NAMI Berkshire County Names New Program Director

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Berkshire County has welcomed Stephanie Adornetto as its new program director, following the departure of Brenda Carpenter as executive director in December 2018.

Adornetto initially joined NAMI Berkshire County as a board member in October 2018. Stephanie has been an early childhood coordinator for the Berkshire United Way for the past two years, gaining experience in managing programs and working with families and community members. Prior to joining the United Way, she was a lead teacher for Berkshire County Head Start, so in both of these roles, she provided support, education and advocacy to the children and families with whom she interacted.

"Brenda left very big shoes to fill," board president Ruth Healy said, "and it was a rigorous task to find someone to continue to lead the organization in its mission of Support, Education and Advocacy for all those affected by mental illness in Berkshire County.

“We took our time to find the right person, and we believe Stephanie will be a good fit for us."

Healy said that under Carpenter's tenure as executive director, NAMI provided Crisis Intervention Training to the majority of police officers throughout the county, including the entire North Adams Police Department. This training has provided the officers with the tools and techniques needed when dealing with a person in crisis to aid in de-escalating the situation for the safety of all parties involved. NAMI also offer supports groups and training programs for families dealing with someone affected by a mental illness, as well as resources for the families when they just don’t know where to turn for help.

For more information on NAMI Berkshire County, call 413-443-1666 or the website.


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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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