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Daily News

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire United Way (BUW) announced renewal funding of $1,029,500 for 40 programs across 24 community partner organizations, providing a much-needed additional year of support.

This funding will be for a one-year period, from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023, and will continue to stabilize BUW’s three main community-impact areas: early childhood development, positive youth development, and economic prosperity. Visit www.berkshireunitedway.org/our-impact to learn more about the 40 programs.

“Through BUW’s relationships with currently funded partners, we understand how critical the timing of this funding is as the ripple effect of the pandemic still lingers. I am proud of our commitment to these organizations who have endured many challenges and continue to serve our community in innovative and creative ways,” said Laurie Gallagher, board member and chair of the community impact committee.

BUW’s investments in these programs support family well-being and address gaps in services in the community. Programs generate a whole-family, integrated approach focusing on educational advancement and economic mobility. This assistance helps to fund programs such as Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity’s Community Navigator Program, which is designed to assist marginalized residents with connections to resources that will enable them to remain economically resilient.

“The funds support staffing for the Community Navigator Program. We appreciate that Berkshire United Way values the impact of the Community Navigator model,” said Carolyn Valli, CEO of Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity.

A new round of funding requests will be announced in early 2023. To donate to BUW’s fundraising campaign, visit www.berkshireunitedway.org/donate.

Daily News

PITTSFIELD — Tom Bernard, who just wrapped up his last term as mayor of North Adams, has been selected to lead Berkshire United Way (BUW) as the new president and CEO starting Jan. 24.

“I’m thrilled to begin the next chapter of my career as part of the Berkshire United Way team,” Bernard said. “The organization’s mission is clear and critical, and the board, staff, partner agencies, and individuals we serve are laser-focused on building a stronger and more resilient community throughout the Berkshires. Our work has been a cornerstone of supporting individuals and strengthening families for nearly a century, and our role will continue to evolve and our impact magnify as we work together to address the challenges and opportunities ahead of us.”

Bernard earned his bachelor’s degree from Williams College and later his master of public administration degree from Westfield State University. After a decade working in Boston and then as a freelance writer, he began a long career in the nonprofit sector. Bernard first served as development officer at Mass MoCA, followed by nearly 10 years at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts as director of Corporate, Foundation, and Government Relations, then executive assistant to the president, and eventually director of Business Affairs. He was the director of Special Projects at Smith College before becoming mayor in 2018.

“Tom’s proven leadership experience and dedication to the community will serve him well as head of Berkshire United Way,” said Michael Stoddard, chairman of the BUW board. “He has worked with multiple stakeholders, is familiar with federal and state granting agencies and processes, and has experience in community and economic development and strategic planning. His leadership and response to the needs of his constituents during COVID-19 also shows his ability to quickly adapt and address emerging and critical needs. His passion for public service, commitment to being an advocate and voice for change, and willingness to collaborate with others to build a stronger community align with Berkshire United Way’s mission and vision. The staff and board look forward to having him join the team.”