BUSINESS INFORMATION: CHP Board of Directors; 18 Degree Youth Development VP; church music director; Rabkin Prize Winner; Food Systems Research Center; New Head of Human Resources; Big Y Bag program; support for Ukraine; BWPCC grants; Berkshire United Way Fund – theberkshireedge.com | Candle Made Easy

Big Barrington — The Community Health Programs has appointed Great Barrington’s Erik Bruun to its board of directors. Brian Drake was elected Chairman of the Board as part of the annual reorganization of the Board. Celia Clancy was elected Vice President. Allyson Homes remains secretary to the board. Chuck Leach will continue to serve as Treasurer of the Board.

Community Health Programs, Inc. is a community health network based in the Berkshires of Western Mass. that provides comprehensive medical and dental services through multiple practice locations to approximately 30,000 area residents.

— SB

* * *

Pittsfield – Bryan House is Vice President of Youth Development at 18 Degrees, Family Services for Western Mass. In this role, House will oversee Pittsfield Community Connection and North Adams; West Main Connection, two service locations that offer young people ways to live safer, healthier and more successful lives. House will also oversee other programs within 18 Degrees that provide opportunities for young people to reach their full potential.

Bryan house

18 Degrees promotes the well-being and strengths of children, young people, adults and families. They provide education, parenting skills and support, prevention and intervention, advocacy and life skills across a spectrum of programs for young people, adults and families.

— SB

* * *

Salisbury, Conn. — The Congregational Church of Salisbury, UCC, welcomes David Baranowski as its Music Director. He succeeds Dr. Samuel Lord Kalcheim, who was interim music director for two years and is leaving to focus on his passions for composing and teaching. In addition to leading the church’s music programs, directing the choir and providing music at services, David will continue the tradition of offering “Meeting House Music and Meditations” on the first Friday of each month from 12:00-12:30 p.m.

Baranowski has had a long and prestigious career in the music industry. For the past eighteen years he has toured internationally with rock icon Ritchie Blackmore as both keyboardist and vocalist. David lives in Danbury with his wife Jennifer and their son Vincent.

— SB

* * *

Peter L’Official

Annandale-on-Hudson, NY — Peter L’Official, associate professor of literature and director of the American Studies Program at Bard College, has won a $50,000 Rabkin Prize for his work in fine arts journalism. L’Official is one of eight visual arts journalists to receive a Rabkin Prize from the Dorothea and Leo Rabkin Foundation.

Peter L’Official (he/him) is a writer, art critic, and teacher of literature and American Studies from the Bronx, NY. He is Associate Professor of Literature and Director of the American Studies Program at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, where he teaches courses in African-American Literature and Culture, 20th- and 21st-century American literature, and how the visual arts intersect deals with literature, place and architecture. He is also project coordinator for Rethinking Place: Bard-on-Mahicantuck, a grant supported by the Mellon Foundation’s Humanities for All Times initiative. L’Official is the author of Urban Legends: The South Bronx in Representation and Ruinpublished by Harvard University Press in 2020, as well as numerous articles published in publications such as The New Yorker.

— SB

* * *

Burlington, Vt. — The University of Vermont announces the appointment of Polly Ericksen, Ph.D., as the first Director of the Food Systems Research Center, a collaborative partnership between UVM and the US Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service. Ericksen, an internationally renowned expert in agricultural development and sustainability, will oversee operations and provide critical leadership as the center grows as a hub for local and regional food systems research in the North East.

Ericksen holds a Ph.D. in Soil Science, an MS in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BA in History from Swarthmore College. She brings extensive leadership and management skills to the research center, as well as expertise in the impact of climate change on agriculture, natural resource management, disease and social justice. Recognized as an early pioneer in the field of food systems research, Ericksen is a pioneering scientist who applies interdisciplinary approaches to solving complex food systems problems in the context of global environmental change.

