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Berkshire Hills Bancorp Inc. Acquires CBT

Michael P. Daly
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc., the parent company of Berkshire Bank, completed its acquisition of CBT – The Connecticut Bank and Trust Company, a $280 million bank with eight banking offices serving the Greater Hartford area.
CBT has been merged into Berkshire Bank, and the Connecticut offices will operate under the name Berkshire Bank – CBT Region.
"We are delighted to welcome the CBT team to the Berkshire Bank family, and we look forward to building on the strong foundation that they have established in Connecticut," Berkshire President and CEO Michael P. Daly said.
Berkshire Bank will maintain CBT's visual identity as well as its name. Additionally, David Lentini, former CBT chairman and chief executive officer, has transitioned to Berkshire Bank as Connecticut regional leader.
Connecticut Bank and Trust has operated branch offices in Glastonbury, Newington, Rocky Hill, Vernon, West Hartford, Windsor and Hartford. These branches will now operate as Berkshire Bank – CBT Region with full systems conversion occurring later this year.
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New Berkshire Magazine Debuts This Summer

By Tammy Daniels
iBerkshires Staff
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — A new regional magazine will launch this June/July to cover culture, arts, fashion and style in the Berkshires.

Berkshire Magazine joins the five regional magazines covering parts of Connectictut and Bedford, N.Y., published by Morris Media Group. Elements of the periodicals also appear as part of www.TownVibe.com.

Geoffrey Morris, editor-in-chief and publisher, isn't afraid to step in where the award-winning Berkshire Living tried and failed.

"They were putting out a good product and they were demonstrating there was an advertising market there," said Morris last week. "People loved the magazine. ... Advertisers and readers both want it."

Morris said his group has the administrative support and experience to operate the venture successfully. The existing five magazines have more than 150,000 readers, according to the group's website. A veteran writer and editor — he was executive editor of the National Review and did stints at Reader's Digest and MBA Jungle — Morris founded the publishing group in 2002.

"I'm very bullish on print," he said. "People want to pick it up, they want to touch, they want to look at the good quality photos."

The initial run for Berkshire Magazine will be 20,000 — 15,000 delivered and 5,000 available at newstands and other venues. Berkshire Magazine will publish eight times a year and speak, according to a press release, "with a local authoritative voice, report with an informed curiosity, and present powerful visual images."

On Thursday, Anastasia Stanmeyer was named the magazine's editor. The international journalist and her husband, a contract photographer for National Geographic, now reside in Otis, where she's working on an oral history of the town.

Morris said writers and photographers for the magazine will be Berkshires based. The magazine group is headquartered in Ridgefield, Conn.

"It's going to be a fabulous magazine and we really want to capture the heart of the Berkshires and show how great the Berkshires are," he said.
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Best Buy at Berkshire Mall Staying Open

By Larry Kratka
Berkshire News Network
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — It looks like the Best Buy store at the Berkshire Mall will be staying open.

Best Buy is reeling from online competition and announced last month that it would be reducing the number of locations in an effort to cut costs. The company has just disclosed the list of retail locations it plans to close this year, which will come to a grand total of 50 stores in the United States.

Boston and Wareham will lose one store each but that's it for Massachusetts. No stores are closing in nearby New York or Connecticut.

The hardest hit states were California, Illinois and Virginia. Best Buy officials said they expect most of these stores will permanently close by May 12. Three additional locations are expected to permanently close later this summer. Best Buy operates 1,400 stores across the nation.

USA Today reported the electronics retailer is also cutting 400 corporate jobs. CEO Brian Dunn stepped down last week. The company has said it will be opening some 100 smaller and more profitable "mobile" stores.
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Berkshire Career Fair Seeks Employers

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce is seeking employers to exhibit at the 2012 Berkshire Career Fair on Thursday, April 26 at Berkshire Hills Country Club.  
The Berkshire Career Fair is open to the general public from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and attendees are encouraged to bring copies of their resumes.
Last year, more than 40 companies participated, offering an array of job opportunities from entry level to high-level management positions. 
"We have many quality employers returning to the career fair again this year, allowing job-seekers to see first-hand the exciting employment opportunities available in the region and giving them the opportunity to make valuable face-to-face connections with a variety of businesses," said Christine Hoyt, director of programs and events for the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce. "We look forward to another great Career Fair." 
Career fair exhibitors may choose between six-foot and eight-foot tables, each with table skirting.  Prices for Berkshire Chamber members are $99 for the six-foot table or $125 for the eight-foot table.  Non-members prices are $150 for a six-foot table or $180 for the eight-foot table.   For more information or to reserve a spot, contact Christine Hoyt at 413-499-4000, ext. 26 or choyt@berkshirechamber.com.
As an added benefit, the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce is offering a series of workshops in association with BerkshireWorks Career Center to help exhibitors and job-seekers alike prepare for this highly anticipated event.
► Creating Your Resume: April 11, 10 a.m. – noon; Facilitator: Barbara Emanuel
► Job Club: Job Fair Success Strategies: April 17, 1 – 2 p.m.; Facilitator: Millie Calesky
► Job Fair to Job Offer: April 18, 10 a.m. – noon; Facilitators: Barbara Emanuel and Barbara Bond
► Job Club: Job Fair – Do's and  Don'ts: April 23, 1 – 2 p.m.;  Facilitator: Millie Calesky
► Job Club: Confidence Building for Job Seekers: April 30, 1 – 2 p.m.; Facilitator: Millie Calesky
All workshops will be held at BerkshireWorks Career Center, 160 North St. and are free and open to the public. To register, visit www.berkshireworks.org or call 413-499-2220, ext. 110.
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Birthplace Museum Receives $2,500 Grant

 ADAMS, Mass. — The Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum received a $2,500 grant from Adams Community Bank, which will match a Mass Humanities grant the museum recently received for its 2012 event series.

The Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum, located at 67 East Rd., holds events throughout the year. Local and nationally known performers, authors and scholars will participate in series.

"We’re very pleased that Adams Community Bank is making this investment in the museum and in Adams," Program Director Cynthia Whitty said. "The grants help fund our event series that benefits people of all ages throughout the Berkshires."

Greylock Federal Credit Union is also a Mass Humanities event contributor to the Birthplace Museum this year.

For more information on the Birthplace Museum and the event series, contact info@susanbanthonybirthplace.org or 413-743-7121 or visit www.susanbanthonybirthplace.org.
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