The Berkshire Leadership Program (BLP) has been preparing leaders for over 20 years in the Berkshires. BLP seeks, prepares, involves, and sustains leaders from diverse backgrounds who are committed to addressing community challenges and improving the quality of life in the Berkshires. BLP is a program of 1Berkshire, planned by a Steering Committee of 20 volunteers and supported by individuals and businesses in the community who donate their time for our sessions. The Steering Committee carefully reviews each application for the program and selects a wide variety of leaders in Berkshire County.
After postponing the program in 2020, and running a virtual program in 2021, we were happy to welcome 22 individuals to join us for an in-person program this spring. Participants began the program with a two-day retreat that focused on their leadership styles and working within a team. Following the retreat, the class spent a day on an economic development bus tour highlighting several areas of opportunities and challenges throughout the County; stops along the bus tour included MASS MoCA, Williams College, Bousquet, Austen Riggs, and General Dynamics. The weekly sessions focused on the industry clusters highlighted in the Berkshire Blueprint 2.0 – Advanced Manufacturing, Creative Economy, Food & Agriculture, Healthcare, Hospitality & Tourism, and Housing. The last session was a discussion about how to get involved in their community and information about board service and the opportunities that exist to serve on a board or committee.
Throughout the program, the class worked together on a project of their choosing. After much discussion and deliberation, the class chose to focus on advocacy for mental health workers in Berkshire County. The class wrote and recorded public service announcements to educate the public about the work of mental health workers and stating their support for mental health and counseling organizations in the Berkshires. See the video PSAs recorded in both English and Spanish, or listen to the radio recordings in both English and Spanish.
On June 30, at Crissey Farm in Great Barrington, the Class of 2022 presented their project as part of the Commencement ceremony. 1Berkshire is proud to announce and celebrate the Class of 2022!
BLP Class of 2022
Abigail Allard, Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center
Brian Berkel, Berkshire Coalition for Suicide Prevention
Wendy Brown, Terra Design/Build
Andy Cambi, City of Pittsfield
Morgan Civello, General Dynamics Mission Systems
Katelyn Clark, Berkshire Bank
Megan Daniels, Greylock Federal Credit Union
Lorena Dus, Berkshire Immigrant Center
Taylor Gibeau, Adams Community Bank
Kristin Gregory, New England Foundation for the Arts
Melissa Helm, NAMI Berkshire County
Alicia Hyman, Berkshire Athenaeum
Shela Levante, MCLA
Allison McMordie, City of Pittsfield
Claudia Morales, Modern Mold and Tool
Thomas Nowlan, MountainOne Insurance Agency Inc.
Annie Pecor, North Adams Public Schools
Hannah Pilot, General Dynamics Mission Systems
Jasmine Rivera Boucher, BFAIR
Jessica Thoresen, General Dynamics Mission Systems
Karrie Trautman, Berkshire Community College
Lyndsey Wadsworth, General Dynamics Mission Systems
1Berkshire thanks Berkshire Community College, MCLA, and Williams College for their generous sponsorship of this year’s program. Applications for the Class of 2023 will be made available late October/early November. For more information about the program please visit 1Berkshire’s website.