Women in Business 2021

2021 #WomenInBiz

Every month is a good month to celebrate women in business. At 1Berkshire, we’ve chosen October as a special time for focused recognition of the dedication, talents, contributions, and successes of the women powering the Berkshires’ local economy. All 1Berkshire members who identify as a woman, are invited to share what they most enjoy and value about being #womeninbiz. Read their thoughts and stories below.

Thank you to BusinessWest for sponsoring Women in Business Month.


  • Make sure to follow us on social media for more shout outs and #WomeninBiz recognition.
  • Want to nominate yourself or a colleague? Send a photo and quote detailing what you most love about being a woman in business to social@1berkshire.com.
  • Use the #WomeninBiz hashtag during the month of October.

Holly Alberti of Berkshire RootsHolly Alberti

Senior Director of Marketing
Berkshire Roots

I joined the Berkshire Roots team as Senior Director of Marketing in the summer of 2020 during the pandemic. My role is to further develop the brand, market initiatives, raise awareness, and bring my 10+ years of entrepreneurial and corporate experience in the cannabis industry to my work here. I love working with the amazing team at Berkshire Roots here in Pittsfield.  It’s beautiful here and I just love discovering new places to adventure. Or finding a new shop or café. I really love working in the Berkshires.

Jenipher DiNicola Administrative Coordinator MOLARI Employment and HealthCare ServicesJenipher DiNicola

Administrative Coordinator
MOLARI Employment and HealthCare Services

I like working in the Berkshires because everything is close. The people, the commute, and the mountains. I think we get complacent working here sometimes because we don’t realize how spoiled we are living in this area. Usually people who have a lake nearby, have dreadful commutes, or need to drive somewhere far after work to enjoy family time. The Berkshires is great due to the work life balance and I’m glad to have found a place to call home.

Melissa Fawcett, M.Ed Owner/Director Ready Set Learn PreschoolMelissa Fawcett, M.Ed

Ready Set Learn Preschool

I am the owner of Ready Set Learn Preschool in Pittsfield, MA. We have been in operation since 2015 and have recently expanded. I started the business in 2015 in a small house that my husband and I purchased for the business. There we had a class of 13 children. We bought St. Martin’s Episcopal church in 2018 and expanded to have 3 classrooms and a total of 45 children.  We just expanded the business again and opened our 2nd location. We have 2 locations in Pittsfield and are providing preschool education to over 95 children. Owning a business in the Berkshires is amazing. In my field I meet so many great professional parents looking for excellence in early education. It is wonderful to be able to provide for so many families in Pittsfield and the surrounding towns. 

Aimée Gelinas M.Ed Founder / Director Tamarack Hollow Nature & Cultural CenterAimée Gelinas

Founder / Director
Tamarack Hollow Nature & Cultural Center

I am the co-founder and Director of the Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center in Windsor, MA.  I am a naturalist and trekking guide as well as a performance artist with groups I co-founded: Gaia Roots, Trio Candela, and Sifer. In addition I founded the Berkshire Rhythm Keepers, an intergenerational student drum group and am a craft artist for my business Tamarack Hollow Trading. I am grateful to be a woman business owner here in the Berkshires as the beauty of the natural landscape and community support for the performing and creative arts has helped cultivate my vision to bring environmental and cultural opportunities and engagement to the Berkshire community and beyond.

Guin Griswold Client Services Manager MOLARI Employment and HealthCare ServicesGuin Griswold

Client Services Manager
MOLARI Employment and HealthCare Services

I love the interconnectedness that comes with doing Business in the Berkshires. It’s a large enough community to offer so much diversity in business, arts, and culture, but still feels like your hometown.

Meghan Hendricks General Dynamics Mission SystemsMeghan Hendricks

Supervisor, Shipboard Electronic Repair Facility
General Dynamics Mission Systems

In my current role, I oversee a group of 20 people ranging from Project Leads and Manufacturing Engineers, to direct Touch Labor employees. What I enjoy most about working at General Dynamics is the people. I enjoy working towards a common goal with my team and having the opportunity to help individuals work through issues and grow as employees. They help me grow and learn as well. I am constantly challenged and get to test my skills every day.

Darci Hess Marketing and Public Relations Maritime and Strategic Systems General Dynamics Mission SystemsDarci Hess

Marketing & Public Relations Specialist
General Dynamics Mission Systems

Having a young family, I cannot overstate how much I love living and working in the Berkshires. I have this incredible job where I work with the smartest people from all over the world, helping solve the nation’s toughest security challenges. And also I often take short hikes during my lunch break, bring my kids out in nature after I log-off for the day, and spend time volunteering for things I am passionate about. Although we’ve been largely remote at General Dynamics for the last year and a half, our Pittsfield workforce has remained connected through virtual events and local initiatives that has left me in constant awe by our collective sense of purpose and community. I think that’s the main reason I love it here #intheBerkshires. Our sense of community is something to write home about. Luckily, it is my home, so I’ll just spread the word!

Brenda Petell

Director of Volunteer Engagement
Berkshire United Way

Having deep roots in the Berkshires, I’ve always taken great pride in serving my community. After winning the Dan Dillon Helping Hands Caring Hearts volunteer award from Berkshire United Way, it really crystallized for me that I wanted this to be a larger part of my life. Now, as the Director of Volunteer Engagement at BUW, I get to fully explore my passion for helping people. I feel privileged to be in a position where I have the opportunity to connect Berkshire residents in need of support to organizations that can help, and have a direct positive impact on the lives of our neighbors.

