February 5, 2023

North Adams’ Desperado’s reopened on Thursday September 22 with a new team.
Jewish Women’s Foundation of the Berkshires awards $63,425 in grants 
Pittsfield–The Jewish Women’s Foundation (JWF) of the Berkshires recently announced grant awards totaling $63,425 for 16 local organizations. The grants range from $1,500 to $5,000 and run for one year. Funded programs fall into three of the Foundation’s priority areas:
In its thirteenth year, JWF, under the auspices of the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires, has granted more than $450,000 to community organizations. JWF is committed to the Jewish mandate of Tikkun Olam — helping to repair the world and making it a better place. JWF carries out its mission by providing funding, volunteers, mentoring and support services to local agencies. JWF has over 180 members who are passionate about giving back to the Berkshire community.
For information about the grants program please contact Esther Messing, Chair of the Grants Committee at esthermessing@gmail.com or visit JWFB.org
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North Adams’ Desperados will reopen under new ownership 
North Adams– Desperados on Eagle Street reopened on Thursday, September 22 with a new team. Chris Bonnivier, Sandra Lopez Nieves, and Joseph Bevilacqua will be taking over the restaurant.
Bonnivier’s role in this project will be investor/consult. Joseph Bevilacqua will be the Chef and Sandra Lopez Nieves will be managing the Front of House operations.
“Our vision is to continue the current menu, but make a few improvements that best showcase both Sandra and Joseph’s talents.” said Bonnivier. “I am very excited to take on another project close to home and am eager to again keep the 20-plus-year tradition of Desperados that David Atwell created for a family fun atmosphere with great quality of food and beverages. My partners Sandra and Joseph will draw much inspiration from their Puerto Rican heritage and deliver a consistent quality product that Desperados has been known for many years.”
Bonnivier has purchased the business from Pete Oleskewicz, City Council Vice President. Oleskewicz has been facing a number of health challenges and felt it best to move on from the restaurant.
“I truly love this restaurant. The staff and community have been tremendously amazing. It was a really tough decision to make, but I feel it was best for everyone. I am thrilled to have such an amazing group of people take Desperados to the next level”, said Oleskewicz.
The restaurant has faced a number of challenges since the beginning of the pandemic, the primary challenge being staffing. Bonnivier is confident they can address these challenges with Chef Joseph and Sandra at the helm.
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Jack Miller Contractors hires multiple positions in response to building industry growth
Williamstown– Jack Miller Contractors is pleased to welcome several new team members to support additional services in their organization – Nikolaos Tombras as director of preconstruction services and Zachary Hettinger as assistant project manager. Also hired over this past year are superintendent Albert Aponte, assistant superintendent Dan Pratt, and Zenon Libowicz, estimator. Joel Kinney who has been with the company for three years, was promoted to superintendent. Jack Miller Contractors currently employs 22 professionals in the community.
Nikolaos Tombras joined Jack Miller Contractors as director of preconstruction services and brings with him architectural design and project management experience on cultural, institutional, commercial, and residential projects through all phases of planning, design and construction. Nikolaos earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He is a LEED Accredited Professional.
Zachary Hettinger comes to JMC as assistant project manager with experience in government agency and food service construction project management as well as project engineering for commercial healthcare. A graduate of the University of Kansas with a BA in architecture, Zach’s skills include financial and risk management and a wide range of design, management and construction software knowledge.
Born and raised in Puerto Rico, superintendent Albert Aponte grew up in the glass business and owned a successful glass and construction service company for eight years. After many years living and working across Puerto Rico and the U.S., he gained considerable experience in the construction industry. Albert attended a military academy as well as the Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico.
A native of Adams, Mass., Dan Pratt started honing his skills in carpentry in a pre-vocational program during high school. He worked in the construction industry as a general laborer and carpenter for several years while attending Berkshire Community College. His experience as lead carpenter for a framing crew and a commercial contractor led to a position as a construction supervisor for a few chain restaurants. In 2012, Dan set his career in construction aside to start a nine-year carpentry position at Bennington College. Seeking a construction firm with an emphasis on quality, relationships, personnel growth and development, he found and joined Jack Miller Contractors. He lives in Bennington, Vt.
With an almost 50-year career in architecture and construction, Zenon Libowicz has worked in various architecture and design-build firms as field coordinator, design project manager and consultant. He comes to JMC after 20 years in Maryland working in sales and estimating with C.A. Lindman. Zenon holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the Pratt Institute and lives in Shaftsbury, Vt.
Jack Miller Contractors has current openings for superintendent, carpenter and apprentice carpenter.  To learn more, visit jackmillercontractors.com or call 413.884.6124 or 802.440.8144.
