Key Takeaways from the 2020 1Berkshire Annual Meeting
On Thursday, December 3, 1Berkshire held its first-ever virtual Annual Meeting. With a focus on Gaining a New Perspective, over 130 attendees joined in real-time via Zoom to hear 1Berkshire’s President and CEO Jonathan Butler provide a year in review which included:
- Our community is nearly 1,000 members strong, with businesses from every sector, size, and regional geography participating in the narrative of the Berkshires.
- During 2021, we continued direct contact with our members, discussing reopening guidance, business support programs, and the development of tools including 1Berkshire’s COVID-19 Resource page that is updated regularly.
- We offered our membership a 50% savings in membership dues, recognizing that the pandemic hit our businesses hard; we offered payment plans for our members to keep their listings current and continue providing exposure.
- With over 68,500 social media followers (1Berkshire and Visit the Berkshires, plus Instagram and Twitter for 1B and Visit), we have used these platforms to communicate important information about COVID-19, as well as feature members’ events, services, and products.
- During the spring and summer months, we offered 11 Virtual Town Halls free to the public that discussed relevant topics such as hospitality, education, social services, food, and agriculture.
- Our monthly Entrepreneurial Meetups continued throughout the year, with a pivot to virtual events. Each month there has been strong attendance which shows the resiliency of entrepreneurs in the Berkshires.
- Our Summer-Fall campaign garnered 34 million+ impressions and increased traffic on berkshires.org by 3% over last year.
- Our year-round public relations campaign (examples: Coast to Coast with Kids and Boston Globe) garnered 560 million+ impressions, keeping the Berkshires top of mind to visitors around the world.
- We developed and released a new digital We Are Open Guide to help promote the Berkshires as a safe and open-space destination.
- And although we, like many other organizations, saw some difficult financial challenges this year, we were able to adapt and overcome by shifting our programming, our marketing strategies, and business support systems to remain in a fiscally stable position, ensuring the future of 1Berkshire.
Butler also announced some new initiatives for 2021 which included regional diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, a Berkshire housing agenda, new features of the jobs thing tool, and a COVID addendum to the Berkshire Blueprint 2.0.
The 1Berkshire staff also had a fun Where in the World is 1Berkshire? contest for all attendees to enjoy. They had to watch a video and guess the various Berkshire locations from which they were filmed. Two lucky winners took home $200 in Berkshares. Click here to watch the video and test your Berkshire landmark knowledge.
During the Annual Meeting, John Bissell of Greylock Federal Credit Union concluded his term as Chair of the 1Berkshire Strategic Alliance Board. Danielle Gonzalez of Williams College was voted in as Chair and will serve a two-year term. The Annual Meeting also allowed 1Berkshire to thank outgoing Board Members Linda Febles, Kevin Bechard, Alan Lebihan, and Jodi Joseph for their service to the 1Berkshire Alliance Board of Directors. The membership voted in new Board Members Christina Wynn, Interim Dean of Business & Outreach at Berkshire Community College, and Jonathan Denmark, President and COO at MountainOne, each for a term of three years.
As we wrap up 2020, we thank you for your support and partnership this past year. Together, we have continued to make the Berkshires a premier and safe place to live, work, visit, and grow a business. We look forward to putting 2020 in the rear view mirror and welcoming in 2021.
To view the 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting in its entirety, please click here.