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Mayor Peter Marchetti helps Independent Connections CEO Christa Proper cut the ribbon Thursday for the company's new offices on Fenn Street.
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The former Alliance Appliance building has been renovated to house the information technology company.
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Company officials say renovation and design was a collaborative effort with staff.
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Independent Connections Cuts Ribbon on Pittsfield Branch

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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CEO Christa Proper says the 'Indy's' presence will help in maintaining and attracting jobs to the area. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Fenn Street building has a new look and use, serving the area's information technology needs.

Independent Connections officially unveiled its Massachusetts branch on Thursday with a ribbon cutting. The IT solutions company's specializations include consulting, cloud computing, and cybersecurity.

"We're focused on serving local businesses with state-of-the-art technology while providing superior customer service," CEO Christa Proper said. "And Indy's presence in Pittsfield will help keep jobs here, and continue to attract talent to this area."

Mayor Peter Marchetti pointed to the importance of IT needs, as many organizations outsource this work because they don't have the capacity to do it in-house.

He pointed to his 35-year career with the Pittsfield Cooperative Bank, explaining that he "understood first and foremost that the most important person in my institution was the IT director because all I had to do was click the wrong button once and we were in trouble."

"And we also know that technology is ever-changing," he added. "The bad guys on the other side, are much faster and do things much faster than we do so we have to adapt to keep up with the systems and IndyConn provides a wide range of services to be able to do that."

The building, formerly occupied by Alliance Appliance for more than 40 years, underwent a makeover after it was purchased by the company last year. Proper explained that it was an "employee collaboration," with staff members assisting in ripping out carpet, cutting bushes, cleaning windows, and painting.

Chief Technology Officer Shayne Flaherty is credited for the design, which he described as "tech-forward." The space has a modern, open-concept feel with a grayscale color scheme.

"A lot of cosmetic stuff," he said about the renovation. "From the ceilings to the floors to the walls. The roof was the big thing."


IndyConn also has locations in Hartford, Conn., and East Greenbush, N.Y. Proper used to work in downtown Pittsfield and is glad to be back.

"We're just really excited to be in Pittsfield we're looking forward to expansion and serving the local customer base," she said.

This location will house about 18 employees with room for expansion.

1Berkshire Vice President of Economic Development Ben Lamb said the organization is excited about the company renovating the building into something amazing and to see another great spot on the map.

"When we look at our tech and kind of digital economy enterprise system here in the region, we know it's a space for growth," he said. "We know that you're doing it really well."

Marchetti pointed out that this is the third grand opening he has attended in less than two weeks and more are slated to come. He said, "When we say it's time to get Pittsfield back on the map and rebuilding things, we're going to do it one step at a time."

"We're here to celebrate the opening to show again, how attractive Pittsfield is for small businesses to be able to move into," he said.

"So there's a lot of great things going on in our community and I know if we work together, we can accomplish more so I look forward to us being able to work together."


Tags: information technology,   ribbon cutting,   

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Toy Library Installed at Onota Lake

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Feel free to use or leave a toy at Onota Lake's newest infrastructure meant to foster community and benefit kids.

Burbank Park now has a toy library thanks to Wahconah Regional High School senior Alexandra Bills. Located along the wall at the beach area, the green and blue structure features two shelves with sand toys that can be used to enhance children's visits.

The Parks Commission supported Bills' proposal in February as part of her National Honors Society individual service project and it was installed this month. Measuring about 4 feet wide and 5.8 feet tall, it was built by the student and her father with donated materials from a local lumber company.

Friends and family members provided toys to fill the library such as pails, shovels, Frisbees, and trucks.

"I wanted to create a toy library like the other examples in Berkshire County from the sled library to the book libraries," she told the commission in February.

"But I wanted to make it toys for Onota Lake because a lot of kids forget their toys or some kids can't afford toys."

Bills lives nearby and will check on the library weekly — if not daily — to ensure the operation is running smoothly.  A sign reading "Borrow-Play-Return" asks community members to clean up after themselves after using the toys.

It was built to accommodate children's heights and will be stored during the winter season.

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