Held on May 19 & 20, 2020, the virtual summit format allowed the NPC to offer workshops, panel discussions, live & recorded interviews & more.


Watch recordings of the summit presentations at this link.


Our summit kicked off with the 3rd Annual Berkshire Nonprofit Awards event where we celebrated 22 people in 8 categories including the new Samya Rose Stumo Youth Leadership Award. Watch a recording of the virtual awards event at this link.


After the awards event, we dove into our summit with Dr. Maria Sirois who gave our keynote presentation, “Holding it All – Resilience, Fear & Hope.” Maria is a master teacher, facilitator and author.  Known for her wisdom and rampant humor, Maria had us all acknowledging the human spirit and laughing together.


We then delved into other topics related to sustainability through four workshops and two panel discussions:



Icing on the cake – A fireside chat with infamous blogger Vu Le and our own Alex Reczkowski of The Berkshire Athenaeum.

The NPC is grateful to the sponsors for this celebratory event. Major support came from The Berkshire Eagle with additional support from Berkshire Bank, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Feigenbaum Foundation, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Lee Bank, The Triplex Cinema and Warrior Trading. Our NEW Breakfast Club Sponsors include: Abbie J. von Schlegell, Aligned Workplace, The Berkshire Edge, Wendy Healey, Lamme & Linscott, MA 401(k) CORE Plan, October Mountain Financial Advisors, Park Square Financial Advisors of Raymond James, Elaine Radiss & Rich Petrino, Salisbury Bank & Trust Company, Elaine & Ben Silberstein, and WSBS.


For more awards information and a listing of the 2020 Honorees click here.


May 19, 2020   DAY 1

  • 10am-12pm
    Berkshire Nonprofit Awards
  • 12-1pm
    Lunchtime Arts Break
  • 1-1:55pm
    Dr. Maria Sirois Holding it all: Resilience, Fear, Hope
  • 2-3:30pm
    Paul Silva & Kelly Minton Innovation Accelerator Premortem
  • 3:30-3:45pm
    Coffee Break
  • 3:45pm-5pm
    Panel Discussion: Berkshire Corporate Philanthropists
    /Moderated by Kristine Hazzard

May 20, 2020   DAY 2

  • 9-10:30am
    Building a Stronger Workplace through Diversity & Inclusion
  • Linda Dulye/Dulye & Co. You Need THEM: Gritty Advice for Attracting & Advancing Millennials
  • Jennifer Marapese/United Personnel Nonprofit Diversity & Inclusion: Creating a Workforce that Reflects the Communities You Serve
  • Charles Baldwin/Mass Cultural Council What Access Means Now
  • 10:45am-12pm
    David Harris & Frank Reece Emerging from the crisis and preparing for the future
  • 12-1pm
    Lunch Break
  • 1-2:30pm
    Kathy Sharkey Finding Your Path to Sustainability
  • What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger
  • 2:30-3:30pm
    Jessica Provenz, Alex Groff, Natalie Neubert, Alicia Rossie Berkshire County Development Alliance Panel Discussion
  • Four BCDA leaders discuss the shifting landscape of fundraising in the Berkshires
  • 3:30-3:45pm
    Coffee Break
  • 3:45-4:45pm
    Alex Reczkowski to interview Vu Le in a Fireside Chat


MAY 19TH, 1-1:55 PM: Opening Keynote Address

Holding it All: Resilience, Fear, Hope


Resilience expert and positive psychologist, Dr. Maria Sirois, joins us in an inspirational and data-based conversation, offering the perspectives and practices that enable us to acknowledge and live with our sorrows and fears while continuing to cultivate meaning, growth and a true hope.  Sharing research, story and wisdom, Maria illuminates how this very moment of upheaval can, if we choose, elevate our capacities to hold both the terrible and the good in such a way that we become individually and communally stronger.


Maria is a master teacher, facilitator and author. She is devoted to the science of well-being and the art of crafting a life and a work that embodies health, passion and success. As a positive psychologist (Psy.D.) and consultant, she focuses on the resilience of the human spirit particularly when under chronic stress, during significant transitions, and/or feeling the shock of wholesale change. Known for her wisdom, authenticity and rampant humor, she brings a wealth of perspective from decades of study in the mind/body medicine and resilience disciplines. Maria is the author of two books: A Short Course in Happiness After Loss (And Other Dark, Difficult Times) and Every Day Counts. 

