BART founder Julia Bowen honored

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WILLIAMSTOWN — Julia Bowen founded the Berkshire's lone charter school in 2004 when the idea of even having one here was extremely controversial. But the idea paid off. Earlier this year, Berkshire Arts and Technology School in Adams was ranked second among state high schools with the highest rate of college attendance after graduation.

On Wednesday, Bowen served as the keynote speaker at 1Berkshire's annual Women In Business event, which took place at the Williams Inn.

The discussion took place in an interview-style format, according to 1Berkshire President and CEO Jonathan Butler.

"I thought it might be an interesting twist," Butler said.

In an email message, Bowen said she responded to questions about her career at BART; entrepreneurship in the Berkshires; and women in business.

Besides serving at the founding executive director at BART, Bowen also served as one of the first board chairs of North Adams-based business incubator Lever. She has also served as certified professional coach and as a consultant to both nonprofit and education leaders.

"She's a very impressive person," Butler said. "Not many people can say that they started a school then left it behind in a very strong position."

Four women-owned businesses were also honored at Wednesday's event: Barrington Stage Company; Lenox Fitness; North Adams Yoga; and Your Color Connection.

1Berkshire holds an annual event in October to honor women in business in conjunction with national Women in Business Month. A total of 120 people attended the event, according to 1Berkshire.

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