market strategy. In addition, he held positions as senior trader for managed account services and as a client relations officer. Early in his career, Prancl was a financial consultant with Merrill Lynch and a marketing representative with American International Group. He received his MBA from the University at Albany, and Bachelor of Science in finance from Siena College. He actively volunteers as a youth baseball coach, a CYO basketball volunteer, and has served on the board of directors for Guilderland Youth Baseball for the past nine years.
Pittsfield Co-Op Bank donates $2,500 to the Brien Center’s Patrick Miller Program
Pittsfield— The Brien Center announced today the donation of $2,500 by Pittsfield Cooperative Bank to its Patrick Miller Youth Substance Use Prevention and Intervention Program. The program served nearly 1,800 Berkshire County youth in 2022.
“The Brien Center is an integral part of the Berkshires’ health and wellness network, and we are pleased to make this contribution to expand their Patrick Miller program,” stated J. Jay Anderson, president and CEO of Pittsfield Cooperative Bank. “The youth that will benefit from this initiative are our community’s most vulnerable, and are in dire need of this service.”
The initiative, which has been recognized for its innovation and success, provides a number of school and community evidence-based programs with proven results in prevention, intervention and referral to treatment. Prevention programming takes place before first use; intervention programming is effective after first use, but before a student is diagnosed with a substance use disorder. For youth who meet criteria for a substance use disorder diagnosis, referrals are made for treatment at the Brien Center.
“Our counselors are based in the schools and are well known and trusted by students,” said Christine Macbeth, ACSW, LICSW, president and CEO of the Brien Center. “Our staff is visible, approachable, and trusted. These are among the top reasons why the Patrick Miller program has been a success. We are grateful to Pittsfield Cooperative Bank for helping us ensure that this program continues.”
Patrick Miller was raised in a loving family that was devoted to his wellbeing. He died of an accidental overdose. His parents, John and Rosaleen Miller, gave a large bequest to the Brien Center in 2005 to create the program in memory of their son.
Berkshire Innovation Center launching our BIC Stage 2 Accelerator program
Pittsfield— Berkshire Innovation Center (BIC) announces the launch of their Stage 2 Accelerator program.
BIC anticipates inviting four to five startup firms to participate in the 2023-2024 cohort. Applications are due on Friday, June 30th. The selection committee will announce the selected firms on or before Friday, July 15th. Anticipated move-in and program start date will be on or about Monday, September 18th.
More Information and the application can be found by visiting Berkshire Innovation Center online.
OsteoStrong facility is now officially open!
Great Barrington— OsteoStrong facility is now officially open!
Additionally, OsteoStrong is hosting a Grand Opening celebration for Saturday, July 1st from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. They plan to have refreshments, tours, demos and name drawings for prizes.
OsteoStrong, a leading biohack solution for a stronger skeletal system has opened their newest location in Great Barrington. This is an exciting expansion for the franchise and this location is just the latest of hundreds across the U.S. and globally.
OsteoStrong sessions have a focused end goal of health benefits like better posture, improved athletic performance, better balance, and more. It’s ideal for people of all ages and levels of activity and promotes skeletal strength using a process known as osteogenic loading. With OsteoStrong, customers complete a series of movements on robotic musculoskeletal treatment devices that allow axial compression of bone. This leads to a stronger skeletal system and increased bone mass. Sessions are quick, about 10 minutes, and sweat-free. Results are measurable and happen fast.
The OsteoStrong system triggers the growth of new bone and muscle density in 10-minute sessions just once per week. OsteoStrong’s proprietary system engages bone and muscle development and delivers many benefits beyond what is often thought only possible with strenuous exercise. OsteoStrong is extremely effective, easy to do, and doesn’t leave people feeling fatigued or sore the next day. It’s based on the cutting-edge science of high impact emulation without the risk.
More than 30,000 people have seen amazing results since the brand launched in 2012. Many who attend sessions just once per week are reversing osteoporosis, improving balance, eliminating chronic joint and back pain, reversing fibromyalgia, and regaining physical strength.
The location is in the Barrington Plaza on Stockbridge Road in Great Barrington. For more information, call 413-931-3211 or email is email@example.com.
MCLA junior appointed to the Advisory Council for the Advancement of Representation in Education
North Adams— MCLA junior, Taylor Hope ‘24, has been appointed to the Advisory Council for the Advancement of Representation in Education ahead of the Supreme Court’s pending decision on the legality of race-based higher education admissions.
On June 14th, Governor Maura Healey, Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll, and Education Secretary Patrick Tutwiler announced the formation of the Advisory Council to expand access to college and career readiness tools for current Massachusetts students.
Hope is studying Political Science and Sociology at MCLA, serves on the Student Affairs Committee for the Board of Trustees, and is the President of MCLA’s Student Government Association. She is one of eight student representatives from Massachusetts colleges on the Advisory Council.
According to a release from the Healey-Driscoll Administration, the Advisory Council is made up of stakeholders with expertise in higher education; civil rights advocacy; diversity, equity, and inclusion work; and the experiences of students of color. Over the next year, the Advisory Council will share information across sectors about the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision after it is released and will work creatively to break down barriers to higher education to ensure Massachusetts remains open, welcoming, and inclusive of all students.
