2021 Berkshire Nonprofit Awards

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2021 BERKSHIRE NONPROFIT AWARDS MAY 18, 2021 8:30 - 9:15 AM

Presented by XLI 3SRTVSǻ X (IRXIV SJ XLI 'IVOWLMVIW in partnership with 8LI 'IVOWLMVI *EKPI Featuring: 8 Honorees • Senator Elizabeth Warren in a tribute to Healthcare Workers Î {åųüŅųĵ±ĹÏå ÆƼ aƚŸĜÏ ĜĹ ŅĵĵŅĹ Î ± ±ŸĘ {ųĜDŽå %ų±ƵĜĹč üŅų ŅĹå ĬƚÏĩƼ ĹŅĹŞųŅĀ Ƌ Emcee Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli +7** :.789&1 *:*38 7IKMWXIV SRPMRI EX RTGFIVOWLMVIW SVK

Berkshire Nonprofit Awards 2021 Sunday, May 15, 2021 |

YOU’RE INVITED TO CELEBRATE NONPROFITS AT THE 2021 VIRTUAL BERKSHIRE NONPROFIT AWARDS Running a nonprofit during a pandemic takes everything and everyone we’ve got. Nonprofit leaders are exhausted, staff are burned out, some are demoralized. We’re still going, doing more with less, meeting the challenges of COVID-19 with creativity, determination and resilience. Because that’s how we roll. We don’t ask for much in return. Our passion for our missions keeps us going -- that, a slightly anemic living wage, and an occasional thank you. This is THE year to say “thank you” to nonprofits. Thank you for being our safety net, for providing extra support to those who lost their jobs or got sick, or worse. This year, the Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires invites the entire community to attend the virtual Berkshire Nonprofit Awards to honor those who work in the nonprofit sector. We hope you’ll join us for an inspiring 45-minute show that recognizes 8 honorees and pays tribute to all healthcare workers. Experience hope through a Music in Common performance and find out which nonprofit will win a $3,000 cash prize. This event is FREE to the public thanks to our partner, The Berkshire Eagle, and these generous sponsors: Berkshire Bank, Berkshire Health Systems, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Berkshire United Way, Black Rock Foundation/Donald C. McGraw Foundation, Feigenbaum Foundation, Jane & Jack Fitzpatrick Trust, Lamar Advertising Co., Lee Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Salisbury Bank, Warrior Trading and Williamstown Community Chest.

More details and registration online at npcberkshires.org or call (413) 441-9542

NOT AN EASY JOB These 18 judges from both the corporate and nonprofit sectors carefully ranked their choices from among 98 nominations, culminating in a virtual meeting to finalize 8 honorees. We thank them for their time and integrity.

Erika Allison (Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires) Alison Brigham (Lee Bank) Mike Greenfest (Wayfair) JV Hampton-VanSant (BRIDGE) Kristine Hazzard (Consultant) Cecilia Hirsch (Williams College) Bernie Klem (Guardian Life Insurance Co.) Arwen Lowbridge (Baystate Financial) Roberta McCulloch-Dews (City of Pittsfield) Melissa Myers (Berkshire Bank) Elaine Radiss (Community Access to the Arts) Cindy Shogry-Ramier (Greylock Federal Credit Union) Anne Singleton (Williamstown Community Chest) Kelly Sweet (Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation) Candace Winkler (Berkshire United Way) Rich Weisenflue (BFAIR) John Whalan (Black Ice, LLC) Megan Whilden (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at BCC)

The Berkshire Eagle | BerkshireEagle.com

Investing in What Can Be


At Berkshire Bank, we’re committed to investing in the success and vibrancy of our local communities. By providing financial support, embracing the power of our employees, and creating sustainable business practices, it’s our goal to transform possibilities into a brighter reality for the people and places we serve.

Feeding families and caring for kids. Welcoming immigrants and fighting for racial justice. This year’s honorees – and all our nonprofits – make us proud of our community and hopeful for a brighter future.

Member FDIC.


BOARD LEADERSHIP Christa Collier/North Adams Rotary Club #6536

Hilary Somers Deely/Berkshire Theatre Group

Mark Gold/Community Legal Aid Mark Harris/Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity

James Harwood/Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire Wendy Healey/BerkShares and WAM Theatre Co.

Steven Kahn/Gould Farm Alex Kastrinakis/Berkshire Family and Individual Resources Leslie Reed/Dalton CRA Mark Rosengren/Construct Inc.

