LENOX, Mass. — Sports brackets and the performing arts are rarely mentioned in the same sentence, but this summer, marketing agency Winstanley Partners is trying to win $10,000 for the Berkshire Theatre Group in a national endeavor dubbed "Social Madness."
In March when most people were paying attention to the NCAA brackets, Winstanley Partners entered Social Madness, a contest hosted by American City Business Journals designed to measure the social media and networking performance of companies across the country. Weeks of promotion and competition followed as the playing field narrowed to 43 businesses that will advance to the final, national round on Tuesday, July 16. This week, Winstanley Partners found themselves among that group.
Three national winners of the 11-week challenge in small-, medium- and large-size categories will be announced Aug. 20 and awarded $10,000 each to be given to a nonprofit organization on their behalf.
Jaclyn Stevenson, director of public relations and social media of Winstanley, said the Berkshire Theatre Group became the agency's charity of choice because of its various educational and performance opportunities for both residents and visitors, as well as its rich cultural legacy.
"Not only do we firmly support BTG's mission, we believe they are a perfect partner to help us put Berkshire County in the national spotlight," Stevenson said. "Promoting arts education and cultural programs in Berkshire County is a cause that our communities can get behind, and one that will gain strength in numbers. This contest is a great example of social philanthropy, which gives anyone and everyone a chance to contribute to the region's future with a few clicks of a mouse."
Social Madness measures a company's social media engagement through a variety of outlets. Activity on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages is measured, and votes are counted on bizjournals.com. To help Winstanley Partners win the grand prize for Berkshire Theatre Group, anyone can like, comment on, or share content from the agency's Facebook and LinkedIn pages, mention @WinstanleyLenox on Twitter, and vote daily at the Social Madness homepage, from which all of Winstanley Partners' eligible social networks are linked.
Toyota Honors K-M Motors for 50-Year Partnership
By John Durkan On: 06:46PM / Thursday April 04, 2013
Derek Dubie, left, Dennis Dubie, Cooper Erickson and Nancy Kolac pose with the trophy for the 50-year partnership between Toyota and K-M Motors.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A lot has changed in the last 50 years, but K-M Motors' relationship with Toyota hasn't.
For that, Toyota Regional General Manager Cooper Erickson awarded the shop with a glass trophy during a brief ceremony Thursday morning at K-M Motors' Curran Highway showroom.
"It's been a great relationship, a great product," said Dennis Dubie, owner of K-M Motors. "The relationship of Toyota and K-M has been fantastic."
Erickson credited K-M Motors, the second oldest Toyota dealership in New England, with taking the risk with Toyota, and then following through with daily operations.
"What made Toyota great was entrepeneurs who wanted to take a chance [with Toyota]," Erickson said. "Toyota was no sure thing in 1963."
Mayor Richard Alcombright also spoke highly of the store, noting its "tremendous customer service" and great location at the "busiest corridor" in the city.
Erickson also recognized office manager Nancy Kolac, who has been working at K-M Motors for those 50 years. She was awarded a gift certificate to Cranwell Resort, Spa and Golf Club in Lenox.
Kolac said the dealership changed a lot since she began working there in 1963. Throughout the earlier years, she worked with a lot of her family — including her father Henry Kolac, the founder of K-M Motors. Since then, the rest of the family moved on.
Nancy Kolac received a gift certificate to Cranwell Resort, Spa and Golf Club in recognition of her 50 years on the staff.
Kolac said some things are still the same. Her appreciation of customers, who she considers more as friends than customers, as well as the challenges the store and those friends face.
"It's almost like you had the same struggle as back then with the economy," Kolac said.
Dubie said K-M Motors is the only new-car retailer in North Adams, believing the waves of recessions have left them the last standing. He said that designation is special, but feels empathetic toward other owners who discontinued service because of the difficult times in the industry.
Henry Kolac first opened K-M Motors, formerly known as Nash North Adams, in 1945. The store was later renamed to K-M Motors after taking a different franchise.
Dubie joined K-M Motors in 1980, partnering with Henry Kolac. After Kolac's death in 1991, Dubie took sole ownership. His son Derek Dubie is the general manager of the shop.
K-M Motors has two locations. The offices at 51 West Main St. does sales, service, body work and sells parts. The 1300 Curran Highway location has the showroom.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Visitors Bureau and 1Berkshire will present the second annual Berkshire Trendsetter Awards on Thursday, June 7, at 6 at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute in Lenox.
The awards recognize individuals, businesses and communities for their outstanding marketing and economic development efforts in the Berkshires and will be presented as part of the Celebrate the Berkshires event.
A catered cocktail hour reception will include a preview of approximately 30 select items from the Berkshires Dream Auction. Following the reception, awards will be presented in the categories of Overall Marketing, Workforce Development, Marketing on a Shoestring, Public Relations, and Inspiring a Community.
The evening will culminate by recognizing Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival as the "Putting the Berkshires on the Map" honoree for 2012.
Tickets start at $55 and can be purchased by visiting www.berkshires.org. A portion of the ticket is tax deductible.
PITTSFIELD, 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.
WESTFIELD, Mass. — Tighe & Bond has been recognized once again as one of the best civil engineering firms to work for in the nation.
ZweigWhite, the publisher of CE News, named the firm as at its annual Best Firms to Work for Summit in San Diego at the end of September. The New England-based Tighe & Bond ranked second among mid-size firms and eighth overall.
ZweigWhite sponsors the event that celebrates the winners of its Best Firms To Work For competition and offers engineering and architecture firms a place to share strategies, successes and industry news. The yearly competition is based on business practice data collected from numerous participating firms across the country, including feedback solicited through an employee survey.
The competitive ranking that results is based on evaluations of factors such as firm culture and workplace practices, employee benefits, career development and growth opportunities, compensation, performance and recognition, as well as recruiting and retention rates. All firms that apply for this ranking and recognition are evaluated against each other, not a set standard. The ranking also classifies firms by size categories.
"This is the second time that we have been honored with this recognition as a best firm and we are thrilled. However, the tribute is especially meaningful this year since it dovetails with the celebration of our 100th year anniversary and a century of dedication to our clients," said David E. Pinsky, president of Tighe & Bond. "This recognition verifies once again that we are on the right track. Our hard-working employees are the key to our success and we are committed to their wellbeing and development so that they can continue to provide the high-quality, responsive services that our clients deserve."
Tighe & Bond was founded in 1911 and now has offices in Westfield, Worcester and Pocasset; Middletown and Shelton, Conn.; and Portsmouth, N.H. Engineering News Record annually ranks Tighe & Bond among the top design and environmental engineering firms nationally. The firm provides engineering and environmental services for clients in government, industry, health care, education, real estate and water/wastewater markets. It has worked extensively with local municipalities and other organizations in Berkshire County.