“This advisory council will enhance critical cross-sector communication to ensure stakeholders in the Commonwealth are working together to break down barriers of access to higher education, particularly for those who have been historically marginalized and our students of color,” Commissioner of Higher Education Noe Ortega said in the release.
Greylock awards $16,000 in scholarships
Pittsfield— Greylock Federal Credit Union awarded two rounds of scholarships to college-bound high school seniors. Twenty-two awards of $500 each were granted in Berkshire County and Columbia County, NY, through the Credit Union’s annual Community Enrichment Scholarship Program. Five Scholastic Achievement Awards of $1,000 each were awarded to employees’ children as part of Greylock’s employee benefits package. In total, 26 students were awarded $16,000 toward their continuing education.
“Greylock is always proud to support and invest in our youth throughout the year,” said Greylock Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer JamieEllen Moncecchi. “But during this season of graduation and celebration, it is our pleasure to honor these students with well-deserved scholarships to advance their educational pursuits.”
Scholarships are awarded to students who exemplify positive community spirit and demonstrate respect and concern for their peers in everything they do. The funds will be applied toward tuition at state-accredited or nationally-accredited two or four-year colleges or universities or a full-time technical school program.
Community Enrichment Scholarship recipients are Ruby Pullaro-Clark (BART), Sarah Kunzmann (home school), Owen Dubreuil (Hoosac Valley), Anna Fusco and Isabella Lovato (Lee), Alex Del Vecchio and Allison Lamm (Lenox), Vivianna Belanger and Keira Lennon (McCann Tech), Sofia Bernal and Isabella Viola (Monument Mountain), Anouk Bizalion and Margaret Sarnacki (Mount Everett), Krish Sharma and Molly Sullivan (Mount Greylock), Alexandra Sotek (New Lebanon), Abigail Archey and Kiera Devine (PHS), Hunter Golin and Nicholas Guachione (Taconic), and Abigail Cobb, and Julia Wheeler (Wahconah).
This year’s Scholastic Achievement Award recipients are Nia Franklin (BART), Lily Jayko and Abigail Whitley (Mount. Greylock), Cecelia Jo Supranowicz (PHS), and Jayon Black (Smith Vocational).
MCLA receives $1M from the executive office of health and human services
North Adams— The Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) has awarded MCLA $1M to fund the College’s new Bachelor of Nursing (BSN) program. The grant will support the first two years of the program by supplementing its curriculum development and funding the cost of a simulation lab coordinator; nursing journals, textbooks, and testing software; and Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) fees.
MCLA’s BSN program received approval from the Board of Registration in Nursing in January 2023 and approval from the Board of Higher Education in March 2023. The program will launch in Fall 2024 and graduate its first class in 2027. It is the first BSN program in Berkshire County and the only four-year nursing program in the rural tri-state area of Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont.
The curriculum will integrate MCLA’s liberal arts foundation with required courses in the humanities, and natural and social sciences to complement theoretical and clinical courses in professional nursing. Nursing faculty will utilize a simulation lab to provide hands-on learning experiences for students in a controlled environment.
The EOHHS Home and Community Based Service (HCBS) and Human Services Workforce Development Grant Program is set to award up to $42.5M in grant funding for training, recruiting, and retaining initiatives that support HCBS and the human services workforce in Massachusetts. The program helps fund training organizations that develop healthcare professionals, including direct care staff, nurses, behavioral health staff, and community health workers. This mission aligns with MCLA’s goal to address the rural nursing shortage and the critical healthcare needs in Berkshire County through the creation of a BSN program.
In partnership with GrantStation, the Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires is offering a series of 6 grant writing webinars
Great Barrington— In partnership with GrantStation, the Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires is offering a series of 6 grant writing webinars for $50. Led by GrantStation president Alice Ruhnke, the webinars take place at 2 p.m. every other Monday between July 17th and September 25th. Attendees receive materials and links to the recordings in case they miss the live webinars.
An author and educator, Ruhnke has worked with hundreds of nonprofit organizations over the past 20 years to improve their capacity to raise funds. The webinars are 30 minutes long with 15 additional minutes of Q&A. Series topics include: How to Read a Request for Proposals, Building Credibility in Your Background Section, Writing a Compelling Statement of Need, Crafting a Process and Outcome Evaluation, Building an Approach that Gets Noticed, and Developing Project Budgets that Make Sense.
For more information and to register, visit the Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires online.
Windrush Commons ribbon cutting ceremony
Great Barrington— Join Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire (CDCSB) and Way Finders for a ribbon cutting ceremony for Windrush Commons, a 49-unit affordable housing co-development. This event celebrates a milestone in the efforts to address the housing crisis in Berkshire County.
Community leaders, local officials, project partners, and residents will gather to mark this significant milestone at the ribbon cutting ceremony. Attendees will have the opportunity to tour the new complex, witness the positive impact of affordable housing firsthand, and recognize the essential role played by CDCSB and Way Finders in making this development a reality.
The ceremony is on Friday, June 30th at 10 a.m. at Windrush Commons located at 910 Main Street in Great Barrington.