MAY 19th, 2-3:30pm: Innovation Accelerator Premortem

Innovation Accelerator Premortem
A technique to help your organization avoid failure


In this ninety-minute interactive virtual workshop the IA team will walk you through a premortem exercise giving you and your peers the tools needed to plan for the future and help your organization address the rapid, ever-changing challenges of this time.


What is a premortem? A premortem is your time to be a cynic. It’s time to tap into all the negative feelings you might be harboring about projects and programs you are running within your organization. It’s a time for you to imagine everything that could go wrong in the wake of COVID-19. The goal: figure out how to identify and prevent those problems while you still have time to act; all with the intention of helping your organization survive and succeed well into the future.


Once impending doom has been identified, Paul and Kelly will offer a fresh approach to solving those problems, helping you unlock opportunities for success that you have not previously considered.


About Innovation Accelerator – Innovation Accelerator teaches organizations to apply the scientific method to innovation so they can rapidly come up with new ideas, break them into testable hypotheses, and then go out to gather conclusive evidence. Along the way, teams are mentored by veteran business & nonprofit leaders from a diverse range of sectors. Find out more by visiting: www.unrestrictedrevenue.com


About Founder and Lead Instructor, Paul Silva – Paul is a lifelong entrepreneur and educator passionate about helping people and teams create economic prosperity through innovation. During his career he has inspired thousands of people to innovate, helped hundreds of startups launch, and proudly watched as those businesses significantly increased local employment rates.


About Co-Founder and Director of Operations, Kelly Minton – Kelly brings experience from the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. She has worked as a marketing associate in the corporate world, launched two startups and has worked in nonprofit advancement. She is well versed in traditional fundraising and board governance.

MAY 19th, 3:45-5pm: Panel Discussion: Berkshire Corporate Philanthropists

Panel Discussion: Berkshire Corporate Philanthropists

Moderated by Kristine Hazzard


Allen Harris/Berkshire Money Management

Larry Hazzard/Guardian

Shelly Humeston/Salisbury Bank & Trust Company

Lori Kiely/Berkshire Bank

Chuck Leach/Lee Bank


There are many generous corporations in the Berkshires that are committed to contributing their time and resources to local nonprofit organizations. Our panelists will discuss their philanthropy philosophy, their giving strategy amidst the Coronavirus, and thoughts about nonprofit sustainability.


Kristine Hazzard is a former NPO executive with 20 years experience as CEO, currently providing strategic consultation and coaching for NPOs. 

MAY 20th, 9-10:30am: Building a Stronger Workplace through Diversity & Inclusion

You Need THEM: Gritty Advice for Attracting and Advancing Millennials


Inject innovation into your organization by energizing your staff and board with millennial talent.


Gain actionable strategies to revitalize your recruitment and retention of young professionals to pivotal roles within your team.


Linda Dulye, founder and president of Dulye & Co., offers proven, portable techniques for growing your network and reputation with the under-40 talent pool in your community and beyond.


Linda’s background includes leadership roles with General Electric, AlliedSignal, Duracell, Grey Advertising and Public Service Electric and Gas, prior to establishing her firm in 1998. Dulye & Co.’s niche for creating Spectator-Free workplaces has attracted a wide and impressive client portfolio of Fortune 100 companies and government organizations.


Since 2008, Linda’s strategic consultancy has underwritten the fast-growing Dulye Leadership Experience (DLE). Operating from its Pittsfield, MA office, this professional development organization advances rising leaders and entrepreneurs from diverse industries and interests nationwide. Linda is in constant contact with motivated professionals half her age through the DLE’s year-round learning and networking programs that inspire career ownership and personal accountability.


Linda received degrees from Syracuse University (B.A.) and Drew University (M.A.). She is an active board member with Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corporation. Her steadfast support of civic, community and business vitality has earned her the prestigious Berkshire 25 Award for creating impact.

Nonprofit Diversity & Inclusion: Creating a Workforce that Reflects the Communities You Serve


As nonprofits, we are singularly focused on accomplishing our missions. Often these missions relate to serving people of diverse socio-economic, racial and ethnic backgrounds. As nonprofit leaders, we also know that a diverse workforce, one that reflects the racial and socio-economic diversity of our communities, makes our organizations stronger, more innovative and more inclusive. And yet, employees who reflect the diversity of the communities we serve are dramatically underrepresented within our workforce – especially in leadership roles.


