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The Red Lion Inn is partnering with with Stash Hotel Rewards, the largest loyalty program for independent hotels in the United States.

Biz Briefs: Red Lion Inn Partners with Stash Hotel Rewards

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New partnership

The Red Lion Inn is partnering with with Stash Hotel Rewards, the largest loyalty program for independent hotels in the United States. Guests at The Red Lion Inn are now able to earn points toward free nights at more than 150 independent hotels across the country. And Stash members can earn and redeem points to stay at one of the most quintessential Berkshires hotels in Stockbridge.

"Aside from being able to offer our guests rewards points for their stays, we wanted a loyalty program with a unique portfolio and a devoted following," said Sarah Eustis, CEO of Main Street Hospitality, which owns and manages the inn. "Stash's network of community oriented, independent properties puts us in great company, and the program’s dedicated members allow us to share loyal guests between hotels."

Guests of The Inn can join Stash for free online. at Stash members earn five points for each dollar spent on eligible room rates and can redeem them at great independent hotels across North America, including the Caribbean and Hawaii. Stash points never expire, and redemption is simple, without blackout dates or category restrictions found in many chain programs. Stash partner hotels also provide members with exclusive travel deals.


Car raffle

Berkshire Humane Society and Haddad Subaru will host their sixth annual Subaru Car Raffle drawing on Saturday, Oct. 27. This year, the winning ticket will be drawn for a 2019 Outback with a package value approximated at $33,000. The drawing is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the dealership in Pittsfield. Live 95.9 will broadcast live from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and adoptable animals will also visit the dealership during this time.

Tickets are still on sale and may be purchased up until noon on October 27 at the main shelter and up until 1 p.m. at Haddad Subaru. Tickets are one for $40 or three for $100. The winner does not need to be present to win. The raffle is limited to 2,100 tickets; to date, approximately 1,100 tickets have been sold. Between now and Saturday, October 27, tickets may be purchased at the following locations: BHS (214 Barker Road, Pittsfield), Bark N' Cat (28 Holden St., North Adams), Bartlett's Orchard (575 Swamp Road, Richmond), Catwalk Boutique (325 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington), Chez Pet (55 Pittsfield Road, # 4B, Lenox), Haddad Subaru (652 East St., Pittsfield), and Purradise (301 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington).

“The Berkshire Humane Society is in need of our local support as a community more than ever. The work they are doing now and in the future really demands our full support. The 6th annual raffle is just one way Haddad likes to contribute to our local community. The culture Subaru envelopes around “Share the Love” and pets is an amazing one. All of our staff believes, supports, and even participates in the BHS’s yearlong goal. We are here to help pay the bills and spread the word on what the BHS strives to accomplish every day. I couldn’t ask for a better partner in John, we go way back and continue to grow our relationship with the BHS and Haddad Subaru. I really have a soft spot for these animals, so whatever we have to do in order to provide them safe shelter, we will,” said Chris Kramek, General Manager of Haddad Subaru.


Lemonis visit

Berkshire Money Management is hosting a fireside chat with Marcus Lemonis, serial entrepreneur and celebrity host of CNBC's "The Profit" on Nov. 7 at the firm’s headquarters, the Model Farm on 161 Main St. in Dalton. Cocktails begin at 3:30 p.m. Lemonis will speak at 4:30 p.m., addressing local business owners and economic leaders about looking towards the future of their companies; and knowing what to do.

Lemonis, CEO of Good Sam Enterprises, Gander Outdoors, Camping World, and other ventures, is the star of CNBC's most popular reality television show, "The Profit," which follows him as he tries to save struggling businesses across America. The show is the most-watched original series in CNBC's history, and annually, 40,000 small-business owners apply to get on. Only a dozen are selected to be on the show.

This event is by invitation only. To receive an invitation, please contact Allen Harris by email.


Nonprofit discussion

The Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires presents its first roundtable discussion on Tuesday, Oct. 23, on the topic of "organizational partnering." Participants will meet from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Berkshire Athenaeum on Wendell Avenue in Pittsfield and are encouraged to bring lunch. Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum will provide refreshments. This event is free to Berkshire nonprofits but participants must register online or by calling 413-645-3151.

An NPC survey in 2017 showed that most Berkshire nonprofits are partnering in one form or another and that the majority want to do more. Discussion will focus on models of collaboration, best practices, and pitfalls. Panelists include Jeff Gagnon,program manager at Community Access to the Arts; Alex Reczkowski, library director/Berkshire Athenaeum; Christa Collier, executive director of Northern Berkshire United Way; and Randy Kinnas, executive director of the Berkshire Family YMCA. Alisa Costa of Pittsfield Working Cities will moderate the discussion.


Training grants

Excelsior Integrated and Porchlight Homecare, two Southern Berkshire businesses located in Lee, Mass., have received a two-year training grant from the Workforce Training Fund Program.

Excelsior Integrated, Inc. was awarded $48,750 to train 20 employees and anticipates adding four jobs by 2020. The company works to help product entrepreneurs, ecommerce merchants, retailers, and marketing teams outsource and automate their fulfillment operations. Porchlight VNA/ Homecare was awarded $22,504 to train 20 employees and anticipates adding 15 jobs by 2020. Porchlight provides all home health needs, such as skilled nursing, 25-hour care, social work, and therapies for all of Berkshire, Hampden and Hampshire counties.

Awarded by the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, in partnership with Commonwealth Corporation, the Workforce Training Fund Program invests to help local Massachusetts companies create new jobs, increase skills and opportunities for workers, and improve overall productivity and competitiveness for businesses in the commonwealth. EOLWD and Commonwealth Corporation review and award training grants of up to $250,000 to Massachusetts businesses to fund training for current and newly hired employees. Grants are awarded on a rolling basis throughout the year.

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Review: 'Working: A Musical' Is Minimalist, Meaningful

By Nancy SalzGuest Column

Why do we work? It's usually for more than money. To express ourselves, perhaps. To make a better life for our children. To create a legacy. To contribute to our country, our society. We can love our jobs or hate our jobs, but our reasons for working and our emotions about our jobs – which take up so much of our lives – are always deeply felt.

To explore these reasons fully, the author Studs Terkel crisscrossed America in the early 1970s recording more than 130 people in all kinds of jobs, from blue collar to professional. The result was a best-selling book – "Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do" (published in 1974) – which was subsequently made into a musical. Over the years that musical, "Working," has been revised a number of times and presented all over the world.

A version of the 2012 revision with a score by multiple composers is now being presented at the Unicorn Theatre by the Berkshire Theatre Group. It's an excellent, though sparse, production that frequently cuts across the footlights and into our emotions. What comes through above all are the feelings and sincerity of the characters, all of whom are speaking the words of the workers first interviewed decades ago. We quickly realize that little has changed in the working world.

Except for 10 chairs, the stage is bare when we enter the theater. At the rear are five windows that resemble tellers windows at a bank complete with computer screens. The five people sitting behind them are members of the orchestra – too small, as everywhere these days, but composed of fine musicians led by Casey Reed.

After an opening number, "All The Livelong Day" written by Stephen Schwartz, the characters speak to us, sing or dance, one by one or in small groups. Particularly excellent is Denis Lambert. He has such a powerful presence it seems as though he is talking about himself. He's also a terrific singer and dancer as well. Farah Alvin as a teacher singing a song by Mary Rodgers and Susan Birkenhead and as a housewife (song by Craig Carnelia) is also very strong. Miles Wilkie, still in college and one of only two non-equity member of the cast, was most impressive as a retiree with growing dementia and as a UPS delivery man who loves to sneak up on people and scare them.

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