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BCC Workshop Seeks to Make You Work Better
By: Staff Reports On: 06:07PM / Wednesday September 07, 2011
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Looking to improve your workplace performance? Berkshire Community College is offering a one-morning workshop in Great Barrington that could help you change your behavior at work for the better.

"How Behavior Impacts Management, Impacts Performance" (WKS-2514), according to the college, "introduces a pattern of behavior that follows participants through life and explains why people do what they do."

The course description says the new pattern forms the basis for a "proven management system." Through lectures, illustrations and games, the workshop's leaders will show how to improve performance in any of the hundreds of variables that affect quantity, quality, timeliness and cost.

The class meets Friday, Oct. 21, from 9 to noon in the South County Center. Cost for registration is $30. Call BCC's South County Center at 413-528-4521 to register.

If you go, let us know if it made a difference in your behavior.



     
New Dog Training Center Open in North Adams
By: Patrick Ronan On: 09:14PM / Monday June 07, 2010
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Melissa Wilkinson poses outside of her new business, Dog Gone Good Dog Training, located at 195 Ashland St. in North Adams.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — There's a new place for dog training in the Berkshires.

Melissa Wilkinson, the animal control officer in North Adams, opened Dog Gone Good Dog Training at 195 Ashland St. last month, offering classes ranging from puppy kindergarten to advanced obedience training. The 29-year-old Williamstown native has had aspirations to run her own dog-training facility since she was a teenager, and she's finally doing it.

"The benefits you can get from a training class is the relationship you end up having with your dog," Wilkinson said on Monday. "They may not walk away being the smartest dog on the block, but what is the relationship you're going to end up having? What motivates them, excites them? What do they dislike doing? I try to help people figure that out, so they can have a good relationship with their dog."

Wilkinson said her training methods vary by each dog's age and obedience level. She has four different classes: puppy kindergarten, basic obedience, advanced obedience and socialization sessions. The puppy course focuses on things like crate training, potty training, nipping, and jumping. In the basic classes, Wilkinson will work on the dog's control, teaching commands such as 'sit' and 'stay.'

Advanced obedience will reaffirm the basic commands, but under heavier distractions and distance learning. The obedience training lasts six weeks and the cost is $85 per dog. Each class is limited to six dogs.

The socialization classes are tentatively scheduled for every other Saturday, and they consist of two hours of play time with other dogs. The limit is 10 dogs per class. Owners have the option of staying and participating in the session, or dropping their dogs off. The price is $10 per social class, but there are discounts for frequent visitors.

Wilkinson said social classes can be very beneficial to the dog and owner.

"I'll helps the [owners] understand what's play behavior and what's leaning toward aggression," she said. "It's healthy for people to know what's OK and what's not OK for dog play."

Wilkinson, who has experience as a veterinarian technician and who has taught puppy classes at Greylock Animal Hospital for the last six years, also offers private lessons and behavior consultations, which can be held either at the training center or at the dog owner's home.

She is planning on having seminars at the center, where outside training will provide strength and agility lessons.

"I read dogs really well, and I read people very well," she said. "I will go all the way from positive-reinforcement training, which is happy-go-lucky, 'cookie, cookie, cookie,' to rough-love training, which is nothing in life is free. Whatever the dog needs and whatever the person is willing to do, we'll find somewhere along the scale and make it work."

Since she held her first class on May 25, Wilkinson has had several clients from outside of North Adams, including Pittsfield,  and Pownal and Stamford, Vt. She has a rotating schedule of classes that caters both to her availability and the availability of her clients. Wilkinson takes appointments by phone, and she posts schedule announcements on the Dog Gone Good Dog Training Facebook page.

To reach Wilkinson, call 413-663-4559.



Tags: dog training      
Women's Fund Training New Leaders
By: Staff Reports On: 07:57PM / Tuesday June 01, 2010
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Susan Olshuff, a Lenox fundraiser and consultant, reminded us of the new leadership program being launched for women in the western end of the state to prep them for potential political office.

The Leadership Institute for Political Impact, a program of Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts, is a yearlong inititative promotes leadership and community organizing and covers the legislative process and policy and running for political office. Different topics will be addressed in daylong sessions on Saturdays.

Olshuff was one of eight Berkshire women were selected for this inaugural session along with more than 30 others throughout Western Mass. "I can't wait to jump in and see what kind of trouble we can instigate!!" wrote Olshuff.

We can't either.



Tags: organizing, civics      
Deadline Extended for Berkshire Leadership Program
By: Staff Reports On: 02:02PM / Friday February 26, 2010
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The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce just announced that it's extended the application deadline for the 2010 Berkshire Leadership Program.

The 13-year-old program accepts up to 30 candidates based on an application form and written references. Those selected will attend a two-day retreat, facilitated by professionals, which includes training aspects of leadership, problem-solving techniques and networking. The retreat is followed by nine weekly, four-hour evening sessions on specific topic areas, such as government, energy, economic development, tourism and the creative economy, education, health care, and leadership.