Richard Stanley/Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire Daltrey Turner, LICSW/Berkshire Community Diaper Project

EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP Christa Collier/Northern Berkshire United Way

Deborah Leonczyk/Berkshire Community Action Council Jenise L. Lucey/Berkshire South Regional Community Center Kelly A. Marion/Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center Laurie Norton Moffatt/Norman Rockwell Museum Bettina Montano/Berkshire Pulse Alison Peters/Community Recreation Association Jane Ralph/Construct, Inc Marie G. Rudden, MD/Berkshire Community Diaper Project

Eugenie Sills/Clinton Church Restoration Project Ilana Steinhauer/Volunteers in Medicine Hayley Sumner/Berkshire HorseWorks Carolyn Valli/Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity Karen Wallace/Literacy Volunteers of Berkshire County Jane Winn/Berkshire Environmental Action Council

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT Julianne Boyd/Barrington Stage Company Gerard E. Burke/Hillcrest Educational Centers

Christopher Moon/Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity Kenneth W. Singer/Berkshire County Arc Sheila Toomey/Berkshire County Head Start

RISING STAR Regina East /Railroad Street Youth Project Tonya Frazier/Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, Working Cities Hayley McEachern/Berkshire County Arc Stephen Murray/Northern Berkshire EMS Kelly Sweet/Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation Dubois Thomas/Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity



Maggie LaMee/Barrington Stage

Dustin Belcher/Dalton CRA Kayla Brown-Wood/Berkshire Family


Sheryl Lechner/Berkshire Immigrant

and Individual Resources Maribeth Cellana/Berkshire County Kids’ Place and Violence Prevention Center Brendan Farrell/Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity Maryam Kamangar/Goodwill Industries of the Berkshires & So. Vermont Amanda Lavo/The Elizabeth Freeman Center Katie McKellick/Shakespeare & Company Jane O’Leary/Barrington Stage Company Brenda Petell/Berkshire United Way Kate Tucci/Berkshire South Regional Community Center Leidy Marcela Urrea/Volunteers in Medicine


Donna Morelli/Central West Justice Center (CWJC)

Arthur Niedeck/Berkshires Jazz, Inc. Samantha Suters/Greenagers Karin Watkins/Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center

VOLUNTEER Lyndsay Barber/Berkshire County Kids’ Place and Violence Prevention Center

Pamela Breslin/18 Degrees Neal Chamberlain/Dewey Memorial Hall David Dutra/Berkshire Natural Resources Council

Henry Ferlauto /Berkshire South Regional Community Center

Margaret Hintz/Friends of the

UNSUNG HERO Kathy Anker/Goodwill of the

Berkshire Athenaeum

Berkshires and So. Vermont, Inc.

Linda Dean Kelley/The West Side

Heather Barbieri/Fairview Hospital Cathy Buffoni/The Stockbridge Library,

Neighborhood Initiative / Berkshire Bridges Working Cities Debra Miersma/Barrington Stage Company Bob Redpath/Railroad Street Youth Project Karen Richards/WAM Theatre Deborah Terrell/Berkshire HorseWorks Todd Walton/St Joseph Food Pantry

Museum & Archives

Katie Clarke/Community Access to the Arts (CATA)

Patricia Flinn/The Laurel Hill Association of Stockbridge Courtney Kimball/Construct Inc.

Berkshire Nonprofit Awards 2021 | Sunday, May 15, 2021


Thank you volunteers and nonprofits for being

Wildlife Sanctuaries

Elizabeth “Libby” Boissy/Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity Cece Caldwell/Flying Cloud Institute Laurel Ralph/Railroad Street Youth Project Jade Schnauber/Lever, Inc.


Liana Toscanini, Founder & Executive Director Elizabeth Stone, Operations Manager

NPC Board of Directors: Dan Stanyon (President) Marianne Fresia (Treasurer) Ilene Marcus (Secretary)

Erika Allison, Stephanie Bosley, Patrick Danahey, Auric Enchill, Abbie von Schlegell


The Berkshire Eagle | BerkshireEagle.com

The Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires was founded in 2016 as a clearinghouse for information and resources for nonprofits. Popular programs include educational webinars, the Giving Back guide, volunteer fairs, roundtables, and the Berkshire Nonprofit Awards.


Berkshire Nonprofit Awards 2021 Sunday, May 15, 2021 | HONOREES

Marita Glodt

Janis Broderick

Barrington Stage Company Prudent Use of Assets

Elizabeth Freeman Center Guiding Strategic Growth to Meet Community Needs

BSC’s budget has grown to $5.5 million under Marita’s leadership. She has overseen the purchase of two buildings in Pittsfield, and her vision to create a foundation will facilitate building an endowment and planning for the future.

