Berkshire Chamber Authorized as Insurance Group Carrier
The approval by the state Department of Insurance and with Retailers Association of Massachusetts will allow the state association to operate as one of up to six cooperatives authorized by law to work with insurance carriers in an effort to give small businesses and individuals more options for saving on health insurance by banding together to buy coverage.
Through MACCE, the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce has been approved as a qualifying chamber and will work with insurers in the coming months to create new opportunities for its members, of which nearly 85 percent are considered small businesses.
More information on this new member benefit will be discussed at MACCE's annual meeting this Friday, Jan. 6, at Cranwell Resort in Lenox.
Berkshire Chamber Names 2011 Quinn Award WinnerPITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce has named Michael MacDonald as this year's 2011 Esther Quinn Memorial Award Winner.
The award was established in 1999 to honor the memory of Esther Quinn, former Chamber volunteer and advocate for volunteer efforts.
Candidates are judged on the basis of volunteer efforts rather than any measure of success in the field in which they normally are employed or the accomplishments or successes by an individual’s membership in one organization. The award is given to a person who lives or works in Berkshire County and shows enthusiasm, empathy and effort in making the Berkshires a better place to live and work.
MacDonald, a local attorney, was recognized for his commitment to community service, with a focus on reconciling the wants and needs of disparate groups and seeking mutually beneficial solutions instead of individual achievement.
"Michael has played a significant role in the revitalization of downtown Pittsfield through his good work with the Colonial Theatre, Beacon Cinema and Central Block building," said Mick Callahan, chairman of the Esther Quinn Award Committee. "I look forward to presenting this prestigious award to such a deserving person."
MacDonald has devoted his energy and resources to a variety of causes in Berkshire County and has stepped up on many occasions to lend his time and talent to local civic organizations. He has volunteered with Colonial, the chamber, the Berkshire Theatre Group, Downtown Pittsfield Inc., Berkshire County Lacrosse Club and Windsor Planning Board.
He served in varying capacities for each of these local organizations and did so with unparalleled dedication, never wavering in his commitment to see each project through to completion, no matter how complex, according to committee members.
"Michael leads by example with integrity and humor and is the first to volunteer for the most challenging tasks," said Perri Petricca, of Petricca Industries, who nominated MacDonald. "His dedication and work ethic raises the bar for all those who work with him, and his positive attitude and belief that the goal can be achieved inspires those around him."
Now in its 12th year, the Esther Quinn Award has been presented annually since 1999. The very first recipient of this prestigious award was William Wilson, former president and CEO of the Berkshire Visitors Bureau. Past award recipients include: 2000, David Klausmeyer; 2001, Dr. Gary Lamoureaux; 2002, Louann Harvey; 2003, Mick Callahan; 2004, Robert Proskin; 2005, Richard Whitehead; 2006, Ellen Ruberto; 2007, Williams Hines, Sr.; 2008, Jerry Burke; 2009, Conrad Bernier, and last year's winner, June Roy-Martin.
The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce will present the 2011 Esther Quinn Award at its annual meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 7:30, a.m. at the Crowne Plaza in Pittsfield. Tickets are $30. To register, visit www.berkshirechamber.com, call 413-499-4000 Ext. 10, or email email@example.com.
Williams Chamber Meeting Raising Funds for Irene Victims
The meeting is Tuesday, Nov. 29, from 5 to 7 at the Orchards. It is open to the public and the cost is $30 per person for members and nonmembers with 100 percent of the proceeds being donated.
Because of the devastation that happened during Hurricane Irene, and the holiday season upon us, chamber members did not want to forget about the residents of Spruces Mobile Home Park, many of whom will never be able to go back to their homes. Representatives from the Community Fund and Higher Ground will be on board to give an update on what we as a community have been doing along with what we see happening in the coming future.
Higher Ground was established as a nonprofit group on Oct. 21 and is dedicated to providing immediate relief for those affected by Irene, preparing for future disasters, and creating more affordable housing in the area. Higher Ground is providing services and raising money to meet long-term physical, emotional and spiritual needs associated with the disaster, which is perhaps the greatest in Williamstown's history.
