NonProfit Awards 2022

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Saturday, May 21, 2022 | Berkshire Nonprofit Awards 2022

JOIN OUR VIRTUAL CELEBRATION OF BERKSHIRE NONPROFITS ON MAY 24! Are you up for a little inspiration on a Tuesday morning in May? This memorable 45-minute show will stay with you throughout the year because it’s about PEOPLE. Meet our 7 honorees – one responsible for distributing over 1 million free diapers to families in need, another who supports those coming out of homelessness, and a leader whose work with children with special needs spans 40 years. Hear from all 7 of these rock stars and from some of the folks who have been impacted by their dedication. Start your day connecting with nonprofit heroes, Berkshire County legislators, and local funders who help make good work happen. Experience hope through a Music in Common performance, hear from Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, 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, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Lamar Advertising Co., Salisbury Bank, Warrior Trading, and Williamstown Community Chest.

The Berkshire Eagle |

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


These 21 judges from both the corporate and nonprofit sectors carefully ranked their choices from among 86 nominations, culminating in a virtual meeting to finalize 7 honorees. We thank them for their time and integrity. Kim Baker/Toole Insurance, Amanda Belanger/Northern Berkshire Pediatrics, Pastor Joel Bergeland/Zion Lutheran Church of Pittsfield, Jill Cancellieri/Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Catheryn Chacon/Latinas413, Marcus Coleman/Raymond James, Jennifer Connor Shumsky/Greylock Federal Credit Union, Brian Drake/MountainOne, Nichole Dupont/Berkshire Money Management, Auric Enchill/Elegant Stitches, Mike Greenfest/Wayfair, John Halbreich, Robin McGraw/Black Rock Foundation, Julia Murphy/Office of Rep. Smitty Pignatelli, Kelan O’Brien/Williams College, Brenda Petell/ Berkshire United Way, Alison Peters/Dalton CRA, Cassey Santos-China/Berkshire Pride, Lauren Smith/Berkshire Health Systems, Dan Stanyon/Salisbury Bank, Gina Vallone/Lee Bank



Lois Daunis/ROOTS Teen Center Laurie Gallagher/Berkshire United Way Mark Gold/Community Legal Aid Mark Harris/Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity Wendy Healey/WAM Theatre Alex Kastrinakis/BFAIR Mary Nash/Flying Cloud Institute Leslie Reed/Dalton CRA

Mariah Auman/Berkshire Natural Resources Council Dustin Belcher/Dalton CRA Meg Bossong/Williams College Brendan Farrell/Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity Nicole Fecteau/Roots & Dreams & Mustard Seeds Lorie Harrington/Berkshire County Head Start Stephanie Jimenez/Soldier On Maryam Kamangar/Goodwill Industries of the Berkshires & So. Vermont Mariám Orengo/Manos Unidas Multicultural Educational Cooperative Brenda Petell/Berkshire United Way Brielle Rizzotti/IS183 Art School Robert J. Shearer DNP, AGACNP-BC, RN/Berkshire Health Systems Talya Taliferro/TG’s Clubhouse

EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP Christa Collier/Northern Berkshire United Way Leigh Doherty/Literacy Network of South Berkshire Jenise L. Lucey/Berkshire South Regional Community Center Janis Martinson/Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center Laurie Norton Moffatt/Norman Rockwell Museum Bettina Montano/Berkshire Pulse Robert Mulhall/Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health Maria Rundle/Flying Cloud Institute Cherri Sanes/ExtraSpecialteas, Inc. Eugenie Sills/Clinton Church Restoration Project Ben Sosne/Berkshire Innovation Center Carolyn Valli/Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity Brett Westbrook/Berkshire County Head Start


Ethan Coe/Pittsfield Education Foundation Deisy Escobar/Railroad Street Youth Project Jake Harte/Dalton Community Recreation Association Olivia Nda/NAACP and “Students Who Have a Voice” by PHS

Debra Miersma/Barrington Stage Company Linda Riiska/HospiceCare in the Berkshires Candace Wall/Junior League of Berkshire County Todd Walton/St Joseph Food Pantry

ABOUT THE NPC 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 Liana Toscanini, Founder & Executive Director Mary Vasquez-Slack, Administrative & Marketing Manager

