Watercooler: Company Donates Quilts to Hospital
Staff of Oceanair Marine, Ltd., of Manchester, Vt., visited the Women's and Children's Department of Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, a division of Southwestern Vermont Health Care, on Friday, Dec. 21, to deliver 19 hand-stitched, soft and colorful quilts and blankets for families being treated on the unit during the holidays.
The quilts were made with around 60 yards of donated fabric coming from donors from as far away as Minneapolis. Some of the quilts were made by employees who had never quilted before, while others — richly detailed — were made by more experienced quilters. Each one took between five and 10 hours of labor. The effort is a part of the company’s Kovers 4 Kids initiative, which is new this year but that the company intends to continue.
Situated in Manchester, Vt., Oceanair is a world leader in the design and manufacture of marine, residential, commercial and RV blinds, shades and soft furnishings. The company was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in the United Kingdom. The Manchester factory was established in 2006 and employs 22 people.
Berkshire Family & Individual Resources has started the new year with an organizational restructuring and internal promotions. Rich Weisenflue, previously executive director, will assume the role of chief executive officer, while Ethel Altiery will become executive director, Jane Patenaude-LeBeau will become chief financial officer and Theresa Gelinas will become senior vice president-day services.
The structural changes come as a response to the organization's continued growth and poise BFAIR on a trajectory for future endeavors. According to Alex Kastrinakis, BFAIR's board chairperson, "The board of directors placed an emphasis on devising a management structure to achieve the agency's mission to meet the growing needs of people with disabilities and older adult members of our community. In 2019, we will celebrate the agency's 25th anniversary and the new structure is also reflective of the positive changes the management team accomplished over the past two decades including expansion of services beyond the Berkshires into the Pioneer Valley and southern Vermont."
Restructuring of the management team will also include a newly created position, vice president-residential services.
Jack Miller Contractors has launched a new mobile-friendly website with easy-to-use navigation, beautiful photography and quick access to contact info. Created by David Edge Design and John McAlister Technology Consulting, the new site features the team that makes it all happen, profiles of recent projects, a clear understanding of the company’s process, and client testimonials and awards, including Jack Miller Contractors' recent induction into REMODELING Magazine’s Big50.
Founder and owner Jack Miller has been in business in Williamstown for more than 12 years. He learned the trade from his father, a builder and remodeler in northeast Ohio. Inspired to choose a life in the trades, Miller developed a keen interest in the building craft and applied building science. He studied business at Ashland University, spent a few years in the steel industry and was a campus minister for 10 years, where he learned the constructive skill of mentoring.
Jack Miller Contractors is a full-service general contractor building distinctive new homes and remodel projects in the Berkshires, Southern Vermont and Rensselaer County. Their in-house team of skilled carpenters and project managers works closely with clients, architects and trade contractors to build beautiful, durable and efficient homes in a collaborative environment.
Community development donation
Salisbury Bank has made a $5,000 grant to the Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire, funding its work building low-moderate income housing and creating jobs in the Berkshires. This grant will support the organization by growing its general fund to expand staff and further the non-profit’s important work helping families and individuals in the southern Berkshire region.
Salisbury Bank is a full-service community bank headquartered in Lakeville, Connecticut and presently operates full service branches in Canaan, Lakeville, Salisbury, and Sharon, Connecticut; Great Barrington, Sheffield, and South Egremont, Massachusetts; as well as Dover Plains, Fishkill, Millerton, New Paltz, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, and Red Oaks Mill, New York. The bank has been serving families and businesses for over 170 years and offers a full range of consumer and business banking products and services as well as trust and investment services.
Most recently, CDCSB was awarded approximately $15.5 million in state and federal funding for its Bentley Apartments project in Great Barrington. These affordable housing funds from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development complete the financing package needed for both the housing project, as well as the remediation of 100 Bridge, the former New England Log Homes site. Construction is expected to commence in early summer 2019.
Graphic design awards
William Pitt-Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty, with offices in Great Barrington and Lenox, won multiple graphic design awards from Graphic Design USA in the 55th annual American Graphic Design Awards. The company took home three awards for its industry-leading graphic design work across its print and digital publications.
William Pitt-Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty's "The Advantage" booklet, which outlines the exclusive marketing advantages the company offers to its valued clients and agents, won the award for the brochure collateral category. The firm's Market Watch report was tabbed as the best annual report. Released on a quarterly basis, Market Watch arms consumers with facts and statistics on the current strength of the markets that the firm services.
The company's "Essential" newsletter, sent monthly to over 200,000 subscribers with company and brand news the firm deems essential to the real estate industry, was named the best newsletter / e-newsletter in that category. William Pitt – Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty also ranked in the top 10 percent of submissions in each category, in what was the most selective year of the annual contest.
Graphic Design USA received 10,000 submissions for this year's awards. The 2018 American Graphic Design Awards showcase how graphic design shapes business and society, products and services, as well as commerce and culture.
Mortgage giveaway contest
As the official bank of New England Sports Network's Boston Bruins coverage, Berkshire Bank has partnered with NESN for its annual Exciting Rewind Mortgage Giveaway, which began on Oct. 15, 2018, and will conclude on March 16, 2019.
The winner of the Exciting Rewind Giveaway will be awarded $12,000 to assist in paying their mortgage. To be eligible for the grand prize, entrants must have a qualifying mortgage with at least 12 months left on their principle. In addition to the grand prize, Berkshire Bank will also give away one Fitbit each month through the Exciting Rewind Giveaway period.
The Exciting Rewind Mortgage Giveaway consists of a breakdown of the top plays throughout the season and is featured during every Bruin's game on NESN. Viewers are encouraged to watch and vote online for their favorite Berkshire Bank Exciting Rewind segment online to be entered for a chance to win.
New BMM designations
Three team members from Berkshire Money Management have earned new certifications to better serve existing and potential clients.
Vice President Scott Little recently passed his Certified Elder Planning Specialist (CEPS) exam. The CEPS program is a ten-module course, taught over two days, with each module containing valuable and practical information — understanding the aging process, recognizing and addressing clients with diminished capacity, legal planning for elders, end of life planning — that is relevant to helping older clients.
Additionally, Zack Marcotte, who has been with BMM for most of his adult life, recently received his Retirement Management Advisor (RMA) designation. The RMA is a rigorous three-tiered program that focuses on building custom retirement income plans to mitigate clients' risks and to master the retirement planning advisory process, all within an increasingly regulatory environment.
Allen Harris, Berkshire Money Management's founder and CEO, received the Certified Value Growth Advisor (CVGA) credential. To receive the credential, he had to satisfy Corporate Value Metrics stringent criteria of professional standards in business and operations and financial advisory. CVGAs have the expertise, objectivity, and integrity that fall within the scope of these disciplines. Their role is to help business owners create a balanced and efficient enterprise and help position them to support long-term, sustainable, profitable growth.