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Berkshire Chamber Names 2011 Quinn Award Winner

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce has named Michael MacDonald as this year's 2011 Esther Quinn Memorial Award Winner.

The award was established in 1999 to honor the memory of Esther Quinn, former Chamber volunteer and advocate for volunteer efforts.

Candidates are judged on the basis of volunteer efforts rather than any measure of success in the field in which they normally are employed or the accomplishments or successes by an individual’s membership in one organization. The award is given to a person who lives or works in Berkshire County and shows enthusiasm, empathy and effort in making the Berkshires a better place to live and work.

MacDonald, a local attorney, was recognized for his commitment to community service, with a focus on reconciling the wants and needs of disparate groups and seeking mutually beneficial solutions instead of individual achievement.

"Michael has played a significant role in the revitalization of downtown Pittsfield through his good work with the Colonial Theatre, Beacon Cinema and Central Block building," said Mick Callahan, chairman of the Esther Quinn Award Committee. "I look forward to presenting this prestigious award to such a deserving person."

MacDonald has devoted his energy and resources to a variety of causes in Berkshire County and has stepped up on many occasions to lend his time and talent to local civic organizations. He has volunteered with Colonial, the chamber, the Berkshire Theatre Group, Downtown Pittsfield Inc., Berkshire County Lacrosse Club and Windsor Planning Board.

He served in varying capacities for each of these local organizations and did so with unparalleled dedication, never wavering in his commitment to see each project through to completion, no matter how complex, according to committee members.

"Michael leads by example with integrity and humor and is the first to volunteer for the most challenging tasks," said Perri Petricca, of Petricca Industries, who nominated MacDonald. "His dedication and work ethic raises the bar for all those who work with him, and his positive attitude and belief that the goal can be achieved inspires those around him."

Now in its 12th year, the Esther Quinn Award has been presented annually since 1999. The very first recipient of this prestigious award was William Wilson, former president and CEO of the Berkshire Visitors Bureau. Past award recipients include: 2000, David Klausmeyer; 2001, Dr. Gary Lamoureaux; 2002, Louann Harvey; 2003, Mick Callahan; 2004, Robert Proskin; 2005, Richard Whitehead; 2006, Ellen Ruberto; 2007, Williams Hines, Sr.; 2008, Jerry Burke; 2009, Conrad Bernier, and last year's winner, June Roy-Martin.

The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce will present the 2011 Esther Quinn Award at its annual meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 7:30, a.m. at the Crowne Plaza in Pittsfield. Tickets are $30. To register, visit www.berkshirechamber.com, call 413-499-4000 Ext. 10, or email choyt@berkshirechamber.com.
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