image description
Northern Berkshire Habitat For Humanity's president, Elisabeth Goodman, visited Wild Oats and received the check for $765.20 from Operations Manager Renate Kopynec

Biz Briefs: Wild Oats Donates to Habitat for Humanity

Print Story | Email Story

Passing it on

The member-owners of Wild Oats Market have selected Northern Berkshire Habitat For Humanity as the recipient of this quarter's donation from its Pass It On Program. Created in April to coincide with Earth Day, this initiative promotes reusable shopping bags by charging 10 cents per paper bag requested at checkout.

Every three months, these funds are donated to a local organization chosen via an online vote by the store's membership. On Friday, Nov. 15, Northern Berkshire Habitat For Humanity's president, Elisabeth Goodman, visited Wild Oats and received the check for $765.20 from Operations Manager Renate Kopynec. For more information about Wild Oats' Pass It On Program, contact Marketing & Owner Relations Manager Scott Menhinick.


Youth Center aid

Adams Community Bank has contributed $12,500 to help the Youth Center offset the costs of moving into the former Cheshire Elementary School. Adams Community Bank's CFO and the Youth Center Inc.'s Vice President, Andre Charbonneau, noted the new space is a great location for staff and children to enjoy for years to come.

The mission of the Youth Center is to provide community-based educational, recreational and social activities in a safe supportive environment.  To learn more, visit the website.


Hurricane help

Big Y World Class Markets collected donations from customers and employees from Sept. 11-22 for American Red Cross disaster relief Hurricane Dorian. Community and employee donations along with additional support from Big Y resulted in a donation of $30,000 which will be donated to both Massachusetts and Connecticut American Red Cross Chapters in support of the ongoing relief efforts in Bahamas and the Southeast United States.

A formal check presentation to the Massachusetts American Red Cross was held on Oct. 25th at the May Street Big Y World Class Market in Springfield. John Menard, Store Director, of Big Y Foods presented the contribution to Erin Ryder, regional manager of Donor Relations, Massachusetts Chapter.

Big Y, its customers and employees have a strong tradition of supporting those in need through the American Red Cross. Past relief campaigns include the 2004 Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, and the earthquakes in both Japan and Haiti, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Last year at about this time, Big Y drives made a positive impact on the Red Cross responses to Hurricane Florence, and those impacted by the Merrimack Valley Fires & Explosions. The 10-plus-year partnership has now raised over $1.6 million to support international and domestic disasters.


CNA training grant

MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board has received $218,750 to run certified nursing assistant (CNA) training programs for the next two years. This project is funded by a Sen. Kenneth J. Donnelly Workforce Success Grant (Workforce Competiveness Trust Fund FY’19 appropriation) through the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and is administered statewide by the Commonwealth Corporation, and locally administered by the Berkshire Workforce Board.

Through a comprehensive partnership of Berkshire County’s healthcare employers, educators, workforce professionals, social service agencies and career development agencies, the Berkshire Nursing Assistant program proposes to directly address the needs of the region's healthcare industry via intensive outreach, recruitment, education and training efforts to develop 70 certified nursing assistants throughout the two-year grant. The partnership looks to establish a daytime CNA program, as well as an online CNA program (with Department of Public Health approval) with weekly support services to address a growing and persistent problem of nursing assistant shortages. The trainings and services will be free-of-charge for participants and geared toward un/under employed Massachusetts residents, beginning in February 2020.

With DPH approval, the online program will be the first of its kind in the state and provides opportunities to those in our largely rural county who cannot participate in current evening offerings due to lack of transportation options.

This grant was one of 18 projects funded by the Sen. Kenneth J. Donnelly Workforce Success Grants, 11 of which focus on healthcare training opportunities. Healthcare is a crucial industry and rewarding career ladder opportunity throughout the commonwealth. Here in the Berkshires, the healthcare industry is our largest employer, and the need for dedicated workers is growing. The Berkshire Nursing Assistant program hopes to bring more skilled workers into the workforce and provide an opportunity for growth to our community members. For more information on these training opportunities and how to apply, send an email.