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

Erika Allison, Stephanie Bosley, Patrick Danahey, Auric Enchill, Clemente Sajquiy-Ramirez, Laurie Werner

UNSUNG HERO Erica Barreto/MCLA Institute for the Arts and Humanities (MCLA-IAH) Cathy Buffoni/Stockbridge Library Association Maggie LaMee/Barrington Stage Company Sheryl Lechner/Berkshire Immigrant Center Donna Morelli/Central West Justice Center (CWJC) Ivania Mottos/Berkshire County Head Start Arthur Niedeck/Berkshires Jazz, Inc. Paul W. O’Brien/Sheffield Historical Society Mindy Shoestock/Berkshire Community Action Council

VOLUNTEER Hannah DeLisle-Stall/Berkshire Business Professional Women Shirley Edgerton/Rites of Passage and Empowerment (ROPE)

The Berkshire Eagle |

Julianne Boyd/Barrington Stage Company Darlene Ellis/Berkshire Food Project Maren Jacobs/UCP of Western Massachusetts Isabelle Kaplan/Berkshire Immigrant Center Susan Frisch Lehrer/Jewish Federation of the Berkshires Douglas Malins/George B. Crane Memorial Center Christopher Moon/Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity Maeve O’Dea/Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation Liliana Ortiz-Bermudez/Festival Latino of the Berkshires John Perreault/Berkshire Humane Society Sheila Toomey/Berkshire County Head Start


Ray Gardino/American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Berkshire County Tanya Haas/Kindness is Foundation, Make-a-Wish, Berkshire Elder Services, Investment Committee Berkshire Place, Blood Donor Catherine Mayne/18 Degrees

Berkshire Nonprofit Awards 2022 | Saturday, May 21, 2022


Where you bank matters Where you bank matters. The simple decision of where you bank can have a big impact on your community. At Berkshire Bank, we redeploy our resources to support events such as the Berkshire Nonprofit Awards Celebration. Congratulations to all those being honored, and thank you for all you do! Member FDIC.



Saturday, May 21, 2022 | Berkshire Nonprofit Awards 2022

Marie G. Rudden, MD

Gerard E. Burke

Berkshire Community Diaper Project Prudent Use of Assets As founder and Board President, Dr. Rudden directs an all-volunteer organization, raising funds to secure diapers in bulk at low cost, negotiating free warehouse space, and distributing 1.3 million diapers since 2014.

Oversight A steadfast and passionate leader, Dr. Rudden encourages all volunteers to take ownership, fostering growth and long-term viability. She closely supervises all aspects of the project including weekly board meetings.

Advancing the Mission Marie is a tireless advocate, engaged in public speaking and educating people about the deleterious impact on the physical and mental health of children and parents who are income challenged, partnering with over 20 food pantries and agencies to distribute diapers, and meeting with the National Diaper Bank Network and Massachusetts legislators to advance projects around the Commonwealth.

Service on Committees Dr. Rudden draws upon her deep interpersonal skills as a psychiatrist to connect to each board member and make use of their skills, knowledge and interests. She is personally involved in every aspect of the organization, most recently leading discussions on equity and inclusion.

“Her efforts have been tireless and successful in both ameliorating the problem and bringing awareness to the issue.” – Claire Rosenberg, LICSW


Hillcrest Educational Centers Widespread and Ongoing Community Influence As a successful and respected business leader, Jerry has been instrumental in bringing attention to the nonprofit community, and helping transform a bankrupt company into a fiscally stable organization employing over 500 professionals. The mission of Hillcrest Educational Centers is to facilitate the social, emotional, intellectual and physical growth of its students through the development of new skills that will enable them to succeed. The organization is accredited in behavioral health care by the Joint Commission.

Exceptional Accomplishments Jerry has built an exceptional team at Hillcrest and successfully merged Berkshire County Kids’ Place into Hillcrest Foundation. He has served in many leadership positions including the boards of Berkshire United Way, 1Berkshire, Greylock Federal Credit Union and the Berkshire County and Massachusetts Business Roundtables. Since 1989 he has been active in the MA Association of Private Schools and in workforce development efforts locally and at the state level. “In every case, he leaves the organization stronger than when he joined, “ says John Bissell, President & CEO Greylock Federal Credit Union.