Elevating the Mission

Oversight Marita’s forethought positioned BSC ahead of the curve in planning for the pandemic — from early adaptation of protocols to the production of the country’s first play following the shutdown of theaters nationwide. Leading by example, with a perfect blend of smarts and passion, allows Marita to adeptly identify appropriate needs and execute them.

Janis’ passion, commitment, and strength are the backbone of EFC, carrying the agency through an extremely difficult time. While the pandemic made leaving abusive situations more difficult than ever, EFC provided services to the same number of individuals as last year.

Advancing the Mission

Through the organization’s collaborative work with stakeholders—including local law enforcement and affordable housing providers— Janis has brought to light the intersection between domestic and sexual violence. She has a way of making an incredibly difficult line of work one her colleagues look forward to showing up for.

Marita’s deep experience in Human Resources has made BSC a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive organization. Both her introduction of equity training and launch of a program to secure minimum wage for all interns has set an industry standard.

Service on Committees Marita works passionately and diligently on behalf of BSC as a member of the Facilities, Development, Finance, Nominating, Executive, and Gala committees. In addition, she hosts parties, calls donors, signs letters, writes notes, greets patrons, and seeks support for an organization she holds dear.

“[Marita] is truly an extraordinary leader [who] neither pushes from behind nor pulls people along [rather] she inspires [others] by magnifying their strengths and supporting their efforts to improve.” —Bonnie Burman, letter of support


Strategies to Overcome Obstacles Janis’ innovative rethinking of the annual Walk a Mile in her Shoes (a symbolic walk down Pittsfield’s North Street to unite the community and raise funds for survivors of rape, sexual assault, and gender violence), flourished despite the pandemic. EFC surpassed last year’s efforts, raising more than $100,000, despite being virtual.

“Janis has committed herself to work toward a world free from violence and all forms of oppression.” —Michael Wynn, Pittsfield Chief of Police, letter of support


América López

Walk Unafraid Foundation Importance of Role Within Organization

Berkshire Interfaith Organizing, Volunteers in Medicine, Liderazgo Immigrante, and Latinas413 Annual Volunteer Hours: 1,000

Volunteer Activities

Unwavering dedication to helping others coupled with the ability to hold a consistent vision (and keep working toward it) is the powerful pair of qualities Gabrielle brings to the job. This, coupled with a deep well of creativity and a generous heart, converge to support social action.

América is a staunch advocate for immigrants. At BIO, she worked to develop an accompaniment program and pushed for driver’s licenses for all regardless of status; at VIM, she is a Health Community Worker; at Liderazgo Inmigrante, she is designing a project aimed at creating a community development center for immigrants; during the pandemic she organized a GoFundMe campaign for Latinas413 to support Latinx families affected by COVID.

Worthiness of Work and Attitude

Impact on Organization

For two decades, Gabrielle has been leading creative engagement projects and managing a nonprofit. She is tireless, dedicated, and delightfully engaging: “[Gabrielle inspires us] to know her efforts have led to the creation of that work can be done in small opportunities for self-expression, healsteps by ordinary people—that each ing, and empowerment for marginalized of us can be engaged with making individuals. the world a better place, one small

América is committed to successful integration of the immigrant community. The impact of her work has created ripples beyond the organizations for which she volunteers. This past year, she was part of an effort to make the Pittsfield public schools offer permanent interpretation for ELL families.

Personal and Professional Qualities The Berkshire Eagle | BerkshireEagle.com

Nurture and Inspire Others

Gabrielle Senza As founder Gabrielle has been essential in creating the mission, values and direction of the nonprofit championing artists and initiatives that bring attention to important social, environmental, racial and economic issues.


Janis works tirelessly to ensure all survivors of domestic and/or sexual assault are provided the necessary services to escape violence, heal from past violence, and rebuild their lives.

Importance of Public Recognition A single mother, holding multiple jobs, Gabrielle has been fostering the work of underrepresented individual artists and groups for 20 years.

creative step at a time.” —Dan Ruderman, nominator


Impact on Those Served As an immigrant from Mexico, América knows firsthand the struggles others face and works tirelessly to help the immigrant community at large to overcome those obstacles and flatten the barriers for a happy and successful life here.

“América is one of those inspiring role models who — if we give her the chance to lead — many will follow. She is an inspiration to lots of us!” —Toni Buckley, nominator


Dennis Powell

Berkshire Immigrant Center Impact on Organization and Community

NAACP, Berkshire County Branch & Clinton Church Restoration

In two years, Michelle has raised the profile of the organization, strengthened staff and structure, conducted strategic planning, and worked to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for struggling immigrant families during the pandemic.

Widespread and Ongoing Community Influence Dennis consistently shows up: he is curious about race relations in the community; his passion for justice cultivates relationships that matter; he is an educator who spreads wisdom to community leaders and children alike.

