Pittsfield Job Fair Draws Hundreds
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Hundreds of job seekers perused job offerings Thursday from more than 45 local businesses.
The annual job fair at the Berkshire Hills Country Club, sponsored by the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, is considered a huge success after the near-future's workforce filled the ballroom all day.
While the troubled economy has lowered hiring rates in the county in recently, this year was different. Employers filled the available spots quicker than ever before, according to Christine Hoyt, director of programs and events at the chamber.
By noon more than 200 people browsed a range of company booths – ranging from manufacturing to health care to banking – for jobs running the whole gambit of levels.
Companies included General Dynamics, which is planning to add 200 jobs this year, LTI Smartglass and Interprint, Onyx Specialty Papers, Wave Systems and InterTech and Dunkin' Donuts as well schools, training centers and career placement organizations.
Sponsors are BerkshireJobs.com, a sister site of iBerkshires, BerkshireWorks Career Center, Interprint Inc., Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Partnerships in Employment and New England Newspapers.
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Southern Berkshire Chamber Announces New Board of Directors
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce has announced its new board of directors for 2011. Daniel Kinney, VP regional market manager, Legacy Banks will leads the board as president. Kate McCormick, partner at McCormick, Murtagh and Marcus is vice president. Edith Gilson, owner of Cupboards and Roses in Sheffield is the treasurer and Scott Rote of Wheeler & Taylor Realty's Sheffield office is the new secretary of the board.
Other members of the chamber board include: Janet Dohoney, Fairview Hospital; Rich Edwards, Catamount Ski Area; Robin Hare, Shopper’s Guide; Pat Melluzzo, Wheeler & Taylor Realty; Cheryl Raifstanger, Kwik Print; Richard Aldrich, Lee Bank; Dan Burke, Iredale Mineral Cosmetics; Carrie Herrington, WearHouse; Bruce Howden, Howden Farm and Kevin Schmitz, Marketplace Kitchen.
Other new members to the board are: Vijay Mahida of the Comfort Inn; Georgann Farnum of Salisbury Bank; Karin Watkins of the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center; and Karen Climo of Karen Climo Real Estate.
Said Christine Ludwiszewski, chief executive officer of the chamber, “The Chamber is working hard to extend its reach and to include members from a variety of businesses in South County. By engaging new leaders, we can continue to advocate on behalf of the business community as well as provide the networking and educational opportunities that our members need.”
At the chamber's recent annual meeting, Kinney reviewed the chamber’s accomplishments in 2010, including new welcome signs at both entrances to Great Barrington; successful workshops on social media, Excel and QuickBooks; two breakfasts featuring state Sen. Benjamin Downing, D.-Pittsfield, and state Rep.William "Smitty" Pignatelli, D-Lenox; an updated website; the September raffle annual fundraiser; the Business Person of the Year event which honored the Ward Family; and a very successful Holiday Stroll.
The Chamber’s first Business After Hours of the year will be held on Thursday, Jan. 13, at the Stagecoach Tavern in Sheffield. More information can be found here.
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January Business Events
Networking events, workshops and seminars for the month of January are listed below. Got an upcoming business event? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Zonta Club of Berkshire County will meet on Monday, Jan. 10, at Patrick's Pub on Park Square, Pittsfield. The guest speakers will be Jeanet Ingalls and Stephen Glantz. They are producing a documentary about the sex trade/trafficking in the Phillipines. The meeting includes a brief networking time, business meeting, speaker and dinner. Guests are welcome at all meetings, but reservations are required for dinner. For more information contact email@example.com.
The Massachusetts Small Business Development Center will present "You’re Looking Ahead – Is Your Management Style Looking Backward?," on Tuesday, Jan. 11, from 9 a.m. to noon at MSBDC, Berkshire Regional Office, 75 North St., Ste. 360, Pittsfield. Topics include whether leaders are better off with an orientation toward problem-solving or toward a desired vision/outcome; the benefits and drawbacks of each of the four leaderships styles, how to assess leadership style; tips for influencing desired outcomes; and implementing steps toward forward-looking leadership
The workshop will be conducted by Diana Brooks, M.A., principal of Diana Brooks Associates Consulting and Training, based in Williamstown. The event is co-sponsored by the Hoosac Bank, Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Lee Bank, Legacy Banks and Berkshire Bank.
