Berkshire Trendsetter Awards 2014 Presented

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Peter White, center, with Megan Whilden and Mick Callahan, was named this year's Young Professional Making A Difference. See more photos here.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The region's "Trendsetters" were honored on Tuesday night their for contributions to the economic, cultural and civic health of the Berkshires.  

Sponsored by 1Berkshire, the county's economic development organization, more more than 275 people attended the fourth annual event held at the Pittsfield Municipal Airport.

The Trendsetter Awards recognize businesses, organizations, and individuals whose outstanding achievements and commitment have strengthened the economy and helped the Berkshires grow.

Berkshire Health Systems was recognized with a special award for "Putting the Berkshires on the Map" for its leadership in quality health care and the role that plays in enhancing the overall image, and health, of the Berkshires.

In addition to being the county's largest employer and investing $30 million into the region through the development of the new state-of-the-art Berkshire Medical Center Cancer Center, it demonstrated commitment to the community by stepping to assume responsibility for essential healthcare services after the close of North Adams Regional Hospital in early 2014.

David Phelps, president & CEO of BHS, accepted a one-of-a-kind, handcrafted sculpture at the culmination of the event, donated by Lauren Clark Fine Art of Great Barrington.

Peter White of Pittsfield was named Young Professional Making A Difference for his collaborative vision for Berkshire County and desire to focus on the bigger picture, while remaining involved in numerous neighborhood revitalization efforts.  

In the Creativity and Innovation category, LympheDIVAs was awarded for filling a void in the medical device industry with its development of fashionable, medically correct compression garments for women suffering from lymphedema, which can promote mental health while also providing relief from symptoms.

The Newcomer of the Year award was presented to No. Six Depot Roastery & Cafe for turning the old train station in West Stockbridge into a thriving business that also serves as a community center by hosting local artists and a variety of events ranging from film screenings, performances, dance lessons and more.

Berkshire United Way was named Nonprofit of the Year for its slate of community impact programming that has created sustained improvements in local early childhood literacy, teen substance use prevention, and teen pregnancy prevention.

Winning the Public Relations Trendsetter award was Briarcliff Motel for attracting editorial interest from traditional media and using online media and social sites to build interest, effectively generating buzz and increasing business for their newly opened motel in Great Barrington.

Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort received the Overall Marketing award for implementing a successful year-round marketing campaign that attracts visitors from all over the country by combining traditional, digital, and social tactics, and has resulted in increased visitation rates.

The Growing and Advancing the Berkshire Economy award was given to Berkshire Community College for their leadership in promoting the future of manufacturing in the Berkshires, and collaboration with local educational institutions and businesses to develop a future workforce for the industry so the companies in this field can continue to thrive.

Tags: 1Berkshire,   awards,   business award,   

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Pittsfield School Committee Concerned With Teacher Retention

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The latest personnel report has the School Committee concerned about keeping teachers in the city schools. 
The reported was shared by Superintendent Jason McCandless at last Wednesday's meeting. School Committee member William Cameron noted that some of the exiting employees were only hired at the beginning of the school year.
"There was a group called Buffalo Springfield and they had a song called 'For What It's Worth' and the opening lines were 'There's something happening here, What it is ain't exactly clear,'" he said. "We have resignations here a month into the school year from a number of people that may have started at the beginning of the school year can you tell us what is going on here?"
McCandless said there are some retirees within the group of outgoing employees but there are also recent hires who found a better opportunity elsewhere or who were not up to some of the challenges the school district faces.  
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