Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce


PITTSFIELD, Mass. May 12, 2011 – Berkshire Bank is excited to announce that five of its employees have been recognized for outstanding community service and awarded Berkshire Bank’s Volunteer of the Year Awards.  This annual award celebrates employees who have made outstanding contributions to their communities.

Award recipients were selected based on their strong record of volunteerism and service to nonprofit organizations both in bank-sponsored volunteer projects and in the broader community. An awards luncheon was held in Pittsfield at Berkshire Bank headquarters where the recipients received their awards from Executive Vice President of Human Resources Linda Johnston.  Each award winner also received a $500 donation that will be made to the nonprofit organization of their choice.

Volunteer of the Year recipients include:
Ryan Melle, Information Security Officer, Pittsfield, MA
Nicole Cowlin, Retail Lending Administrative Assistant, Pittsfield, MA
Gary O’Grady, Municipal Banking Officer, Westfield, MA
Brandon Kot, Branch Manager, Clifton Park, NY
Dawn Russ, Branch Manager, Main Street Manchester, VT

Peter J. Lafayette, Berkshire Bank Foundation Executive Director said “Berkshire Bank believes in promoting volunteerism and community service at all levels of the organization and established a corporate volunteer program to help employees get more involved locally.  These awards are an extension of that program and honor employees who went above and beyond by donating their time, talents, and skills to help out in their communities.  The winners represent the best of Berkshire Bank employees.”  

The bank’s Employee Volunteer Program was established in 2008 to help the bank and employees give back to the communities in which they live or do business. Each employee receives paid time off to participate in company sponsored projects that usually occur during regular business hours. In 2010, Berkshire Bank employees completed 56 volunteer projects in which over 50% of Berkshire’s employees participated, benefiting schools, nonprofit organizations and communities within the bank’s service area. In addition, the Volunteer Program will hold a company-wide volunteer work day on June 8th to carry out a variety of projects throughout all the bank’s service areas. 

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