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Berkshire Bank Appoints Five Wealth-management Officers

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Bank recently named five individuals to lead and manage its Wealth Management team, which serves individuals, companies, government organizations, and nonprofit organizations.

The appointments include Richard Bleser as senior vice president, chief investment officer; Jason Edgar as senior vice president, wealth portfolio manager, and regional leader – New England; Mary Ellen Cologero as senior vice president, wealth portfolio manager, and regional leader – New York; Janice Ward as first vice president, wealth advisor, and senior fiduciary officer; and Elizabeth Gore as first vice president, trust operations and compliance.

Bleser has served Berkshire Bank as its senior vice president, portfolio manager since joining the firm in 2010 from Meridian Capital Partners Inc., where he was responsible for macroeconomic, S&P 500, and hedge-fund analysis. He will lead Berkshire’s investment-portfolio-management efforts, working closely with and Edgar.

Edgar joined the banks a senior portfolio manager in 2014 after several years with Enterprise Investment Advisor, a division of Enterprise Bank. He will lead Berkshire’s wealth-management initiatives for the New England region, while working closely with Bleser and Cologero on the investment portfolio.

Cologero will lead Berkshire Bank’s wealth-management initiatives for the New York region, while working closely with Bleser and Edgar on the investment portfolio. With more than 25 years of investment experience, she joined the team as a senior portfolio manager from Key Bank, where she served as senior vice president, senior portfolio manager.

Ward has served Berkshire as a wealth advisor and senior fiduciary officer since joining the bank in 2012 from Greenfield Savings Bank. She works primarily with trust and estate clients, oversees fiduciary activities, and focuses on financial planning.

Bringing more than 34 years of banking experience, 22 of them in Berkshire Bank’s Trust Operations, Gore oversees all aspects of operations and compliance for the Wealth Management Group and currently manages the Lenox Wealth Management Office and assists clients on a daily basis.

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