GREAT BARRINGTON – The winners of the Berkshire Nonprofit Awards were announced today at a breakfast presentation and celebration at Country Club of Pittsfield. A sold-out crowd of 240 honored 21 finalists, with emcee Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli presiding. Hosted by the Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires in partnership with The Berkshire Eagle, this inaugural event paid tribute to the nonprofit sector’s employees and volunteers for their outstanding commitment and contributions to the Berkshire community.

In April, a panel of judges reviewed over 60 nominations and chose three finalists and one winner in each of seven categories. The winners are: Kristine Hazzard of Berkshire United Way (Executive Leadership), James Mahon of Berkshire Food Project (Board Leadership), June Wolfe of Construct, Inc. (Super Staffer), Jay Weintraub and Mark Lefenfeld of Backyard Bounty of the Berkshires (Rising Star), Amy Guachione of Berkshire Children & Families (Volunteer), Kelly Akroman of Moments House (Unsung Hero), and Carole Siegel of OLLI and Berkshire Children and Families (Lifetime Achievement).

Berkshire Nonprofit Award winners received a framed poster featuring a representation of themselves on the cover of an imaginary “Berkshire Nonprofit PEOPLE” magazine, a Citation from the Commonwealth signed by Senator Adam Hinds, and a Blue Q tote bag sporting the expression “Living the Dream.”

June Wolfe, winner of the “Super Staffer” Award said, "My favorite thing about working for a nonprofit is the level of commitment you find in this field. No one is here for the pay or the bonuses or the benefits. People work here because they are trying to make positive change.”

BERKSHIRE NONPROFIT AWARDS WINNERS AND PRESENTERS

Front row: Berkshire Nonprofit AwardS Winners: Mark Lefenfeld & Jay Weintraub (Backyard Bounty of the Berkshires), Kelly Akoman (Moments House), Kristine Hazzard (Berkshire United Way), June Wolfe (Construct, Inc.), Carole Siegel (OLLI & Berkshire Children & Families), Amy Guachione (Berkshire Children & Families).

Back row: Elizabeth Stone (NPC), Leigh Davis, Melissa Lydon (NPC Board), Fred Rutberg (The Berkshire Eagle), Liana Toscanini (NPC), Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli.

(press release sent to WSBS from the Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires for online and on air use, photo: Richard Migot)