Jenna Knauss Program Director CIP BerkshireJenna Knauss

Program Director
CIP Berkshire

I love being in business in the Berkshires because of the opportunity to connect with the broader community and make a significant difference. Working in the Berkshires as Program Director at The College Internship Program and as a mental health clinician has afforded me the ability to bring what I am passionate about as a professional to individuals and groups outside of my immediate work environment.  There are so many other creative and like-minded professionals who have an interest in sharing their skills and talents with the community at large and who consider this community their home. For example, I recently had an opportunity to volunteer for an after-school program, where I was able to apply my knowledge and interest in social-emotional development outside my office setting.  I was also able to connect one of the young adults I work with in my residential program to the program to serve as a Jr. coach because mentorship occurs at all levels.

Mindy Miraglia Founder & CEO Berkshire Camino LLCMindy Miraglia

Founder & CEO
Berkshire Camino LLC

I am sending in this photo in response to the Women’s in Business celebration month. This is a photo of me and several of the other women who are guides with Berkshire Camino. We love meeting women, especially solo hikers from within and beyond the Berkshires who want to get out for a hike and are concerned about going alone. They fear wildlife, getting lost, injuring themselves or taking on trails/routes that sound good on paper, but in reality are too challenging. Sometimes we are simply a local friend to go on a walk/hike with; we help women overcome feeling alone. It is a joy to see our guests feeling relaxed and safe. They gain skills and confidence that motivates them to get outside on their own or with others more.

Beth Mitchell General Dynamics Mission SystemsBeth Mitchell

Director of Integration
General Dynamics Mission Systems

I have a rewarding career in STEM in the Berkshires’ innovation economy, and attribute my successful trajectory to embracing Claude Bissell’s advice to ‘Risk more than others think is safe–Dream more than others think is practical–Expect more than others think is possible.’ But I’ve also added a layer to that: Care more than others think is wise.  All of these together will drive you forward, allow you to live up to your expectations, and continue to grow, learn, and experience.

Gail Molari President & CEO MOLARI Employment and HealthCare ServicesGail Molari

President & CEO
MOLARI Employment and HealthCare Services

We started MOLARI Employment and HealthCare Services in 1983 as a way for my family to stay in Berkshire County after losing my job as a middle school librarian. I loved being in the school, mostly because of the students and being able to help them navigate their classes and life in general. Starting a staffing agency was much the same thing, it was a time when women were trying to transition from stay at home moms to the workplace. Helping people and businesses throughout the Berkshires has always been our main purpose. Today it still excites me to meet people who say that MOLARI helped them to either transition to a new opportunity or move up the ladder of opportunity. Adding At-Home-Care for elders offered even more opportunity to help more people in the Berkshires. Owning an evolving business in the Berkshires for over three decades has given my staff and me so many opportunities to help our neighbors by connecting area businesses and the employees they need for short- or long-term work, helping job seekers find jobs that suit them and supporting our community as volunteers for many area volunteer efforts.

Lindsay NeathawkLindsay Neathawk

Neathawk Designs

Owning a business in the Berkshires has been so rewarding these past 10 plus years since I started custom-carved signs. I get to  share my talent with local businesses whether it be in designing a creative logo or turning their logo into an eye-catching out of the box sign design. I enjoy turning traditional signs into public works of art for all to enjoy.

Natalie Johnsonius Neubert Executive Director Berkshire Music SchoolNatalie Johnsonius Neubert

Executive Director
Berkshire Music School

What is wonderful about being a woman in business here in the Berkshires is being part of a powerful network of women, all with different strengths and passions, who support each and work together to make our community a better place to live.

Truc NguyenTruc Nguyen

Truc Orient Express Restaurant

This October, my family celebrated our restaurant’s 43 years in the beautiful Berkshires. As a next generation business owner and woman, I can draw from the experience, support, from my family and community. I am gratified to know many exceptional women in the Berkshires who have worked tirelessly to pave the way within their respective fields and I do not have to look far for inspiration. West Stockbridge has a tremendous history of culinary excellence, thanks to women such as my Mom and Maggie Merelle of Rouge, both who built landmark restaurants and have been welcoming countless guests for decades. Their dedication to hospitality, professionalism, and innovative spirit is something to admire and draw strength from. I hope to contribute in my small way, so that future women entrepreneurs within our community know they have a solid support system to dream big and add to the mosaic that makes the Berkshires so incredibly special.

Morgan Schrader General Dynamics Mission SystemsMorgan Schrader

Manufacturing Engineer
General Dynamics Mission Systems

As a part of General Dynamics Manufacturing Leadership Program, I enjoy rotating throughout various positions within the company, and gaining a better, more well-rounded understanding of the business. My role is important to me because I have the ability every day to make a difference and support the mission. In each rotation I have felt a sense of teamwork, and community here at GD, allowing me to build a strong network and long-lasting friendships. GD has given me the opportunity to relocate to the Berkshires, an area where I can enjoy the outdoors through hiking, skiing, biking, paddle boarding, and running with beautiful scenery.

Jess Voight General Dynamics Mission SystemsJess Voight

Systems Engineer
General Dynamics Mission Systems

I grew up in the Berkshires and now have a STEM career here with opportunities to grow and lead within the community. Each day I am surrounded by smart, talented, and motivated individuals who share a common goal of strengthening our nation’s defenses. As many continue to work remotely, including myself, I am continually impressed by my coworkers’ abilities to manage their career and family life from the same kitchen table. I enjoy working for a company that enables this flexibility and work-life balance.

Return to the Women in Business event page.

2021-10-22T08:35:56-04:00October 5th, 2021|Categories: News, Women in Business|Tags: , , |

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