Finalists chosen for Berkshire Nonprofit Awards

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GREAT BARRINGTON — The Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires, in partnership with The Berkshire Eagle, has named 21 finalists for the Berkshire Nonprofit Awards.

The winners in each of seven categories will be announced at the first Berkshire Nonprofit Awards Breakfast on Tuesday, May 22, from 8 to 10 a.m., at the Country Club of Pittsfield.

Sixty-two people were nominated, according to Liana Toscanini, founder of the Nonprofit Center.

"The breadth and quality of the nominations are impressive," Toscanini said. "There are people in the nonprofit sector who have dedicated 40 or more years of their lives to our community. Some volunteers put in over 500 or 1,000 hours of service annually. Others step up in extraordinary circumstances to keep their organizations running. I'm glad we'll be able to shine a light on some of these incredible individuals, their perseverance, and their accomplishments."

Nominations were solicited throughout February and March. Fourteen judges from the business sector reviewed and ranked the nominations, choosing the finalists and winners at a meeting Tuesday.

The finalists are as follows.

Executive Leadership: Gwendolyn Hampton-VanSant of Multicultural BRIDGE, Kristine Hazzard of Berkshire United Way and Carolyn Valli of Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity.

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Board Leadership: Linda Conway of Berkshire Children & Families, James Mahon of Berkshire Food Project and Amy Rudnick of Flying Cloud Institute.

Super Staffer: Darlene Ellis of Berkshire Food Project, Jesseca Williamson of Berkshire Museum and June Wolfe of Construct Inc.

Rising Star: Hye An "Harry" Park of Berkshire Museum, Kathleen Toomey of Berkshire United Way, and Jay Weintraub and Mark Lefenfeld of Berkshire Backyard Bounty.

Volunteer: Amy Guachione of Berkshire Children & Families, Gary Leveille of Great Barrington Historical Society and Jean Ryan of Barrington Stage Company.

Unsung Hero: Kelly Akroman of Moments House, Katie Clarke of Community Access to the Arts and Maurice "Pops" Peterson.

Lifetime Achievement: Francesca Cote of the Brien Center, Deborah Parkington of Elizabeth Freeman Center and Carole Seigel.

Tickets for the Berkshire Nonprofit Awards Breakfast are $40 per person. Register at npcberkshires.org/shop or call 413-441-9542.

Founded in 2016, the Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires serves as a clearinghouse for information and helps nonprofits connect, learn and grow.


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