On the move: Berkshire Money Management, a locally based investment advisory firm, will relocate from its Pittsfield offices on Merrill Road to Dalton's Main Street. Recently, BMM purchased the historic 28.5-acre Model Farm and mansion built by Frederick G. Crane Sr. in 1898. The anticipated move-in date is July of this year.
Prior to the projected move-in date, Berkshire Money Management has already made inroads with the Dalton community, and is the lead sponsor for the Dalton Community Recreation Association's annual May Day Races (to be held on Sunday, May 7, at Nessacus Middle School). The firm has also reached out to other organizations, including the Dalton Benefit Association, to get a pulse on community projects and goals.
BMM President and CEO Allen Harris is a longtime resident of the town and is looking forward to working in his "own backyard." "I grew up in Dalton. I played football in Dalton," he said. "My family lives here. I've biked pretty much every mountain trail in this town. Dalton is, and has always been, home. It is exciting to be able to bring our 16-year old firm here."
Doing good: The Berkshire Bank Foundation has awarded $314,901 in grants and pledges to 88 nonprofit organizations through its three main grant programs, which focus on community and economic development, education and basic needs. The funding was awarded during the first quarter grants cycle.
In 2017, Berkshire Bank Foundation implemented refined priorities focusing on specific outcomes. The organizations and programs receiving funding best achieved these outcomes in the areas of early childhood literacy, financial education, job training, affordable housing, small business development, neighborhood revitalization, food access, health care access and addiction treatment, among others.
Additional details about the foundation's philanthropic strategy and application criteria can be found online.
First-time homebuyer class: Greylock Federal Credit Union will offer a free class for first-time homebuyers Wednesday, May 3, and Thursday, May 4, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Greylock Insurance Agency, Allendale Shopping Center, 5 Cheshire Road in Pittsfield. Those interested in attending can complete the course in just two nights.
The free two-night course covers creating a budget, understanding your credit and financing options, and reviewing the home-buying process with an experienced realtor, home inspector, appraiser, and team members from Greylock Insurance Agency. Space is limited; registration is required at 413-236-4125.
Going green: As the country celebrated Earth Day on April 22, Berkshire Bank announced it has exceeded the first of their sustainability objectives through AMEB Green, a corporate initiative to become a more environmentally sustainable company. The company, committed to reducing paper consumption by 10 percent by 2018, surpassed that mark reducing usage by 15 percent a full year earlier than projected.
AMEB Green is focused on results that will impact Berkshire's social, environmental and financial performance by engaging employees and customers in environmentally conscious behaviors. The Bank has completed more than thirty green initiatives since the launch of the effort in 2015, including the standardization of double-sided printing and the elimination of disposable paper products in offices. The company also implemented energy-saving enhancements, recycling and environmental standards all of which contributed to 32 percent of office products coming from recycled sources as well as 228,000 pounds of paper being recycled annually. In addition, eStatement usage by customers increased 21 percent since 2015 as more customers chose more secure and environmentally conscious ways of conducting their business.
The AMEB Green initiative was originally spurred by employee suggestions and was developed by a cross-functional committee that looked at policies, products, operations and behaviors to identify goals and key steps to become a more environmentally sustainable company.
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