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The front door of the Manor House at Seven Hills in Lenox, which is currently undergoing a design upgrade. Photo courtesy Seven Hills

Business Briefs: Seven Hills’ new look; Nonprofit Boot Camp; new teacher for GBRSS; new hires at BCArc

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By Wednesday, Mar 13, 2019 Trade and Commerce

Seven Hills gets design refresh

Lenox — Under the direction of owner the Wardman Group, and Scout Hotel & Resort Management, which was brought on to operate the 57-room hotel last June, the renovation of Seven Hills is slated for completion in March.

Miami-based Bigtime Design Studio created a blend of old and new design elements for Seven Hills, which, is wrapping up its head-to-toe renovations that include updated exteriors and landscaping, an enhanced swimming pool area, new furnishings and textiles, new guest bathrooms, and fully renovated common areas. The two main meeting rooms are being outfitted to accommodate small meetings and corporate retreats in addition to weddings and social events.

One of the redesigned guest rooms at Seven Hills in Lenox. Photo courtesy Seven Hills

Public spaces feature a scheme of gray, slate and deep royal blue with amethyst accents and wood floors. The antique millwork pieces and furnishings of the Spencer Room (formerly the Parlor) remain alongside more contemporary furniture selections meant to broaden the hotel’s appeal. In the guest rooms, sleek, upholstered headboards frame beds draped in down-alternative blankets and topped with decorative sheets and yellow bolster pillows. New baths feature showers or tub/shower combinations, marble-topped sinks with dark wood bases, and classic hexagon and subway tiles. Also this spring, Seven Hills will introduce a small food and beverage service, including a light dinner and bar menu of drinks, small bites and bar snacks.

Seven Hills’ roots extend back to the 18th century as a modest farmhouse, which was expanded in 1885 by Robert Chapin to become Norwood, the first of the Berkshire cottages. In 1911, Bostonian Emily Spencer undertook an extensive renovation that doubled its size and gave it the name Shipton Court. The mansion was converted to an inn and given its current name in 1951.


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Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires to hold one-day bootcamp for nonprofits

Susan Nicholl. Photo courtesy MetroWest Visitors Bureau

Stockbridge — The Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires will hold a one-day Nonprofit Boot Camp Thursday, March 14, beginning at 9 a.m. at the Red Lion Inn for new, young and small nonprofits in need of a tune-up.

The Nonprofit Boot Camp will cover the basics of nonprofit management including governance, fundraising and best practices. Lead presenter Susan Nicholl will address topics through a combination of facilitator-led instruction and interactive discussion. Local experts will also lead sessions on topics such as legal and insurance best practices. The event is aimed at directors, board members, and volunteer leaders who want to build a solid foundation or address gaps. Attendees will leave with a binder containing templates, sample descriptions, articles, and other guidance resources. Attending organizations will also receive an hour of phone consultation with Nicholl to help them past any hurdles.

Nicholl has served as a management consultant for the Institute for Nonprofit Development in central Massachusetts and was instrumental in launching and establishing the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network. She has served as the past chair of the MetroWest Nonprofit Network and as a former editor of massnonprofit.org.   She has worked professionally with boards of directors at more than three dozen organizations, providing consultation focused on re-energizing and growing small organizations.

The cost to attend is $125 for the primary participant and $75 for each additional participant from a nonprofit organization. For more information or to register,


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Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School announces new teacher

Anna Taiga. Photo courtesy Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School

Great Barrington — Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School will welcome Anna Taiga as first-grade class teacher for the 2019–20 school year. Taiga was selected from a pool of applicants after an international search.

Taiga 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 psychology and a master’s degree in human resources and industrial relations from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She began her teaching career in high-school English and worked as a substitute throughout the grades at Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School. Since joining GBRSS in 2017, Taiga has served as first-grade assistant, early childhood assistant and lead teacher at Summer@Steiner, and substituted throughout the grade school under the mentorship of a core group of teachers.

Prior to her teaching career, Taiga worked for Citibank, N.A. in the area of talent management. She developed and facilitated numerous leadership workshops and spearheaded a well-received employment program for youth with disabilities in Moscow. Taiga is multilingual. She grew up near Moscow in the town of Chernogovka and also lived in Germany and the U.S. during her school years. Taiga has two children, both of whom are GBRSS students, and she plans to relocate her family to the Berkshires from neighboring Columbia County, New York.


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Berkshire County Arc adds two to leadership team

Sonja Stewart. Photo courtesy Berkshire County Arc

Pittsfield — Berkshire County Arc has announced the promotion of Sonja Stewart to director of family support and advocacy, as well as the hiring of David Singer, to the redesigned position of director of marketing and communications.

In her new role, Stewart will continue to oversee case management in the Adult Family Care program. She will direct the operations of BCArc’s Family Support Center, providing services that support children and adults with disabilities living in the community with their families. She will also coordinate BCArc’s respite services. Stewart served as BCArc’s family support manager for two years, overseeing case managers and family advocates. When first starting at BCArc, she served as a family advocate and case manager herself. Prior to to BCArc, she worked for several years serving at-risk youth and low-income families in an array of capacities. She holds a master’s degree in education from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and a bachelor’s degree in social work from the College of Saint Rose.

David Singer. Photo courtesy Berkshire County Arc

Singer will drive the BCArc’s communications, marketing and development strategies. He joins BCArc after serving as director of communications and marketing for Albany Law School in New York. He started his career as a reporter covering several Boston suburbs, then served as managing editor of the Dispute Resolution Journal, an international magazine for mediators, arbitrators, and negotiators. He has worked in communications for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Allmerica Financial, Schwartz Communications and Sawchuk Brown Associates. He has written for a variety of publications, and currently reviews live music for the Daily Gazette in Schenectady, New York.


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