Photo credit: Kara Thornton
Name: Beryl Jolly
Place of Employment: Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Title: Executive Director
What is your 3 sentence biography? / What is your personal elevator pitch?
I am raising my two high-school aged daughters in beautiful Berkshire County, while running a dynamic, year-round, performing arts center. I am deeply committed to family, community, diversity, and the power of music, theater and dance to transform individuals and society. I believe in equity, inclusion, social justice and the power of possibility.
Tell us about the challenges you faced on your path, and what you learned from it.
A previous employer in New York eliminated my position after I was on extensive bed rest during my first pregnancy. My daughter was born perfectly healthy and I found an even better job that provided work experience and created expertise which then led to my executive role at the Mahaiwe. “It all works out in the end. If it hasn’t worked out, it’s not the end.” Juggling work and family has been a challenge and worth the effort 100% of the time; knowing my goals and priorities has allowed me to live a very fulfilling life. I always try to keep my short-term and long-term intentions in mind when evaluating my choices on any given day or week.
What “secret to success” would you share with young women entering the (Berkshire) workforce?
Take time to reflect on the kind of life you want to live, focus on the skillsets and resources you need to build to live that life, and find the supportive people –in your personal life and amongst professional contacts – to encourage and advise you along the way.
What Berkshire women in business inspire you and why?
The women on the board and staff of the Mahaiwe continually inspire me with their passion, intelligence, work ethic and commitment to our mission and business goals. To navigate the complex aspects of a non-profit requires a special spirit and strategic perspective, and our team has that in spades. I’m awed by the breadth and depth of women across the non-profit sector of Berkshire County and appreciate all the ways they help make this region such an extraordinary place to be.