For Immediate Release: 1Berkshire’s 2023 Annual Meeting at The Stationery Factory Highlights a Year of Achievement and Welcomes New Members to Board of Directors

For additional information, please contact:

Christine Hoyt
Director of Member Services, 1Berkshire, 413-441-1630

For Immediate Release

1Berkshire’s 2023 Annual Meeting at The Stationery Factory Highlights a Year of Achievement and Welcomes New Members to Board of Directors

Dalton, MA – December 15, 2023 – On Thursday, December 14, 2023, at the Stationery Factory in Dalton, 1Berkshire held its 2023 Annual Meeting. Focused on achievements of the past year, nearly 200 attendees gathered to hear the 1Berkshire team cover a year in review, program successes, and welcome new members to its Board of Directors.

Margaret Keller, Executive Director for Community Access to the Arts (CATA) and 1Berkshire board member, kicked off the presentation with a warm welcome and thank you to sponsors who helped make the event free to members and the attending public.

Following Keller’s remarks, 1Berkshire Board Chair and Berkshire Bank Berkshire/Vermont Regional President, Lori Gazzillo Kiely, conducted the official Business Meeting during which the membership accepted the Nominating Committee’s recommendation to welcome for a term of three years the following Directors: Christian Hanson (Balderdash Cellars), Scott St. George (Berkshire Health Systems), Dubois Thomas (Blackshires Community Empowerment Foundation), and Ari Zorn (Devine Retail Cannabis). Each was approved.

The membership renewed a term of three years for each of the following Directors: James Birge (MCLA), Jonathan Denmark (MountainOne Insurance Agency, Inc.), Margaret Keller (Community Access to the Arts), Scott Kirchner (Mad Macs, Inc.), and Christina Wynn (Berkshire Community College). Departing Directors included: Gene Dellea (Berkshire Health Systems), Jason Lyon (Boston Symphony Orchestra), and Mindi Morin (Canyon Ranch).

Jonathan Butler, President and CEO of 1Berkshire, started his remarks by thanking the staff of 1Berkshire for its dedication and passion in supporting the health of the Berkshire economy and promoting its tourism sector. He also reported on the financials and the strength of 1Berkshire’s membership of 600+ Enhance and Core members, and retention rate of 85%, a metric that is above the national benchmark. He thanked 1Berkshire’s 28 investors for their continued support and loyal contributions, which directly impact 1Berkshire’s ability to fund its initiatives. Through FY23, 1Berkshire has seen growth in programs, grants, and other income areas to make FY23 a successful income year.

In regards to Member Services, FY23 saw a return to events with the Welcoming of Senator Paul Mark, 1B Socials, Celebrate the Berkshires, another successful Fall Foliage Parade in North Adams, and member ribbon cuttings. Social media, a primary benefit to members, performed strong with more than 24 million impressions and 1,600+ posts highlighting members across 10 channels. The Berkshire Leadership Program (BLP) Class of 2023 graduated 28 leaders; application for the 2024 BLP class is now open.

1Berkshire Vice President of Economic Development, Ben Lamb, provided an update on a number of programs such as the jobs thing, which posted 304 jobs in FY23, representing consistent trends with national workforce recruitment. The Berkshire Youth Leadership Program graduated its 13th class in May and welcomed its 14th class into the program in June; over 360 students have graduated the program to date. Other highlights from the economic development report:

  • Berkshire Economic Recovery Project supported over 90 individual businesses over 2.5 years and provided technical assistance, created jobs, and helped businesses access over $1,000,000 in capital.
  • The Economic Development team conducted 161 consultations, 44% from diverse populations. This support to entrepreneurs and small businesses created 92 new jobs and $2.5 million in investment. The team also hosted the 2nd Small Business Resource Expo.
  • Berkshire Tech Impact Collaborative built support and contributed funding for BIC WORKS.
  • As part of the Berkshire Blueprint 2.0, the team held two high impact economic development site visits, and supported the Creative Campus at MASS MoCA. In May 2024, the Blueprint 2.0 turns 5; an event to celebrate the benchmarking of the midway point of the original 10-year plan will be announced soon.
  • Other initiatives on the team’s agenda are Transplant Retention & Engagement and IEDC Economic Recovery Corps. For more information on anything related to 1Berkshire’s economic development work, please contact Ben Lamb at

Butler then gave a report on tourism and marketing beginning with tourism impact numbers from FY22 – notably, direct visitor spending is up 7% over 2021. The year saw a number of successful campaign tactics for promoting the region, such as ongoing social media ads and retargeting that resulted in 5.3 million impressions and 95,000 clicks to The public relations program helped place Berkshire-centric stories in 32 news outlets such as AFAR, Boston Globe, Forbes, The Today Show, Time Out, and Travel + Leisure, all of which resulted in 158 million impressions. Overall, marketing programs drove 2 million impressions to and more than 1 million impressions to 1Berkshire member listings on the site.

Highlighted upcoming marketing campaigns for FY24 include:

  • A new website devoted to Berkshire outdoor recreation that will be a companion to This new site was built by Berkshire Regional Planning Commision in partnership with a number of organizations, including 1Berkshire.
  • 1Berkshire will work with its media buyer to create a digital takeover of NYC’s Grand Central Station in the spring; estimated impressions start at 14.5 million.
  • The video program continues with ongoing content collection and creation, and a focus on YouTube Shorts and TikTok, which target younger visitors.

Butler wrapped the presentation with a positive outlook for 2024, citing the ongoing work of 1Berkshire in conjunction with partner organizations and emphasized a continued focus on housing for the coming year. Afterward, attendees enjoyed refreshments, networking, and a photo booth.

The event was made possible by the following sponsors: General Dynamics Mission Systems (Presenting Sponsor), Berkshire Catering Co. (Event Underwriter), Tricia McCormack Photography (Photo Booth Sponsor), BusinessWest (Media Sponsor), Adams Community Bank (Event Supporter), Berkshire Community College (Event Supporter), Classical Tents (Event Supporter), Onyx Speciality Papers, Inc. (Event Supporter), KB Accounting (Social Media Underwriter), Berkshire Bank (Bar Sponsor), Greylock Federal Credit Union (A/V Sponsor), Hillcrest Educational Foundation (Decor Sponsor), and MCLA (Door Prize Sponsor).

About 1Berkshire

1Berkshire is a county-wide organization focused on economic development and promotion of the region as a preferred place to visit, to live, and to grow a business. It provides programs that connect businesses with each other and with potential customers and works to develop future leaders and support entrepreneurs. For more information, visit


2023-12-15T10:24:21-05:00December 15th, 2023|Categories: News|

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