It's part of the chamber's goal to develop and sustain county leaders from a range backgrounds who are committed to addressing community challenges and improve the quality of life in the Berkshires. More than 350 people have graduated from the program since its inception in 1997.

The cost to participate is $595 and includes all meals and overnight accommodations at Jiminy Peak Ski Resort during the retreat. Limited financial assistance is available.

Applications are available at www.berkshirechamber.com/blp and must be received by Tuesday, June 30. For more information, contact Ashley Sulock, program coordinator, at 413-499-4000, Ext. 15, or at asulock@berkshirechamber.com.



Tags: Berkshire Leadership Program      
March Networking Events/Seminars
By: Staff Reports On: 11:37AM / Friday February 26, 2010
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The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce is having its second Good News Business Salute meeting on Wednesday, March 10, from 7:45 to 9 a.m., at the Crowne Plaza, West Street, Pittsfield. The cost is $25 for Berkshire Chamber members and $35 for non-members, and includes a breakfast buffet. To register, call 413-499-4000, Ext. 26, e-mail choyt@berkshirechamber.com, or visit www.berkshirechamber.com. Individuals who registered for the canceled February event do not need to register again.

Lenox Chamber of Commerce is having its next event on Monday, March 1, at 6 p.m., at the Firefly Restaurant, 71 Church St., Lenox. Bring your business card for door prizes, which include a one-month membership to Lenox Fitness Center, golf with a cart for two at Cranwell, and a gift certificate for $35 to Furnace Brook Winery. RSVP to 413-637-2700 by Monday at 3 p.m.

The North Adams Rotary Club is actively looking for new members and is inviting those interested to join the group for a meeting to see what it's all about. The next meeting is Tuesday, March 2, at 12:15 at the Freight Yard Pub. Guest speakers also wanted; contact President Tracy McConnell at 413-663-2189 if you are interested in speaking about your business or organization.

The Williamstown Chamber of Commerce presents "The Marketing Transformation: A Road Map to ROI" on Tuesday, March 2, from 9 to 11 a.m. at The Orchards. Allen Jezouit and Jeff Stripp will discuss current marketing investments and "new media" opportunities. Free for chamber members; $25 for nonmembers. Wireless service is available so bring your laptops. Register at 413-458-9007 or info@williamstownchamber.com.

Spark!, the networking group for the Berkshires' creative economy, has rescheduled this week's postponed meeting for Thursday, March 4, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Francine and Sterling Clark Art Institute, Williamstown. For more information, contact info@berkshirecreative.org or call 413-822-8324.

The Stockbridge Chamber of Commerce's annual dinner was postponed to Tuesday, March 2, at 5:30 p.m. at the Red Lion Inn because of snow. For more information, 413-298-5200 or info@stockbridgechamber.org.

Pamela Smith of Esselte will present "Got Paper:  Organizing for Better Workflow and Efficiency" at the March meeting of the Berkshire County Chapter of International Association of Administrative Professionals on Wednesday, March 10, at Berkshire Bank on West Street in Pittsfield. Networking begins at 5:30 p.m. followed by the program at 6. Refreshments will be provided. The meeting is open to members and non-members and qualifies for 1 recertification credit for CPS and CAP. The cost is $5 per person to cover the cost of refreshments. RSVP to Melissa James at m.james@mcla.edu by March 8.

The Southern Berkshire Chamber's next Business After Hours event will be on Wednesday, March 10, from 5:30 to 7:30 at Lee Bank, Main Street, Great Barrington. RSVP at visitor@southernberkshirechamber.com, or call 413-528-1510.

The chamber's also sponsoring a ski night at Catamount Ski Area on Saturday, March 6, from 3 to 10. Lift tickets for Southern Berkshire Chamber members are $15 and must be purchased in advance at the Great Barrington office at 40 Railroad St. by Friday or the visitors' center on Main Street on Friday or Saturday.


The Williamstown Chamber of Commerce is having an after hours event at Gala Restaurant at the Orchards Hotel on Thursday, March 11 from 5 to 7 p.m. Hors d' oeuvres will be provided by Executive Chef Chris Bonnivier. Cash bar will be available.

Activities will include tours of the hotel, Wii bowling, a special announcement from David Rempell on the Williamstown Youth Center "Together We Can” fund raising campaign, and a special giveaway. After the chamber event, there will be karaoke with Brian Flagg.

There will be a fee of $10 and advance registration is required; call or e-mail the chamber at 413-458-9077 or info@williamstownchamber.com.

The Berkshire Visitors Bureau is holding a free, open forum discussion on Wednesday, March 17, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., to share ideas and strategies for soliciting group business in the Berkshires. The event takes place at the Comfort Inn and Suites, 249 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington.



Tags: chambers, Rotary, Spark, after hours      
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