Registration begins on site at 8:45. To ensure a space, register in advance to the Small Business Development Center, 413-499-0933, or go to www.msbdc.org/berkshire and select Training Seminars. The fee for the workshop is $29. Checks should be made payable to The University of Massachusetts and mailed to MSBDC, Berkshire Regional Office, 75 North St., Suite 360, Pittsfield, MA 01201 before the day of the workshop.
Berkshire Young Professionals, a program of the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, will host a Networking Social and Ski Night at Bousquet Ski Area, located at 101 Dan Fox Drive, Pittsfield, on Wednesday, Jan. 12, from 3 to 9:30 p.m. Fees are $10 for lifts, $10 for lessons and $10 rentals. From 5 to 7, warm up in the Tamarack Lounge with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. The social is free for BYP members, $5 for nonmembers, and open to all young professionals who live and work in Berkshire County. Attendees are encouraged to bring business cards for networking and to be entered into the door-prize drawing.
Williamstown Chamber of Commerce and True North Financial will present the free seminar "Surfing Massive Social Waves in Pursuit of Investment Opportunity" on Wednesday, Jan 12., from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at The Orchards, 222 Adams Road, Williamstown. Speaker Nancy Williams, a financial advisor at True North, will talk about publicly traded stocks that have been at the forefront of innovation. A continental breakfast will be served. Reservations are required; contact the chamber at 413-458-9077 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce will hold a Business After Hours event on Thursday, Jan. 13, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Stagecoach Tavern, 864 S. Undermountain Road, Route 41, Sheffield. RSVP here.
The Consulting Alliance will hold a lunch meeting on Friday, Jan. 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Wolferts Roost Country Club, 120 Van Rensselaer Blvd., Menands, N.Y. The program,"Winning Clients: One Businessman's Success Strategies" features Tim Conley, president of Conley Associates, an Albany-based leader in commercial real estate. Admission is $15 for members and $20 for nonmembers. Guests and prospective members are invited to attend. Reservations are required; call 518-434-0489 or email email@example.com.
Berkshire Visitors Bureau will host an open discussion on agri-tourism and culinary tourism on Wednesday, Jan. 19, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., at Castle Street Cafe, 10 Castle St., Great Barrington. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce will host a "Chamber Nite" at Greylock Federal Credit Union, 150 West St., Pittsfield, on Wednesday, Jan. 19. Networking will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Hors d'ouevres will be served, Berkshire United Way will give an update on its annual campaign drive, and a name will be drawn from those who donated to the Berkshire United Way in 2010. The winner of the drawing will receive his or choice of a brand-new 2011 Ford Fiesta or $10,000 in cash, donated by Johnson Ford-Lincoln-Mercury-Nissan and Greylock Federal Credit Union.
The event is open exclusively to Berkshire Chamber members and their employees; registration is required by Friday, Jan. 14. Register at 413-499-4000, email@example.com or www.berkshirechamber.com.
On Thursday, Jan. 20, Williamstown Chamber of Commerce will hold an After Hours event at Williamstown Commons Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, 25 Adams Road, Williamstown, from 5 to 7 p.m. The event will include complimentary refreshments and hors d'oeuvres. Bring your business card for a free drawing; RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org, 413-458-9077 or 413-458-2111.
The following week, the Williamstown Chamber will host an After Hours event at Williamstown Family Chiropractic. The event, hosted by WFC owner Dr. Erin Gauthier, will be Thursday, Jan. 27, from 5 to 7, at 227 Adams Road, Williamstown. For more information, go to www.williamstownchiropractic.com
The event is open to chamber members and the general public. To register, call 413-458-9077 or email email@example.com.
Wednesday, Jan. 5, noon: Tax Planning 2011: Get a Head Start on the New Year by Getting Your 2010 Taxes Right, presented by Cliff Ennico, small business attorney and author of 15 books, including “Small Business Survival Guide.”