Join us for this session, where we’ll discuss some of the barriers to creating a more diverse nonprofit workforce – and the opportunities that exist to address this issue. We’ll share concrete strategies for recruiting diverse candidates and for creating a culture that helps to engage all members of our workforce. Finally, we’ll offer a list of resources that allow you to take small, concrete steps immediately toward creating a more diverse and inclusive culture to more effectively meet your mission.


About the Presenter


Jennifer Marrapese is an entrepreneurial, mission-based leader with a passion for helping nonprofits create high-functioning, inclusive cultures. Until recently, Jennifer served as Director of Search Services for United Personnel, focusing on executive search services and business development for the nonprofit community in Western Massachusetts and Connecticut. While at United Personnel, Jennifer headed up the company’s internal Diversity Committee, and advised clients on their Diversity and Inclusion practices. Prior to joining United Personnel, Jennifer served for 10 years as Executive Director of NESEA, the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association. She serves as board treasurer for the Center for EcoTechnology, as a board member of Camp Howe, and as a member of the Deerfield Local Cultural Council. 

What Access Means Now


In these moments of emergency and trauma, is it OK to address accessibility practices? As digital content is quickly pushed to the front, how are we as a sector remaining vigilant on providing accessible information? Please join us in a Community Discussion on What Access Means Now within our digital environments. Safety, community, flexibility, and stamina are all part of the conversation. Despite the murky horizon, the journey towards universal participation is still relevant. For if not now, when?


A mix of resources, strategies, and obligations will be discussed to support the nonprofit sector.


Charles G. Baldwin is the Program Officer for the Mass Cultural Council’s Universal Participation (UP) Initiative, which provides resources for organizations seeking to develop inclusive and equitable tools for policy development and community engagement. He serves on the Executive Committee of CANE (Cultural Access New England) and was a founding member of TAMA (Theatre Artists Marketing Alliance) and CBACT (Consortium of Boston Area Children’s Theatres). Charles is an active participant in AFTA (Americans for the Arts) and the Kennedy Center’s LEAD Conference (Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability). He serves on the Advisory Boards of the Berklee Institute for Arts Education and Special Needs (BIAESN), the Boston ReelAbilites Film Festival, Open Door Arts, and Wheelock Family Theatre. Out of the office, Charles is an educator, illustrator, stage designer, and puppeteer.

MAY 20th, 10:45am-12pm: Emerging from the Crisis and Preparing for the Future

Emerging from the Crisis and Preparing for the Future


  • What have we learned from this crisis?
  • What do stakeholders need and expect as we contemplate reopening?
  • What challenges, opportunities and questions lie ahead?
  • Is our mission still relevant and how can we make it more so?
  • What might the future hold for staffing, funding, services, service delivery, relationships, partnerships and more?
  • What steps should we take and when?


About the Presenters


David Harris has extensive experience working with nonprofit organizations to develop and implement strategies to improve operations, marketing, board governance, and leadership team effectiveness. David holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Sc.B. in Biochemistry from Brown University. Read more >>


Frank Reece is a seasoned executive with over 40 years of management experience in both industry and not-for-profit organizations. An enthusiastic entrepreneurial leader, he has established strengths in strategic planning, fundraising and financial management, product and program introduction, marketing, organizational transition management, and board development. Frank is a graduate of Harvard College and resides in Cambridge Massachusetts with his wife of 45 years, “Sam”. Read more >>

MAY 20th, 1-2:30pm: Finding Your Path to Sustainability

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger


Sustainability requires leadership, adaptability and strategy, from financial management to fundraising to project development. But how do you get there while keeping your mission and program going? This interactive workshop focuses on finding your path to organizational sustainability, and is aptly subtitled, “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger.”


Presenter and non-profit management consultant, Kathleen Sharkey, has extensive experience guiding non-profit leaders and volunteers through the many challenges and opportunities they face. Kathy advises and has worked for foundations, progressive groups, academic institutions, museums and botanical gardens, and has a deep knowledge of the issues faced by all-volunteer to large institutions. She particularly enjoys interacting with smaller nonprofits to help them fulfill their mission and achieve long-term program success, while putting out fires every day. From embracing organizational change to avoiding magical thinking, she will inspire you to find new and creative ways to build sustainability into your organization.

MAY 20th, 2:30-3:30pm: Berkshire County Development Alliance Panel Discussion

Berkshire County Development Alliance Panel Discussion


Four BCDA leaders discuss the shifting landscape of fundraising in the Berkshires.




