Cinema facelift: Developer and owner Richard Stanley is investing about $500,000 into the Beacon Cinema beginning this July. The renovation includes the removal of all the existing stadium seating and replacing them with Power Recliners complete with adjustable arm rests. "Our patrons will experience seating for the 21st century," Stanley said.
The renovation will run from mid-July to mid-October. Three theaters will closed at a time. To kick off the new project, the Beacon will be offering a number of promotions and contests throughout the entire renovation period. "We want people to be as excited as we are," said Lydia Shulman, Beacon manager. "We're thrilled to showcase the new seating. We'll have a demo seat set up in the lobby where folks can actually experience the new seats themselves."
Customers will be encouraged to sit in the demo seats and take a selfie, then they can email the photo to the Beacon to be entered into a raffle for monthly prizes of 10 free tickets. Each month the Beacon will post the winners on the pre-movie slide show social media and promotional website BigBeaconSeats.com.
In addition, the Beacon will give out scratch-off tickets and patrons can enter for a grand prize weekend for two in San Juan Puerto Rico, hotel and air included.
Wheeler & Taylor’s President George Ryan, left, was honored.
In appreciation: The Stockbridge Chamber of Commerce honored its members during the annual member appreciation event held at the Hilton Garden Inn on Wednesday, June 7. Special recognition during the evening was given to Wheeler & Taylor, the oldest independent insurance agency in Berkshire County with five offices on the Route 7 corridor with two real estate offices. Their staff is what makes Wheeler & Taylor successful, as they have 47 full time employees and most are long term which makes for a very knowledgeable business.
Michael Duffy, Chamber president and Museum Store manager at Norman Rockwell Museum, said that the Wheeler and Taylor family has been deeply involved in the town of Stockbridge and the Chamber of Commerce for many years. Many of the staff have volunteered for events and sat on the Chamber's board of directors and committees. They are also a large financial sponsor of the chamber.
Duffy recognized a few of the employees present that night. Jessi Meagher, a realty sales associate of Wheeler & Taylor, is in her second year with the chamber sitting on the Board of Directors and member of the membership committee. Mike Diaz, an account executive managing Dalton, sat on the board of directors for three years, along with the membership committee resigning in 2015. Kim TenBroeck, Insurance Operations manager, was recognized for her volunteer support when she worked in the Stockbridge office. Douglas Goudey, who serves as the president of Wheeler & Taylor Realty, along with a position of chief financial officer of the Insurance Division, sat on the Board of Directors for 10 years, resigning in 2010. In his time with the Chamber, he assisted in implementing the build-out of the Chamber's permanent home office; he was also involved in receiving funding from the town for promoting tourism, and acquiring the information booth on Main Street. Among many other things, he still organizes and oversees the Summer Arts & Crafts Show and the Christmas Weekend Antique Cars.
Duffy said that Wheeler & Taylors' passion for business and the community have made them this year's Honoree Business of the Year. An award was presented to Wheeler & Taylor’s President George Ryan, who has been with Wheeler & Taylor for 37 years, serving as president for the past six years and having worked in Stockbridge for 20+ years. Wheeler and Taylor was appreciated and recognized for all they have done to advocate the Chambers commitment to the support of the businesses and the overall well being of the town of Stockbridge and its environs.
Status update: Berkshire Agricultural Ventures has earned its official 501(c)3 IRS tax-exempt, nonprofit status. Based in Great Barrington, Mass., BAV's mission is dedicated to supporting farm and food business development and viability in the Berkshire region by offering access to technical assistance and nimble financing including low interest loans, grants and other professional resources. By weaving together a variety of resources to forge a robust food and farming system, Berkshire Agricultural Ventures is laying the groundwork for a thriving local food economy that will make fresh, healthy food available to all.
BAV co-founder and board member Neil Chrisman is a Berkshire-area resident, entrepreneur and longstanding board member for other area nonprofits such as Berkshire Grown and Jacob's Pillow. The newly appointed executive director is Cynthia Pansing, former CEO of Changing Tastes, a food and sustainable agriculture consulting firm.
Building upon our strong, regional partnerships, Berkshire Agricultural Ventures plans to support farm and food businesses not only in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, but also in the neighboring Hudson Valley in New York State, northwest Connecticut and other surrounding areas. Originally launched in 2011 as a new venture of the Carrot Project, BAV then became a program of Berkshire Grown and remained one until May 2017, with the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation providing fiscal support. All three organizations are valued partners of BAV as an independent organization. For more information, please visit the website or call Pansing at 413-645-3594.
For the future: The Pittsfield Cooperative Bank has given 19 area students awards from the bank's Centennial Scholarship Fund. Created in 1989 in celebration of the Co-op's 100th anniversary, the fund has provided over $300,000 in aid to local students seeking to further their education.
This year’s recipients include: Brandon Peaslee and Ashley Keegan from Taconic High School; Grady Peterson and Jackson Rich from Pittsfield High School; Theresa Kirsimagi, Bryce Pettograsso and Connor Thurston from St. Joseph's Central High School; Wyatt Schleicher, Max McIlquham, McKenna McIlquham, Collette Basiliere, Sam Clayton, Will Genaway and Kyle Gazillo from Wahconah Regional High School; Zachary Tinker and Alyssa Mack from Monument Mountain Regional High School; Maya Neski from Mount Everett Regional High School; Ryan Rues from Lee High School; and Alexandra Trousilec from Lenox Memorial High School
J. Jay Anderson, president and CEO of the Pittsfield Co-op Bank said, "Supporting our community is a hallmark of what we do and these scholarships are an investment in our community’s future. We are proud to support students achieve their dreams and we look forward to welcoming them home to live and work in the Berkshires."
Eco strategies: Williams College's Class of 1966 Environmental Center has attained Petal Certification under the Living Building Challenge (LBC), the world’s most rigorous proven performance standard for buildings. Integrated Eco Strategy, a North Adams-based consulting firm facilitating sustainable and regenerative building design, renovation and construction, managed and documented all Imperatives of the certification program for Williams.
The 9,500-square-foot building, on a 1.1-acre site, houses the Center for Environmental Studies and the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives. The center integrated Kellogg House — an historic 1790s frame structure home to the college's first four presidents — with new construction.
A program of the nonprofit International Living Future Institute, the LBC aims to create healthy and beautiful buildings that are regenerative and self-sufficient. Success is defined in terms of actual performance in seven areas, or "petals," specifically place, water, energy, health and happiness, materials, equity and beauty.
LBC projects must strive to produce more energy than they use, collect their own potable water from rainfall, treat all grey and storm water on site, use the healthiest building materials available and provide a beautiful, educational and healthy environment for occupants.
In addition to Integrated Eco Strategy, the center design team included Black River Design Architects, Montpelier, Vt.; Guntlow & Associates, Williamstown; and Wagner Hodgson Landscape Architecture, Burlington, Vt.
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