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CREATE announces 2023 Community Arts Grants 
orange and white logo of CREATE Council on the ArtsCatskill, N.Y.–  CREATE (Council for Resources to Enrich the Arts, Technology & Education) has announced that applications are now available for Community Arts Grants to be awarded in 2023. The Community Arts Grants Program funds artists and organizations who are seeking to creatively engage their communities through projects in the arts in Columbia, Greene, and Schoharie Counties. Grants of up to $5,000 are awarded in three project areas: Community Projects, Artist Commissions, and Arts Education. In 2022, fifty-four grants totalling $158,840 were awarded to artists and organizations.
Grant winners have used these funds to develop music concerts, theater and dance performances, community arts classes, poetry readings, sculptural exhibits, film screenings and much more. CREATE prioritizes projects that engage the community, are accessible, innovative and imaginative.
CREATE will be hosting a series of Q & A information sessions in Schoharie, Catskill and Chatham, NY to assist with the application process. Free and open to the public, these seminars are a great way to meet and connect with other applicants, form partnerships, and ask specific questions about applying for a grant. Anyone wishing to submit a grant proposal must attend at least one of these meetings scheduled to be held on the following dates:
The deadline for all applications is December 15th, 2022. Grant winners will receive funding notification by February 2023. To learn more, those interested in applying are encouraged to visit the CREATE website for guidelines, instructions and online application links at: https://createcouncil.org/upcoming-grants/. For additional information or to schedule an individual meeting, contact Grants Manager Adriana Tampasis at grantsmanager@createcouncil.org or call (518) 943-3400.
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Greylock welcomes new Chief Information Officer
Pittsfield– Following an extensive search, Greylock Federal Credit Union has announced the hiring of Amit Behal as their new Senior Vice President / Chief Information Officer.
“Amit’s expertise in digital transformation will be a great benefit to Greylock and our Members,” said Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Officer Jeff Gerard. “He will direct our technology team with a focus on cyber security, data and analytics to enhance our Members’ experience. We are very fortunate to have a professional of his caliber on our leadership team.”
Behal received his master’s degree in computer applications from Devi Ahilva University in India. Prior to joining Greylock, he managed global cloud operations for Granicus, and spent eight years at American Express delivering on their digital transformation efforts.
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Cannabis company Temescal Wellness celebrates grand opening of new grow facility
North Adams– Temescal Wellness, a high-quality medical and recreational cannabis company, recently celebrated the grand opening of its new 71,400 square-foot cannabis grow facility in North Adams, Massachusetts. The facility will increase the company’s production and cultivation capacity, allowing it to expand its portfolio of product offerings for consumers throughout the region. Once fully operational, the facility will employ approximately 80 people.
“We recognize consumers are eager for high quality flower, as well as novel, innovative and functional cannabis products,” says Alex Hardy, Chief Executive Officer of Temescal Wellness. “In addition to expanded flower lineages and offerings, we are looking forward to delivering marijuana infused products like our cartridges and edibles to more people.”
Temescal Wellness partnered with ARCO National Construction, an industry leading design-build general contractor, for the project – a renovation of an existing building owned by Innovative Industrial Properties. In addition to interior renovations, the project included structural upgrades and exterior modifications to accommodate new equipment and lighting.
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North Adams Chamber workshops for small businesses
North Adams— The North Adams Chamber will present a series of workshops this fall that will cover business basics, technological essentials and marketing tips to grow your small business.
On October 4, the Chamber will present “Business 101” from 6-8 p.m:
Are you looking to start a business in the Northern Berkshires? Have you started selling something but don’t know how to take your business to the next level? This is the workshop for you! This short session will help you refine your business ideas, and give you the tools to better understand your financial goals. You will also learn more about the North Adams Chamber Business Assistance program.
Register for the workshop here.
Upcoming Workshops:
Workshops will be held at the NAC office: 85 Main Street, Suite 200A, depending on attendance size. Workshops with higher registrations will take place next to the NAC office at Terra Nova. Registrants will be notified upon signing up.
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Golden Leaf Rag Time Blues
September 26 – October 30 @ 07:30 pm – 09:30 pm
Alliance for a Viable Future Presents – Honoring Native America
October 08, 2022 @ 07:30 pm –
An evening of big band jazz, with Grace Kelly and the UConn Jazz Ensemble
October 09, 2022 @ 07:00 pm – 09:00 pm
Close Encounters With Music Presents: Grand Opening: Otherworldly Schubert and “One Earth”
November 06, 2022 @ 04:00 pm – 05:45 pm
 
 
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