Wednesday, Jan. 12, noon: Small Business Sales Strategies: How to Generate Sales by Executing Free Visibility Strategies, presented by Tory Johnson, New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of “Will Work From Home: Earn Cash Without the Commute.”
Wednesday, Jan. 19, noon: Printing and Shipping for Small Business: How to Increase Savings, Efficiency and New Customers, presented by Cindy Sparrow, director, FedEx Office Marketing.
Wednesday, Jan. 26, noon: Alternative Funding Sources to Start or Grow Your Business, presented by Cliff Ennico
Nonmembers are welcome to participate. Register for the above programs at www.nfib.com/webinars.
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Williamstown Chamber Seeks Input on Future Role
There was a good turnout at the Williamstown Chamber's annual meeting, held at Gramercy Bistro in North Adams. Chamber members got some preliminary results from a survey about the chamber's future initiatives and spent the evening networking and trying Gramercy's spicy hors d'oeuvres.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Williamstown Chamber should take a leadership role in creating a sustainable Williamstown that includes promoting the creation of private-sector jobs and economic development, and offering cooperative marketing opportunities.
It also should have a greater voice in defining the future of Williamstown — and wait until it has more information on the pros and cons of a proposed biomass plant before taking a stand.
That's the result so far of a survey sent to 300 members on Nov. 10; only a sixth have yet responded to the online survey.
The six statements on the survey are designed to gauge members' interest in the chamber taking a more active role beyond marketing, networking, local promotions and organizing popular events like the upcoming Holiday Walk. The results will be used to help inform the chamber's strategy over the next five years.
Between 80 and 90 percent of those who responded so far strongly and somewhat agreed that the chamber should "lead in economic development" to attract new business, especially outside the tourist/hospitality area, and (three-quarters strongly agreed) offer more cooperative ventures to market to residents as well as tourists. Just over half strongly agreed members with pro-business mindsets should serve on local boards. The
Members bid farewell to board member Aimee Hirz, left, who's leaving the area, and bemoaned the ending terms of co-Presidents Bonnie Clark and Mary Morrow.
However, while the percentages were high, the total respondents was still low. "We need the input," said Allen Jezouit, a member of the chamber's board, at Tuesday night's annual meeting and mixer hosted by Gramercy Bistro on the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts campus.
Co-Presidents Bonnie Clark of Northern Berkshire Healthcare and Mary Morrow of Williamstown Savings Bank will be completing their terms (a announcement that evoked a long awwwww from the more than 40 attendees) and new officers will be introduced at the January meeting.
"Mary and I are on our way out the door. It's been great and if we can say anything to any of you, stay involved," said Clark. "You don't have to do a lot if everybody does a little bit ... it's easier.
Clark, who becomes chairman of the Membership Committee, said there's plenty of room for participation on the chamber's committees. "It's the involvement in the community that counts. You can sit back and complain all you want but ... if you're not part of the solution ... ."
Members also said goodbye to board member and current Secretary Aimee Hirz of the Williams College Museum of Art, who is moving to the Albany, N.Y., area.
Coming up, the chamber will be expanding activities for the annual Holiday Walk to include an "elf" hunt amongst Water Street businesses and an "Ugly Art Swap" at the Harrison Gallery, and is thinking up more activities.
Members also applauded news that they'd raised $3,200 for local nonprofits from this year's networking events.
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Space Still Available at Business-to-Business Showcase
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Exhibit space is still available at the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce's Business-to-Business Showcase, the largest "B2B" event in the region, slated for Tuesday, Nov. 9. The event, which will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza, is free and open to the public.
The 13th annual showcase gives businesses the opportunity to network with new people, promote their products and services, and show off their business to the community. Exhibit spaces have been priced at $125 for Berkshire Chamber members and $175 for nonmembers. All booth spaces include a six-foot table with linens, and electricity is available upon request.
The Business-to-Business Showcase is sponsored by Berkshire Bank, Legacy Banks, The Berkshire Eagle, North Adams Transcript, WUPE Radio and WBEC Radio.
For more information about the Berkshire Chamber’s Business-to-Business showcase, call 413-499-4000, visit www.berkshirechamber.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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