Berkshire Natural Resources Council Appoints New President

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The board of directors of Berkshire Natural Resources Council has appointed Jenny Hansell of Sharon, Conn., as its next president, succeeding Tad Ames, who will step down from the organization at the end of the calendar year.

Hansell has served as the executive director of the North East Community Center in Millerton, N.Y., since 2001.

"We conducted a national search resulting in an initial pool of 60 applications. Out of this, Jenny rose to the top on the strength of her experience, track record, and clear articulation of the leadership skills necessary to match the organization's needs and aspirations," said Tim Crane, BNRC's chairman. "The board is delighted as much by her passion for the challenge as by her exemplary qualifications."

Hansell will take the helm of an organization that has had only two chief executives in its 50-year history. The organization has enjoyed tremendous growth in the last five years with the launch of its Berkshire High Road vision and the conclusion of a $5 million capital campaign.

Hansell fully grasps the promise that the Berkshire High Road represents and the challenge of executing against this vision, Crane said.

"Jenny radiates optimism that is informed and seasoned by her experiences leading the North East Community Center. She possesses a sense of urgency to make real BNRC's vision of a county-wide, interconnected network of trails while leading BNRC's broader conservation mission that has become increasingly ambitious and complex," he said. "Tad's stewardship, notably his High Road vision, has created a remarkable platform for the next phase of BNRC's history. Jenny has the background and skill set to lead the organization to new heights."

"It is an honor to have the opportunity to join BNRC at this critical moment in its evolution so I can help bring The High Road to fruition," Hansell said. "I am looking forward to the chance to get to know and work with the organization's talented staff, board, volunteers and community partners, to walk the trails from New Marlborough to Williamstown, and play a part in the preservation of our beautiful Berkshires for generations to enjoy."

The North East Community Center serves northeastern Dutchess County, New York, with programs for children, teens, families and senior citizens, including the Millerton Farmers Market, a Dial A Ride bus, after-school programs, job training and paid internships for teens and young adults, support for families in crisis, and public events like the Spring for Sound music festival. All of the center's current programs were developed under Hansell's leadership.

"Jenny Hansell will be a terrific leader for BNRC, and an invaluable mentor to our high-caliber staff," Ames said. "Between the staff, the board, and the donors who make everything possible, BNRC is blessed with deep reservoirs of passion, talent and local knowledge. It's been a privilege to work with such great people, and I'm honored to pass the torch to Jenny."

BNRC was founded by George Wislocki in 1967. In 2002, Ames succeeded Wislocki. Today the organization stewards nearly 22,000 acres of conservation land, including approximately 50 miles of hiking trails.

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