Thursday September 27, 2012

PITTSFIELD - Following several months of relocating and reorganization, 1Berkshire has developed and released a video that it plans to use to promote the region.

Titled "Free to Grow," the four- minute video includes local business leaders extolling the advantages of living and working in the Berkshires interspersed with scenes of area attractions like Tanglewood. The video can also be viewed in two-minute segments.

"We thought this would be something that would be very helpful to show to businesses and potential sponsors about what the organization seeks to do, and what it represents," said 1Berkshire CEO Reggie Cooper.

The video is the first document that 1Berkshire has released since it was founded in April 2010 to provide a single point of entry for those seeking to do business in the county.

But Cooper, who is chairman of 1Berkshire's board of directors, said the organization has spent the last 18 months concentrating on behind-the-scenes tasks geared toward getting the partnership up and running. They include relocating 1Berkshire's three affiliated agencies - the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, Berkshire Visitors Bureau and Berkshire Creative - under one roof this spring at the organization's new location in the historic firehouse building on Allen Street in Pittsfield.


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1Berkshire also re-organized its operational leadership this year by placing representatives of its three organizations in new positions on the board. Berkshire Creative also hired a new director.

Last year, 1Berkshire officially obtained recognition as a nonprofit organization, a designation it was required to have in order to receive grants. "It may be the first piece of collateral," Cooper said, referring to the video. "But a lot of work has been done with visiting regional economic development programs and working and supporting joint events."

Cooper said 1Berkshire's top priority has been bringing the coalition together and developing coordination between the staffs of the three agencies. " Getting the board, the bylaws and recognition needed to get done before other things could happen," Cooper said.

"We'll be hitting the market place pretty soon."

The video was created for 1Berkshire by ISM of Boston, a travel and lifestyle marketing company, that Cooper said is under consideration for another project. 1Berkshire plans to present the video to organizations it hopes to do business with. "For some individuals, we'll really be able to take it to them," Cooper said. " Foundations that might want to participate in economic development didn't have an understanding of us besides flipping through a brochure or looking at an iPad."

To reach Tony Dobrowolski: tdobrowolski@berkshireeagle.com, or (413) 496-6224.

On Twitter:@TonyDobrow