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AIM to Honor Begrowicz, Berkshire Health, SABIC at Centennial

DALTON — Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) will celebrate its 100th anniversary on June 11 by honoring three people and organizations shaping the Berkshire County economy — manufacturing entrepreneur Patricia Begrowicz, Berkshire Health Systems, and SABIC Innovative Plastics.

The largest employer association in Massachusetts will present three Next Century awards during a centennial reception at the Crane Model Farm in Dalton from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. AIM President and CEO Richard Lord will be joined by approximately 100 business and community leaders for the event. The Next Century awards recognize individuals, companies, and other organizations for seminal contributions to the Massachusetts economy and the well-being of its citizens.

“Pat Begrowicz, Berkshire Health Systems, and SABIC Innovative Plastics exemplify the transformative and lasting power of economic opportunity. Their vision and leadership have allowed Berkshire County residents to work, support families, and build lives for themselves while making this region a wonderful place to live,” Lord said.

Begrowicz gave new life to a 200-year-old business in 2009 when she and a business partner acquired the assets of MeadWestvaco’s specialty paper division and created Onyx Specialty Papers in South Lee. It was an extraordinary act of courage in the face of both the Great Recession and the ongoing cost and regulatory challenges of manufacturing products in Massachusetts. The action preserved the livelihoods of 152 manufacturing workers, scientists, and engineers who now supply materials for countertops, laminate floors, furniture, filters, graphic arts, and automotive transmissions.

Berkshire Health Systems is among a vanguard of community hospitals developing new models of patient care and financial sustainability in a turbulent healthcare market. The most dramatic example of the company’s innovative approach came when it stepped in and invested more than $6 million to provide medical services to people in Northern Berkshire County in the wake of the closing of North Adams Hospital. BHS has also invested in the recruitment of new physicians to meet the demand from patients who formerly sought treatment from doctors in private practice.

SABIC Innovative Plastics, a world leader in providing thermoplastic solutions, sets a unique standard for balancing success in the global marketplace with addressing the needs of its hometown. Founded with the acquisition of GE Plastics in 2007, SABIC employs 9,000 people in 35 countries making products for the automotive, electronics, transportation, building and construction, and healthcare industries. At the same time, SABIC employees volunteer their time in the Berkshires and elsewhere through programs that support community initiatives focused on education and environmental sustainability.

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