Commitment to Highest Values

Katie Clarke Community Access to the Arts (CATA) Positive Impact on Organization As Administrative Director, Katie has played a crucial role in CATA’s growth for more than 16 years, creating new, sophisticated systems as the organization’s budget, staff and geographic footprint tripled. Her painstaking, behind-the-scenes work tracking every financial detail related to 1200 donors, 800 artists with disabilities, and 50 partner organizations is essential in upholding the highest possible standards of financial management.

Jerry’s commitment to the local community is unmatched. He serves as mentor to many nonprofit executives and gives of his time and talent freely.

Exhibits Long-Term Courage and Perseverance Jerry’s experience spans over 40 years working with children with special needs. He has been employed at Hillcrest since 1985; serving as CEO since 1992, a rare accomplishment of tenure and success in the Berkshires.

Annual Volunteer Hours: 400 Volunteer Activities

The Berkshire Eagle | 4

Charles is “retired.” He is a trustee of Williamstown’s Milne Library, serves on the board of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, and is Berkshire Immigrant Center’s Volunteer Coordinator, attending weekly meetings and freeing up staff to focus on high-priority items.

Dedication to Mission

COVID struck as CATA was renovating its new facility and undergoing a capital campaign. Katie worked tirelessly to model financial scenarios and update them weekly, secure a PPP loan, participate in an intensive Equity in HR program, and create a Facilities Business Plan so thorough and compelling that it is now being used as a model for other organizations.

“Katie is a force of nature providing support and cheer to everyone in the organization.” – Rich Petrino, CATA Board Member



Berkshire Immigrant Center

A hallmark of Katie’s approach has been her eagle eye, creative problem-solving, and flexibility. Deeply honest and ethical, with an unflagging work ethic, she is that rare person who can be simultaneously detail-oriented and big-picture.

Going Above and Beyond

– Jonathan Butler, President & CEO 1Berkshire Strategic Alliance

Charles Bonenti

Personal Attributes

Katie has constantly performed beyond the scope of her job description to fulfill ever-expanding needs within the organization. In every staff meeting and planning session, she asks the critical strategic questions to ensure we are staying true to our core values of inclusion and access.

“There are far fewer organizational leaders that are able to transcend their sectors and truly lend their voice and influence in a way that advances the entire regional agenda. Jerry is one of these transcendent leaders. His influence is the product of a selfless approach to doing the work that needs to be done. Jerry is willing to take the lead when called upon, but often thrives behind the scenes, never seeking the limelight. This approach has earned him deep cross-sector respect, and the trust of our regional leadership community.”

Impact on Organization There is a direct link between Charles’ willingness to serve as Volunteer Coordinator and BIC’s evolution into a thriving nonprofit. He is constantly thinking of ways to expand the reach of the volunteer base and leverage more time for staff.

Impact on Those Served Most recently, Charles has taken the lead in helping to support 60 evacuees from Afghanistan, making sure they have everything they need to adjust to their new lives here. An extremely challenging assignment, Charles is putting in 20 hours per week to ensure our community remains welcoming and inclusive.

“Charles’ work is critical to BIC’s efficient operations.” – Sheryl Lechner, Development Director


Ananda Timpane

Lever, Inc. Impact on Organization/Community

Railroad Street Youth Project Guiding Strategic Growth to Meet Community Needs

As an intern and now a full-time employee, Jade spearheaded the creation of Lever’s Inclusive Leadership Internship Preparation Program which helps college students from marginalized populations build a network, find mentors and prepare to apply for summer internships.

Passion and Commitment to Chosen Cause

Ananda has steadily grown RSYP over ten years, quadrupling the annual budget and transforming what was a small, youth-inspired, grassroots initiative into a dynamic youth empowerment organization reaching hundreds of young people each year.

Elevating the Mission

Jade is a staunch advocate for equity in all forms, pushing Lever forward in this regard, and regularly connecting with marginalized communities to learn more about their needs. She regularly speaks publicly about diversity, equity and inclusion and how they impact our region.

By keeping to its core essence of youth voice and empowerment, Ananda listens to the needs and aspirations of young people. With unfailing dedication, she helps them find connection to caring adults, staff, and peers in their community.

