The Trustees of Reservations appoint Berkshire region managers

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With its recreational sites growing in popularity, The Trustees of Reservations are taking steps to enhance the experiences of those visitors.

As part of a management restructuring, the nonprofit organization has appointed new general managers — Brian Cruey and Thomas Por — to oversee operations at sites in southern Berkshire County and northern Berkshire County, respectively.

The change is designed to put single individuals in charge of specific properties with an eye toward growth and resource improvement. Previously, Joanna Ballantine, the Trustees' regional director of Western Massachusetts, managed the sites.

"The GM positions are new positions we have invested in, reporting to me as the West Region director, as part of our growth strategy across all of Massachusetts," Ballantine said. "I continue to oversee the whole region including the Pioneer Valley, Berkshires and Central Massachusetts."

She added, "We want to engage the public, especially families, in order to grow the number of conservationists and preservationists who love and are deeply connected with these sites in our state."

The Trustees of Reservation, the largest conservation organization in Massachusetts, operates more than 100 locations encompassing 25,000-plus acres of Massachusetts land.

Recent years have brought "dramatic increases" across the entire portfolio of the group's Western Massachusetts sites. In 2015, Naumkeag saw a 21 percent spike in visitors, while the organization also doubled its goals in increasing membership at Monument Mountain and Bartholomew's Cobble.

Now, the organization wants to build on that progress and create more memories among users. Both new general managers aim to add staff to assist users and increase programming at all the group's locations.

"The idea is pretty simple: Bring people in and show off these places," Cruey said. "Once they've arrived, we're looking at different ways to enhance the experience."

Cruey, 38, former marketing director at the Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge, will be in charge of Naumkeag, Bartholomew's Cobble, Monument Mountain, Ashintully Gardens, Tyringham Cobble, the McLennan Reservation, Mission House and Ashley House.

Por, 47, who has served as an operations manager with the Trustees for more than four years, will oversee Notchview, Tully Lake Campground, Field Farm and the Northern Berkshires.

Contact Phil Demers at 413-496-6214.


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