Wednesday, May 09, 2007

NEWS RELEASE: BFAIR Annual Meeting Held


Contact: Rich Weisenflue 413-664-9382 x 26 or Deborah Schneer x30


North Adams - Berkshire Family And Individual Resources, Inc. (BFAIR)
held an Annual Meeting of the corporation on April 27 at the Williams
Inn. Sponsored by Greylock Federal Credit Union, the meeting was led by
Peter West, Board Chairperson, and Rich Weisenflue, Executive Director.

Senator Benjamin Downing presented the keynote address to the more than
100 guests. His presentation focused on the changing economy and
regional initiatives like the Berkshire Compact and the Berkshire
Wireless Learning Initiative to meet the new needs. Quoting from
Charles Darwin, the senator said it is not the "strongest" or most
"intelligent" that survive, but rather, the most "adaptable." He noted
BFAIR's place in the new economy: "We say you do God's work, but you
also employ over 160 people," he said. Referring to the everyday
miracles performed by BFAIR employees and people in human services, the
senator said, "we want there to be more resources for you to do these
things. You do great work. Continue to push us-to let us know what you
need." He referred to BFAIR's Bottle and Can Redemption Center as one
of his favorite BFAIR initiatives, also noting its position as a "green"

The event included service awards for twelve current employees with five
or more years of service, and six special recognition awards in several
categories. Kathy Hinton, a Day Habilitation Specialist at the Center
in North Adams, was the recipient of the George A. Crosby Memorial
Award. James Sulzmann, Home Life Support Counselor and Human Rights
Advocate, received the Armand Quintal Award; the Leadership Award was
presented to Ethel Altiery, Director of Residential and Support
Services, and William Fuller, a person receiving services from BFAIR,
won the Self-Determination Award. Jiminy Peak received the Employer of
the Year Award for its impressive record of providing job opportunities
for people with disabilities.

BFAIR staff receiving service awards, grouped by years of service,

* 5-Years of Service: Theresa Biagini, Paul Boateng, Deanna
Burdick, Marie Goodermote, Gabriel Ortiz, Robert Tanguay
* 10-Years of Service: Susan Darling, Patricia Goodell, Laurie
* 15-Years of Service: Donna Rinaldi, Gloria Piner
* 20-Years of Service: Gail LaBonte

A member agency of the Northern Berkshire United Way, BFAIR is an
established provider of support services for adults, adolescents and
children with developmental disabilities and autism. Supports include
Arcadia Employment Services, a CARF accredited Day Habilitation Center,
Clinical Services, Community Residential Services and Individual and
Family Resources. For more information regarding BFAIR's programs or
services call (413) 664-9382.


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