Passion/Commitment to Chosen Cause Michelle has a track record of cultivating curiosity about far-flung places and cultures. She is fluent in Spanish and has lived in Mexico, Spain, and Cuba. She lives her commitment to serving a global good not only by showing up, but also by going above and beyond what is asked of her.

Outstanding Professionalism Immersing herself in a small, fiscally-sponsored nonprofit did not come without obstacles; still, Michelle handled each frustration with grace and dedication to moving forward. She beat the budget into shape and included regular volunteers into biweekly team meetings to maintain momentum.

Exceptional Accomplishments After living for seven decades as a Black man in America and continuing to show up with a gracious heart and willingness to serve, Dennis’ willingness to speak openly on issues of social justice have made him a sought after speaker and commentator. Under his tutelage, the Berkshire County NAACP has tripled its membership and vastly increased donor income. He was recognized as one of Berkshire Magazine’s “Berkshire 25” in 2018 and recently received the Massachusetts Black Excellence on the Hill Award in 2021.

Commitment to Highest Values

Innovation in Planning/ Implementation During the pandemic, Michelle ensured every dollar raised for the COVID Relief Fund went to undocumented families in need. She spread the word, reviewed applications, wrote checks, and hand-addressed envelopes to make sure our most vulnerable clients did not fall through the cracks.

“Michelle has that ineffable quality of bringing out the best in others. In doing so, she has brought out the best in BIC.” —Sheryl Lechner, nominator


Exhibits Long-Term Courage and Perseverance For Dennis, a willingness to invest time and energy in the community where he grew up remains vibrant. He listens carefully and works actively to support young people in finding their voices and becoming the next generation of leaders.

Railroad Street Youth Project Impact on Organization/Community

Northern Berkshire United Way Positive Impact on Organization In just four years, Patti has earned a reputation for making people feel welcome when they walk through the door, attend an event, or call on the phone. Her attention to detail, critical to behind-the-scenes work and daily operation, is unparalleled.

Passion and Commitment to Chosen Cause

From the age of 17, Z has consistently contributed to a program that continues to impact youth. Their energy, charisma, and voice have impacted four scholarship winners and myriad individuals who previously thought college impossible without financial help.

Demonstrates Power of Youth Through Z’s innovation and care, there is a new generation of young people imagining their dreams. Z is a powerful reminder that young people can do anything—from creating programming to making history—no matter one’s financial standing or geographic location.

“[Z is] an example of what powerful non-binary energy can be...they have grown through their voice, power, and agency. -- Regina East, nominator


Personal Attributes Patti’s work ethic is incredible. She is the first to arrive each morning and tackles issues before they arise. She is a solution-oriented problem solver, bringing others into the organization to help accomplish goals.

Dedication to Mission Since 2017, NBUW has raised an additional $50,000 per year, due in large part to the addition of special events and Patti’s willingness to dive in with an enthusiasm for the cause that is contagious.

Going Above and Beyond Patti has been known to help member agencies with technical issues like scanning documents, and she developed the system to put grant applications online. While this may sound simple, eradicating paper copies has been a life (and time) saver.

“Patti truly cares about everyone around her.” —Christa Collier, co-worker and nominator

The Berkshire Eagle | BerkshireEagle.com

Makes a Difference in the Community


Patti Messina

As a low-income and first-generation person contemplating post-high school plans, Z used their questions and confusion to create the Railroad Street Youth Student Empowerment (RYSE) Program, to educate 11th and 12th grade students about the challenges of adulting. Z’s commitment is palpable: they are thorough, detail oriented, optimistic, and joyous when showing up for themselves and others. Kindness, motivation, and the ability to remain present has allowed Z, and the now four-yearold program, to flourish.

—A.J. Enchill, nominator


Z Estimé

Dennis’ clear sighted vision and commitment to challenging the status quo are his most vital assets. He has been called calm and methodical, the living body of democracy, for listening to and valuing the voices of all.

“Dennis is a patriarchal figure for Black people in the Berkshires. I know him to be a leader who speaks truth to power.”

Berkshire Nonprofit Awards 2021 | Sunday, May 15, 2021

Michelle Lopez


Berkshire Nonprofit Awards 2021 Sunday, May 15, 2021 |

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Berkshire Nonprofit Awards 2021 | Sunday, May 15, 2021


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Berkshire Nonprofit Awards 2021 Sunday, May 15, 2021 |

Thank You Berkshire Healthcare Workers

Tune in Tuesday, May 18 for thank you messages from Dave Phelps/Berkshire Healthcare Systems and Senator Elizabeth Warren

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