October 23, 2018
 
Nonprofit Center of Berkshires Names Nonprofit Award Winners

May 24, 2018 — The Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires, a nonprofit based in Great Barrington that fosters growth among charitable organizations through shared resources, affordable services, and collaborations, this week named seven winners of its inaugural Berkshire Nonprofit Awards.

The seven nonprofit employees and volunteers were honored for "their outstanding commitment and contributions to the Berkshire community" at a public event on Tuesday at the Country Club of Pittsfield attended by 240 people.

Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires founder Liana Toscanini said, “The Berkshire Nonprofit Award winners are true role models in the nonprofit sector. Shining a light on these individuals created a great sense of pride in our community. You could see it on the faces of everyone in the audience.”

Honored were the following:
  • Executive Leadership – Kristine Hazzard, president and CEO of Berkshire United Way, Pittsfield, which provides a wide range of services to strengthen area communities.

  • Board Leadership – James Mahon, Berkshire Food Project, North Adams, which works to alleviate hunger, food insecurity, and social isolation

  • Super Staffer – June Wolfe, housing director at Construct in Great Barrington, which provides housing and related services in the south Berkshires.

  • Rising Star – Jay Weintraub and Mark Lefenfeld, Backyard Bounty of the Berkshires, affiliated with The Nutrition Center in Great Barrington, which supplies food to pantries, senior centers and other food distribution sites by gathering and distributing ripe, fresh vegetables, and fruit from Berkshire farms and local residents' backyards that would otherwise go to waste.

  • Volunteer – Amy Guachione, Berkshire Children & Families, Pittsfield and Hadley, which provides services that support children and families in western Massachusetts.

  • Unsung Hero – Kelly Akroman, director of programs and services at Moments House, Pittsfield, which provides free services to Berkshire County residents living with a cancer diagnosis and families.

  • Lifetime Achievement – Carole Siegel, who has worked extensively with area nonprofits and currently is on the board of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and Berkshire Children & Families.
“The breadth and quality of the nominations are impressive," said Toscanini. "There are people in the nonprofit sector who have dedicated 40 or more years of their lives to our community. Some volunteers put in over 500 or 1000 hours of service annually. Others step up in extraordinary circumstances to keep their organizations running. I’m glad we’ll be able to shine a light on some of these incredible individuals, their perseverance, and their accomplishments.”

Winners were selected by a team of 14 judges from the business sector, who narrowed 62 nominations to 21 finalists, and then the seven winners.

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