The Orchards has graciously donated use of its ballroom and Gala Restaurant chef Chris Bonnivier, with his many contacts, is getting donations from various Berkshire County restaurants for a wide array of food for the evening. There will also be chefs from Mezze, Wild Oats, the Williams Inn, McCann Technical School and Williams College
Contact the chamber at 413-458-9077 or firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
Pittsfield Mayoral Candidates Speaking at Chamber Breakfast
Daniel Bianchi and Peter Marchetti will each be afforded an opportunity to address the chamber membership regarding issues they believe are relevant to the business community. Daniel Bosley of the MountainOne Financial Partners board of directors will emcee the event.
The breakfast will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel from 7:45 to 9. The cost to attend is $25 for chamber members and $35 for nonmembers and includes a breakfast buffet. The event is sponsored by MountainOne Financial Partners.
The chamber's Good News Business Salute Breakfasts seek to showcase "good news" in the Berkshires to create a positive environment for business while promoting quality jobs and celebrating the spirit of success. Businesses to be honored with "good news" recognition at the final celebration of 2011 include Berkshire Graphics, Mark Joseph Jewelers and Partnerships in Employment.
The event will also include a special community recognition of the Berkshire Leadership Program, currently soliciting applications for and celebrating 15 years with the class of 2012.
To register, contact 413-499-4000, Ext. 10, email@example.com or www.berkshirechamber.com.
June Business Events
Networking events, workshops and seminars for the month of June are listed below. Got an upcoming business event? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce will hold a breakfast on Friday, June 3, from 7:45 to 9:15 a.m. at the Comfort Inn, Stockbridge Road. The meeting will celebrate Great Barrington's 250th anniversary; special guests include Great Barrington Board of Selectmen and 250th Committee Co-chairs Ed McCormick and Betsy Andrus, state Sen. Ben Downing. Register at 413-528-4284 or email@example.com. Admission is $25 per person.
Berkshire Young Professionals will throw a networking social on Thursday, June 9, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Hancock Shaker Village, Route 20, Pittsfield. Admission is $5 for nonmembers, free for members. Register here.
The Lenox Chamber of Commerce will hold an after hours mixer on Thursday, June 9, at Dr. Lahey's Garden Center, 1032 South St., Pittsfield. The event begins at 6 p.m. and includes light seasonal fare and a cash bar. RSVP to 413-637-3646 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce will hold an after hours event on Thursday, June 9, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Gould Farm's Roadside Cafe, 100 Gould Road, Montery. RSVP to 413-528-1510 or email@example.com.
The Zonta Club of Berkshire County will meet on Monday, June 13 at 5 p.m. at Patrick's Pub, Park Square, Pittsfield. The meeting will include the installation of new officers; the guest speaker will be this year's winner of the Berkshire Community College Scholarship. The meeting includes a brief networking time, business meeting, speaker and dinner. Reservations required for dinner. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce will hold a Chamber Nite event on Wednesday, June 15, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Devanny-Condron Funeral Home, 40 Maplewood Ave., Pittsfield. Complimentary hors d'ouevres will be served; bring business cards for a door-prize drawing. Open to chamber members only; register here.
The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce puts on a Good News Business Salute on Wednesday, June 22, from 7:45 to 9 a.m. at the Berkshire Hills Country Club, 500 Benedict Road, Pittsfield. Admission is $25 for chamber members, $35 for nonmembers. Registration is open until June 21; register here.
Northern Berkshire Professional Women will meet at the Williams Inn, Williamstown, on Wednesday, June 22, at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will have a baby shower theme; items brought to the meeting will be donated to a local charity. The cost of dinner is $25; for meal choice and to make a reservation, contact Sherrie Thompson at 413-458-1914.
Berkshire Creative will hold a Spark! networking event on Thursday, June 30, at the town of Adams Armory Court and Topia Arts Center, Adams. The free event runs from 5:30 to 7 p.m.; RSVP here.