Honorees Chosen for Berkshire Nonprofit Awards

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GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires has announced the names of 19 honorees for the 2019 Berkshire Nonprofit Awards. The honorees will be celebrated at a breakfast event on Tuesday, May 21, from 8 to 10 a.m. at Berkshire Hills Country Club in Pittsfield.

"We are looking forward to shining a light on these incredibly dedicated individuals, their commitment to our community, and their high-impact accomplishments," said Liana Toscanini, founder of the Nonprofit Center. The NPC was founded in 2016 to help nonprofits connect, learn and grow.

Nominations were solicited throughout February and March. A team of 17 judges from the business and nonprofit sectors met to review and rank the nominations based on a set of established criteria. The honorees are:

Executive Leadership: William Conklin/Greenagers; Kristen van Ginhoven/WAM Theatre; and Rich Weisenflue/Berkshire Family and Individual Resources (BFAIR).

Board Leadership: Mike Goodwin/Louison House; Diane Pearlman/Berkshire Pulse; and Julie Pellerin-Herrera/Pittsfield Education Foundation.

Super Staffer: Tracy M. Beany/Louison House; Lorena Bello Dus/Berkshire Immigrant Center; and Beth Frederick/Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity.



Rising Star: Alisa Costa/Berkshire Bridges Working Cities; Shela Hidalgo/Berkshire Community College; and Daniela Hurtado/Berkshire South Regional Community Center.

Volunteer: Erica Cavanaugh/Sisters for Peace: REACH Program; Wendi Koch/Berkshire HorseWorks, Inc.; and William Schaepe/Literacy Network of South Berkshire.

Unsung Hero: Cherri Caye Sanes/ExtraSpecialTeas, Inc.; Kathy Hynes/Got Spots Etc.; and Kayla Quick/The Brien Center.

Lifetime Achievement: Madeline Cantarella Culpo/Albany Berkshire Ballet.

Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli will emcee the event, and WAM Theatre founder Kristen van Ginhoven will give the welcome speech. Tickets for the event are $45 per person. Register online.


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Hinsdale Man To Compete In Professional BBQ Competition

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Rinaldi with Myron Mixon, celebrity chef and four-time barbecue World Champion.
HINSDALE, Mass. — Professional barbecue teams from all over New England will compete at the Harpoon BBQ Festival in Windsor, Vt., on July 27-28, with hopes of being crowned the grand champion and earning a ticket to the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbecue. 
 
And Berkshire County's own George Rinaldi will be among them.
 
Rinaldi, 54, of Hinsdale, has been competing on the professional Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned circuit for eight years. He and his family travel to six or seven competitions annually. They've been all over New England, as well as in New Jersey, Georgia, Alabama and Arkansas. At a typical event, competitors must deliver their entries in four categories (chicken, ribs, pork and brisket) to the master judges by pre-specified times — and not a second later.
 
Rinaldi's skills have earned many trophies, including a first-place prize for his Ribs Division win at a recent competition in New Jersey. 
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