Makes a Difference in the Community Jade is an entry point for dozens of college students to launch their careers. Through her work and advocacy, these students will go on to make an impact on others’ lives and on the region, a chain of connection that will resonate for years to come.

Ananda’s youth-focused vision, authenticity, and passion for helping young people, especially marginalized youth, inspires staff, constituents, board members and donors. She is an intrepid leader, fostering a culture of care and building the caliber of the organization.

Demonstrates Power of Youth

Strategies to Overcome Obstacles

A remarkably poised and professional young person, Jade is an example of how someone with motivation and talent can excel given the right opportunities. She has used those opportunities to create opportunities for others who may not have had the same experiences. This is at the core of her work and identity as a professional and proof that young people have the power to change the world.

“Jade is among the most impressive young people I’ve ever met. Her maturity, intelligence and conscientiousness underly her remarkable social awareness.” – Jeffrey Thomas, Executive Director, Lever


Nurture and Inspire Others

As substance use rates and mental health issues grew as a result of the pandemic, Ananda created new programs, securing a $1 million Federal grant to create “I wish every nonprofit had as a Rural Recovery Center in Great Barcapable and sensitive a leader as rington. When young people experiAnanda at the helm.” enced higher levels of food insecurity, – Ann Herbst, Development Chair she adapted the culinary apprenticeship program to include weekly deliveries of EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP HONOREE fresh groceries to each participant.

Berkshire Nonprofit Awards 2022 | Saturday, May 21, 2022

Jade Schnauber

Courtney Kimball Construct, Inc. Importance of Role Within Organization As Program Manager, Courtney facilitates all services to individuals coming out of homelessness including financial and wraparound supports, and the after-hours housing crisis team. She has been the face of the organization’s pandemic response, with swift attention to COVID-19 protocols, mental health first aid, and a huge increase in demand for services.


Courtney personifies a trauma-informed approach, meeting people where they are with authenticity, believing in participants until they can believe in themselves. She is thorough, tenacious in her advocacy, reliable, resourceful and kind.

Worthiness of Work and Attitude Courtney, who has one of the toughest jobs imaginable, continues to love her work and invest in each participants’ success, even as access to affordable housing becomes even more challenging. Even after the hardest days, she continues to show up with positivity for the next.

Importance of Public Recognition Construct works to change and save lives through housing options and related services. Perhaps public recognition will help those facing housing insecurity know there is someone even-keeled, kind and compassionate to meet their most critical needs.

“Courtney has been an angel to the immigrant community.” – Natalia DeRuzzio, Volunteers in Medicine


The Jane & Jack

Fitzpatrick Trust

The Berkshire Eagle |

Personal and Professional Qualities


Saturday, May 21, 2022 | Berkshire Nonprofit Awards 2022


Berkshire Nonprofit Awards Honorees You make us proud of our community and grateful to be your partner

The Berkshire Eagle |

Because Community Matters


Congratulations to all of the honorees on their well-deserved recognition.

Member FDIC

Thank you to our nonprofit colleagues for demonstrating the power of community in all you do ©Salisbury Bank and Trust Company

Congratulations Berkshire Nonprofit Award honorees!

Rooted in Williamstown, sheltering our community since 1927 Equal Housing Lender

Berkshire Nonprofit Awards 2022 | Saturday, May 21, 2022

2 South Street · Ste 235 Pittsfield, MA 01201 413-499-2880

Thank you volunteers and nonprofits for being

Congratulations to all the winners. Your dedication to service makes our community a better place for all to live in. Robin and Buzz McGraw

Find Us at

The Berkshire Eagle |

Funding Human Services, Healthcare, and Education


Saturday, May 21, 2022 | Berkshire Nonprofit Awards 2022

Thank you to our BERKSHIRE LEGISLATORS for your advocacy during Covid-19 & always

Senator Adam G. Hinds

Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier

Warrior Trading Gives Back

The Berkshire Eagle |

Over $1,000,000 and counting


Proud Sponsor of the Berkshire Nonprofit 2022 Awards

Representative Smitty Pignatelli

Representative Paul W. Mark

Representative John Barrett, III