SVMC employees honored

Front, left to right: Terry Thibodeau of Peri-Operative Services; Katie Plue of Environmental Services; Billie Lynn Allard, MSN, RN, on behalf of Nancy White, LNA, of the Intensive Care Unit; Jessica Woodward of Human Resources; and Kyle DeGraff, RN, of SVMC Cardiology, accepted Putnam Awards from Thomas A. Dee, FACHE, Southwestern Vermont Health Care’s president and CEO, at back.

Southwestern Vermont Health Care leaders and staff gathered last month at the Mount Anthony Country Club on Oct. 16 to honor employees for their service to the organization's mission. One award every year is presented for each of the organization’s five core values: quality, empathy, safety, teamwork, and stewardship. The employees who received the awards are noted standard bearers and role models within the organization.

The 2019 Putnam Award Honorees are: Quality, Katie Plue of Environmental Services; Empathy, Nancy White, LNA, of the Intensive Care Unit; Stewardship, Terry Thibodeau of Peri-Operative Services; the Dr. Richard Guerrero Patient Safety Award, Kyle DeGraff, RN, of SVMC Cardiology; and Teamwork, Jessica Woodward of Human Resources

The evening also honored those celebrating employment anniversaries. Many were honored for 10, 20 and 30 years of employment with SVHC. Thirteen employees were noted for having surpassed 40 years of service, including Christine Bacon, Joy Bull, Judy Carpenter, Joyce Caslin,  Mary Anne Cushing, Cheryl Jacobs, Gregory Jacobs, Laurie Lachant, Marie McAuliffe, Maydene Mort, Roberta Smith, Jane Wright, and Colleen Wyman.


Chamber election

The Stockbridge Chamber of Commerce elected new officers during the annual meeting held at Wheatleigh on Nov. 4. Barbara Zanetti, executive director of the chamber, said officers elected for the 2020-21 term included President Margaret Kerswill of Mutability in Motion; Vice President Lee Watroba of the Austen Riggs Center; Assistant Vice President Douglas Goudey of Wheeler & Taylor; Treasurer Susan Higa of the Red Lion Inn/Main Street Hospitality Group; and Secretary Mary Flournoy of the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy.

Four others will be joining the board as members-at-large: Mike Tucker of Qualprint, Alyssa Stable of Berkshire Theatre Group, Pam Boudreau of Lee Bank and Doug Bagnasco of 1800 Devonfield Country Inn. Resigning as vice president is Jeff Bell of the Inn at Stockbridge after serving four years on the Board of Directors.

The Stockbridge Country Inn's Diane & Vernon Reuss were recognized for all they have done to advocate the chambers commitment to the support of the businesses and the overall well being of the town of Stockbridge and its environs. Marc Wilhelm, the managing director of Wheatleigh, hosted the evening's event.

Each year, the chamber sponsors such programs the Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas event, the Arts & Crafts Show and the Stockbridge Children's Halloween Parade and Party.  In addition, the chamber produces a widely distributed guide, promotes the economic welfare of Stockbridge and its environs and responds to all inquires made to the office located in its new location at 50 Main St.


Share the Love

Hillcrest Educational Centers is participating in Subaru of America's 12th annual Share the Love campaign. Subaru will donate $250 to charity for every new Subaru vehicle purchased or leased at more than 628 participating Subaru retailers nationwide, including Berkshire County's own Haddad Subaru.

Along with a handful of national charities, Subaru retailers can add local charities for customers to support. This year, Haddad Subaru has chosen Hillcrest Educational Centers as their hometown charity. The Share the Love campaign runs from Nov. 14, 2019, to Jan. 2, 2020.

0 Comments welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to

Williamstown to Try Outdoor Dining on Spring Street Again Saturday

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Despite the vagaries of Mother Nature and the voices of those who raised concerns about the plan, the town plans to temporarily close Spring Street to vehicles the next two Saturday evenings to allow outdoor dining.
The initiative to help downtown restaurants that do not otherwise have outdoor space to set up tables was first tried on June 27.
Although the weather did not entirely cooperate that night, people who did have a chance to take advantage of the opportunity reacted positively on social media.
Organizers also got positive reactions, according to Jane Patton, the chair of the town's Select Board and vice president of the Williamstown Chamber of Commerce.
View Full Story

More Williamstown Stories