Berkshire Trendsetter Awards 2014 Presented

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Peter White, center, with Megan Whilden and Mick Callahan, was named this year's Young Professional Making A Difference. See more photos here.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The region's "Trendsetters" were honored on Tuesday night their for contributions to the economic, cultural and civic health of the Berkshires.  

Sponsored by 1Berkshire, the county's economic development organization, more more than 275 people attended the fourth annual event held at the Pittsfield Municipal Airport.

The Trendsetter Awards recognize businesses, organizations, and individuals whose outstanding achievements and commitment have strengthened the economy and helped the Berkshires grow.

Berkshire Health Systems was recognized with a special award for "Putting the Berkshires on the Map" for its leadership in quality health care and the role that plays in enhancing the overall image, and health, of the Berkshires.

In addition to being the county's largest employer and investing $30 million into the region through the development of the new state-of-the-art Berkshire Medical Center Cancer Center, it demonstrated commitment to the community by stepping to assume responsibility for essential healthcare services after the close of North Adams Regional Hospital in early 2014.

David Phelps, president & CEO of BHS, accepted a one-of-a-kind, handcrafted sculpture at the culmination of the event, donated by Lauren Clark Fine Art of Great Barrington.

Peter White of Pittsfield was named Young Professional Making A Difference for his collaborative vision for Berkshire County and desire to focus on the bigger picture, while remaining involved in numerous neighborhood revitalization efforts.  

In the Creativity and Innovation category, LympheDIVAs was awarded for filling a void in the medical device industry with its development of fashionable, medically correct compression garments for women suffering from lymphedema, which can promote mental health while also providing relief from symptoms.

The Newcomer of the Year award was presented to No. Six Depot Roastery & Cafe for turning the old train station in West Stockbridge into a thriving business that also serves as a community center by hosting local artists and a variety of events ranging from film screenings, performances, dance lessons and more.

Berkshire United Way was named Nonprofit of the Year for its slate of community impact programming that has created sustained improvements in local early childhood literacy, teen substance use prevention, and teen pregnancy prevention.

Winning the Public Relations Trendsetter award was Briarcliff Motel for attracting editorial interest from traditional media and using online media and social sites to build interest, effectively generating buzz and increasing business for their newly opened motel in Great Barrington.

Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort received the Overall Marketing award for implementing a successful year-round marketing campaign that attracts visitors from all over the country by combining traditional, digital, and social tactics, and has resulted in increased visitation rates.

The Growing and Advancing the Berkshire Economy award was given to Berkshire Community College for their leadership in promoting the future of manufacturing in the Berkshires, and collaboration with local educational institutions and businesses to develop a future workforce for the industry so the companies in this field can continue to thrive.

Tags: 1Berkshire,   awards,   business award,   

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Berkshires Beat: BNRC Upgrades Popular Trails for 2019 Summer Season

Trail facelifts

On Monday, June 10, state Rep. Smitty Pignatelli joined members of the Berkshire Natural Resources Council (BNRC) board of directors, volunteers, staff and nature trail enthusiasts to unveil a redesigned trailhead kiosk and enhanced on-trail signage at BNRC's flagship conservation reserve, Yokun Ridge South at Olivia's Overlook. Similar upgrades have also been completed at 16 other BNRC trail sites across Berkshire County. All 54 BNRC reserves are open to the public year-round from dawn to dusk, free of charge.

Each updated kiosk features a large map of the reserve and its trail system; notes on the natural, cultural, and ownership history of the protected lands; and suggested activities for each property.  Also available at the kiosks are free, newly revised paper trail maps for visitor use. Easier-to-read on-trail signage, mostly in the form of large brown signs with white letters, has also been installed on many trails. Among these are trails at The Boulders, a BNRC property used by many, which spans across parts of Dalton, Lanesborough and the City of Pittsfield in the center of Berkshire County.

"These kiosk and signage improvements, coupled with BNRC's new Berkshire Trails app, will help everyone explore the richness of the Berkshires' hiking trails and outdoor opportunities," said BNRC President Jenny Hansell. At Monday's unveiling ceremony, Pignatelli spoke to the crowd of the economic importance of conservation land and outdoor recreation opportunities in the Berkshires.

Established in 1967, the Berkshire Natural Resources Council’s mission is to protect and preserve the natural beauty and ecological integrity of the Berkshires for public benefit and enjoyment. There are 54 BNRC conservation reserves spread across Berkshire County, free to the public, open to everyone for non-motorized recreation, featuring over 55 miles of maintained trails.


Cheshire food pantry

The Cheshire Pantry opened on Saturday, May 26, from 11 a.m. to noon at the Cheshire Community Center. The pantry will be available the first Saturday of each month. Emergency food is available as well as delivery service.

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