— SB

* * *

Sophia Bletsos

Big Barrington – Sophia Bletsos has been appointed Head of Human Resources for five cities in the South District. Funded by a government grant for the first year, Bletsos’ position is shared by Great Barrington, Sheffield, New Marlborough, Monterey and West Stockbridge. She will be based primarily at Great Barrington Town Hall. In their joint position, Bletsos will be responsible for introducing and refining best practices in all aspects of human resource management across the five cities.

Bletsos earned two degrees from Springfield College: a master’s degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management with minors in Arts and Environmental Studies.

— SB

* * *

Large reusable Y bag

Pittsfield – The Berkshire County Historical Society has been selected by local Big Y leadership as the beneficiary of the Big Y Community Bag program for the month of August.

The Big Y Community Bag Program aims to give back to the local community with every reusable bag purchased. Every $2.50 reusable Big Y Community Bag sold will donate $1 to a local charity at the store where it was purchased. This program offers buyers the opportunity to give back as part of their regular weekly routine. For more information on the Big Y Community Bag program, visit bigy.bags4mycause.com.

The Berkshire County Historical Society is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the collection, preservation and dissemination of the history of Berkshire County in western Massachusetts. In addition, the Berkshire County Historical Society is committed to the preservation and interpretation of Arrowhead, home of author Herman Melville, which is designated a National Historic Landmark. The Berkshire County Historical Society offers tours of Arrowhead and programs devoted to the history of western Massachusetts and the life and writings of Herman Melville. Visit berkshirehistory.org for information on visiting.

— SB

* * *

Enfield, Conn. — Polish ceramics importer Janelle Imports and its Manufaktura USA boutiques announced today that along with its loyal customers, more than $40,000 has so far been donated to an aid account helping Ukrainian refugees. Since March, Manufaktura USA has pledged 10 percent of online and in-store sales to support Ukrainians fleeing their precious country, and allowed customers to donate at checkout. Executives in the city of Bolesławiec, Poland set up the fund for Manufaktura USA to easily transfer money directly to the account. The funds will provide emergency relief to Ukrainian refugees in need of food, shelter, clothing, medicine and personal care products. Bolesławiec is the birthplace of Janelle Imports President and Founder, Elle Łoś-Englisher. For more information about the company’s humanitarian efforts, visit manufakturausa.com/pages/humanitarian-assistance.

— SB

* * *

Maisie Dufour

Ludlow – The Berkshire Wind Power Cooperative Corporation (BWPCC) has selected two students from the Class of 2022 at Mount Greylock Regional High School to receive $1,000 in scholarships. The scholarships are awarded to qualified seniors planning to attend either a two- or four-year college or trade school program. This year’s grant recipients are Maisie Dufour and Rosario Larios Sontay.

Rosario Larios Sontay

Dufour plans to study communications at Michigan State University. While visiting Mount Greylock, she served as Secretary of the National Honor Society and received the Smith College Book Award. She has also been a member of the Yearbook Club, the Youth Environmental Squad, and the Register, Educate, and Vote Club.

Larios Sontay will be attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the fall, majoring in business administration. While at school, she was a member of the National Honor Society and competed on football, basketball, and tennis teams. She also volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and the Berkshire Human Society.

— SB

* * *

Pittsfield – Berkshire United Way announces $1,029,500 in renewal funding for 40 programs at 24 community partner organizations. This funding is for a period of one year, from July 1st this year to June 30th, 2023, and will continue to stabilize BUW’s three main areas of community impact: early childhood development, positive youth development and economic prosperity. Learn more about the 40 programs. This support helps fund programs like Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity’s Community Navigator program, which aims to help marginalized residents with connections to resources that allow them to remain economically resilient.

A new round of funding requests will be announced in early 2023, but to increase investment in high-quality, impactful programs, consider contributing to BUW’s fundraising campaign. Donate at www.berkshireunitedway.org/donate.

— SB

Leave a Comment