Jessica Provenz Her role as Director of Development at Barrington Stage Company is a wonderful marriage of her years in fundraising and her passion for theatre. Jessica was the co-chair of the Berkshire Country Development Alliance from 2018-2020 and formerly, she was the Annual Fund and Special Events Director at Berkshire Country Day School. A 2 time recipient of the LeComte du Nouy Award for Emerging Playwrights, she was Playwright-in-Residence at the Juilliard School. Her 10 minute play, Stay, Please is part of the 10×10 at Barrington Stage Company, where she has received a commission to write a full length play. While in quarantine, she wrote and performed Baker’s Revenge for the Great Barrington Public Theatre. A graduate of Northwestern University, she lives in Lenox with her 9 year old son.  


Alexandra Groff is a nonprofit professional with experience working in all facets of the development sphere across arts and cultural institutions and educational organizations in Berkshire County, MA. Currently, Alex holds the role of Director of Development at the Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown, MA. Alex has managed development teams, capital campaigns, membership and annual giving programs, and successfully developed and led volunteer boards and committees at a diversity of organizations including Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Berkshire Country Day School, Chester Theatre Company, and The Mount: Edith Wharton’s Home and Gardens.  


Natalie Johnsonius Neubert is an arts management specialist with more than twenty years of experience fundraising for non-profit arts and cultural organizations. She has worked with such institutions as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Dublin International Fringe Festival, Performance Space New York, Classic Stage Company, the Nashville Shakespeare Festival, The Kitchen, the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York, LUMBERYARD/American Dance Institute, and, most recently, as the senior development officer at Shakespeare & Company.  She has served on the Board of Directors for The Civilians Theater Company (New York, NY) and the venue On The Boards (Seattle, WA), and on the Development, Marketing, and Special Events Committees for the Pacific Northwest Ballet (Seattle, WA), the Berkshire Museum, Community Access to the Arts (CATA), the Lenox Library Association, Berkshire Country Day School, and IS183, the Art School of the Berkshires. She earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees from Sarah Lawrence College.   She is a co-chair of the Berkshire County Development Association and a member of Berkshire Business and Professional Women.


Alicia Rossie has called the Berkshires home for more than 20 years while working for cultural, educational, and environmental nonprofits. She understands that every member of an organization has a role to play in development work and that nonprofits have the power to transform their community on every level.

MAY 20th, 3:45-4:45pm: Fireside Chat with Vu Le

Closing Keynote Conversation


Alex Reczkowski (The Berkshire Athenaeum) to interview Vu Le in a Fireside Chat.


Vu Le (“voo lay”) is a writer, speaker, vegan, Pisces, and the former Executive Director of RVC, a nonprofit in Seattle that promotes social justice by developing leaders of color, strengthening organizations led by communities of color, and fostering collaboration between diverse communities.


Vu’s passion to make the world better, combined with a low score on the Law School Admission Test, drove him into the field of nonprofit work, where he learned that we should take the work seriously, but not ourselves. There’s tons of humor in the nonprofit world, and someone needs to document it. He is going to do that, with the hope that one day, a TV producer will see how cool and interesting our field is and make a show about nonprofit work, featuring attractive actors attending strategic planning meetings and filing 990 tax forms.


Known for his no-BS approach, irreverent sense of humor, and love of unicorns, Vu has been featured in dozens, if not hundreds, of his own blog posts at NonprofitAF.com.


A couple of our favorite posts from the blog:


Alex Reczkowski is the 8th director of the Berkshire Athenaeum, a lineage that started with Edward G. Hubbel in 1873. Since July 2016, he has been leading the staff in re-imagining what Pittsfield wants and needs in a public library. Many of his initiatives have focused on making the Library a more open and welcoming space, including adjusting some of the physical layout, adding an Outreach Librarian to the staff, and a recent partnership with ServiceNet to bring social workers and their services into the Library. Before coming to the Athenaeum in 2010, Alex served as the Head of Technical Services at the Henry A. Hunt Memorial Library and he spent a year as an ambassador scholar for Rotary International in Szeged, Hungary.  As a current member of the Pittsfield Rotary Club, Alex continues his commitment to Rotary and its ideals of “Service Above Self.” Today you may find Alex serving at a local food pantry, preparing taxes at Habitat for Humanity as part of the VITA program, or volunteering at many of the local cultural organizations.