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Biz Briefs: Three Berkshire Nonprofits Honored, Rotary Inductees
11:41AM / Tuesday, July 12, 2016
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Kristen van Ginhoven, Artistic Director of WAM Theatre, Gwendolyn VanSant, CEO and Founding Director of Multicultural BRIDGE, and Nicole Eigbrett, Community Outreach Director at Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity were among the nominees feted at the State House in Boston at the Nonprofit Excellence Awards on June 27.

Good job: Three nonprofit organizations from the Berkshires were among the 30 nonprofits honored at the State House for Nonprofit Awareness Day, presented by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) and Citizens Bank, on June 27. The highlight of the annual celebration, the Nonprofit Excellence Awards, were presented to seven nonprofit organizations and employees that exemplify the most innovative, creative and effective work being done throughout the Commonwealth.

Nicole Eigbrett, Community Outreach Director at Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, was one of five finalists in the Excellence by a Young Nonprofit Professional award. Multicultural Bridge and WAM Theatre were two of the four finalists in the Excellence by a Small Nonprofit award. 200 nominations were received in the seven award categories, a new record, according to MNN.

The three finalists were proud to represent the Berkshires at the award ceremony in Boston and hope that a greater number of our 984 Berkshire nonprofits will be finalists for next year’s awards.



Engaging: The hospitality industry in the Berkshires is experiencing dramatic growth. In an effort to prepare workers for customer facing jobs and careers in both hotels and restaurants, Berkshire Community College is offering a noncredit hospitality program.

"Customer Engagement," a 21-hour noncredit certificate program, aims to introduce students to the nuance of customer engagement and will explore customer service techniques as well as career readiness skills. Classes will be taught by Carl Pratt, an industry veteran who has worked in hotel and resort operations.

The program will be held at the Conte Federal Building in downtown Pittsfield. Sessions run July 18, 20, 25 and 27 from 8:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuition is $210 and includes materials. Upon successful course completion and with instructor recommendation, students will be granted a face-to-face interview with a local hospitality employer.

More information and registration is available online or by calling 413-236-2127.


 


Local Rotary Clubs held an induction ceremony.

Rotary news: The North Adams and Williamstown Rotary Clubs held their induction ceremony on June 28 at the Orchards Hotel. The North Adams club inducted new President Robert Heck, Vice President Jean Noel, Treasurer Joanne DeRose, and Secretary Bryon Sherman. The Williamstown club inducted President Allen Hall, Vice President Anne Skinner, Secretary Ginny Granger, Treasurer Steve Wisniowski, and Sergeant-at-Arms Linda Sweeney.

Rotary International is an organization of 1.2 million people who come together to create positive, lasting change in our communities and around the world. The North Adams and Williamstown clubs meet each week to discuss local issues, then contribute to their community and the world. Last year the clubs helped to build a bridge in Margaret Lindley park, donated books to the North Adams Library, provided scholarships to local students, and supported Rotary International’s End Polio campaign.

Also on June 28, Colonel Fred Ley received a Lifetime Achievement award for his decades of service devoted to Rotary.  Williamstown nominated two people for the District award to non-Rotarians because their contributions to Mt .Greylock High School Building Project are indivisible. Paula Consolini and Carrie Greene between them shepherded a successful bond issue to build a new high school. Greene, as chair of the school committee, was a levelheaded guiding force, while Consolini worked tirelessly behind the scenes. Valerie Hall was named Rotarian of the Year for Williamstown.  

District Governor-Elect Frank Wargo spoke about the impact of Rotary around the world and the importance of personally inviting our friends, neighbors and coworkers who want to make positive change in our community to join the Rotary. Wargo also inducted five new members:  Douglas Dias, Eileen Drummond Moore, Jason Hoch, Jeff Naughton and Emily Watts.



Offering solutions: Redmond Channel Magazine has named Ascentek Inc., based in Pittsfield, as one of the 200 best Microsoft Solution Providers in the United States out of a pool of 100,000 active partners.  Ascentek was named along with much larger, national firms based on its, “very deep technology expertise or with extremely strong access within Microsoft, giving them an outsized ability to provide powerful solutions for customers.”

Ted Frederick, Ascentek’s founder and owner, said, “We are very excited to be included on this list.  While we have always felt that Ascentek’s focus on providing not just technology but also peace of mind to our customers was something special. We are proud to have that recognized on not just a local stage but on a national one.”  

The article states that, “all of the companies here have demonstrated a laser focus on Microsoft technology and a strong commitment to providing great value in the thoughtfully tailored solutions they build for their customers” which closely aligns with Ascentek’s philosophy of providing the right solutions to our customers individual, unique needs rather than a “cookie cutter” solution.

Ascentek provides IT support to businesses in Berkshire County and the greater Albany area with specialties in WAN design, Microsoft’s Office365 Cloud products, and Help Desk services.



New website: John Andrews Farmhouse Restaurant in South Egremont has launched a new mobile-friendly website with easy-to-use navigation and quick access to contact info and directions. Created by Square Candy Design, the new site features profiles of farm partners, special events and updated menus including John Andrews’ weekly Italian featured prix fixe ‘Giovedi,’ which is offered to guests every Thursday night.

A dedicated section of the new site highlights on-site catering for weddings and special events with scenic photography featuring sweeping views of the surrounding forest, beautiful perennial gardens, the old icehouse built as part of the original farmstead in the late 1700s and a welcoming fire pit set in the back of a clearing.

Guests can sign up for the John Andrews Farmhouse mailing list and send inquiries directly to the restaurant from the site.

 

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