BUSINESS BRIEFS: opening of the café; CEDS is looking for projects; MNN meeting; CHP CEO resigns; Lee Bank welcomes a new team member

Opening of the Great Barrington Rock Sanctuary and Flying Church Coffee House

GREAT BARRINGTON Paul Joffe, coffee roaster, Berkshires geology enthusiast and historic building renovator, announces the grand opening of Great Barrington Rock Sanctuary and Flying Church Coffee at 200 Main Street in Great Barrington on Saturday July 9th.

Flying Church Coffee House roasts its own java from the “finest” raw beans, specially blended for a dark roast and roasted by Joffe. A seasoned coffee roaster, Joffe says his “sweet, dark beans are less bitter and make hot and cold coffee drinks with deep flavors.” In addition to offering excellent dark roast coffee, the shop also serves “all-fruit” smoothies and “super-sour” frozen pink lemonade with lemon and strawberries.

Photo courtesy of Flying Church Coffee.

Additionally, and unique to Great Barrington, the adjoining park of the Flying Church has been designated as a Rock Sanctuary. The Great Barrington Rock Sanctuary occasionally accepts rock donations and acts as a stopover for rock climbers and other rock climbers who visit the area for its geological riches.

In addition to the cafe, the Flying Church block includes a 5,000 square foot event space with high ceilings and a stage. The church is available for special events. Business owners interested in new space downtown, with associated parking, are encouraged to contact Joffe. In addition to the Coffee House and private offices, five commercial spaces in the Flying Church are occupied, including the Pixie Boulangerie; asset planning and management company Evoque Investments; and photographer Stephen G. Donaldson.

-A J

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Berkshire County CEDS Committee seeks priority projects

BERKSHIRE COUNTY— The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, on behalf of the Berkshire Economic Development Comprehensive Strategy Committee, collects information on high priority economic development projects in the Berkshires. A list of priority projects resulting from this process will be included in the region’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) 2023-2027. Submissions are due July 29.

The CEDS Priority Project List offers project proponents the opportunity to make their plans known to others who may partner or provide assistance. Inclusion on the list may also help with eligibility for federal or state funding. Projects at all stages of development, from concepts to those nearing completion, are welcome. Projects can be construction-based, but are often programmatic, such as workforce development initiatives. Priority projects from the previous CEDS process include the construction of the Berkshire Innovation Center in Pittsfield, the redevelopment of Memorial School in Adams and Eagle Mill in Lee, and the implementation of 1Berkshire’s Blueprint 2.0 and the county’s STEM pipeline network of Berkshire.

Submissions can be made via an online form available at: CEDS regional committee members will vote on projects to include in the 2023-2027 report later this year before it is submitted to the Federal Economic Development Administration in December.

More information on the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy 2023-2027 is available at:

-A J

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State non-profit advocacy organization to hold meeting in Berkshires area

GREAT BARRINGTON– Each year, the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) holds regional meetings throughout the state. MNN will visit the Berkshires region on Wednesday July 13 at Arrowhead on Holmes Road in Pittsfield. Organized by the Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires, the meeting brings together nonprofit organizations from all sub-sectors to network, share best practices and collaborate on issues important to the sector.

Regional meetings are free and open to all associations. The Berkshires meeting will cover policy updates important to the sector, review MNN services and programs, offer conversations guided by regional leaders and include time for networking.

The event takes place in the air-conditioned barn in Arrowhead from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.. and includes lunch and a post-event tour of the Historic House Museum, once the home of American author Herman Melville.

To register, go to and click on “regional meetings”. For more information about the Berkshires Nonprofit Center, visit

-A J

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Community Health Programs CEO Lia Spiliotes resigns, Richard “Rick” Gregg appointed as interim

GREAT BARRINGTON— Community Health Programs CEO Lia Spiliotes, who has led the CHP since 2015, announced that she is leaving the CHP.

Community Health Programs is a federally licensed nonprofit health network serving approximately 30,000 residents in the Berkshire area of ​​western Massachusetts. The CHP provides medical and dental care to patients of all ages, women’s health, behavioral health, nutrition and family support services.

Lia Spiliotes, former CEO of CHP.

In a statement to staff and colleagues, Spiliotes said she plans to refocus on family health priorities in Boston and New York. She said she also turns her professional attention to broader advocacy efforts around public and economic policy related to community health. His last day was June 30.

In a statement, Spiliotes said, “CHP reaches so many people in need in our community regardless of their ability to pay, but CHP is also a choice for many people who have many resources and options when it comes to health care. They choose the excellent team at CHP for their care, and I’m proud to have been among the guardians of CHP for the health and well-being of our community.

Richard H. Gregg of Lenox, who served on the CHP board of directors for six years, most recently as vice chairman, was named interim CEO. His professional work includes in-depth healthcare management, strategy and organizational change consulting for companies and organizations like CHP, where he is a long-time patient.

Gregg is also a Distinguished Professor and Instructor in Healthcare Administration at Sawyer Business School at Suffolk University in Boston. Since joining this faculty in 2001, he has directed two graduate programs and taught a range of courses, including leadership, nonprofit management, healthcare innovation, and strategic management. He is a former director and CEO of the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health.

Gregg will assume the position when the CHP Board of Directors begins discussing the nationwide search process for the next permanent CEO.

-A J

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Barrington Stage Company receives $100,000 grant

PITTSFIELD— Barrington Stage Company (BSC), the award-winning theater in downtown Pittsfield, announced that it was the recipient of a $100,000 grant from the Shubert Foundation.

The Shubert Foundation announced grants to 609 nonprofit theaters, dance companies, university theater training programs and related service agencies. The Barrington Stage Company award will support the theater’s 2022 season

“The Shubert Foundation has not only maintained, but increased its incredible support for Barrington Stage since the start of the pandemic, which makes its continued generosity all the more valuable and impactful. It is gratifying that our theater craft and our vision continue to be recognized by this most venerable foundation,” said Artistic Director Julianne Boyd.

Since the Shubert Foundation’s grant program was established in 1977, more than $575 million has been awarded to nonprofit arts organizations across the United States. As always, the funds are unlimited, allowing organizations to use the funds as they see fit. The Shubert Foundation is also the largest funder of theater education for New York public schools. Additionally, the Shubert Scholars Program offers scholarships to students in university theater arts programs.

The 2022 Barrington Stage Company season, which runs through October, includes Ain’t Misbehavin’, Anna in the Tropics, A Little Night Music, All of Me, Andy Warhol in Iran, ABCD, The Supadupa Kid and Waiting for Godot; as well as a “Celebration of Black Voices” and concerts featuring Andy Karl & Orfeh, Grace McLean and the creators of Come from afar.

-A J

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Lee Bank welcomes new mortgage lender to Pittsfield team

LEE– Lee Bank has announced a new addition to its mortgage lending team. Evan Collins joined the Bank as Mortgage

Evan Collins has joined Lee Bank’s mortgage team.

creator and will work out of the Pittsfield branch, currently located at 75 North Street.

Evan was previously employed as a Sales Associate at Piretti Real Estate and Stone House Properties. He has been involved in the sale of real estate in the county of Berkshire for seven years. Evan is a permanent resident of Berkshire County. He currently resides in Lenox with his wife and two daughters. In addition to his experience in real estate sales, Evan earned a degree in business administration from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts.

Founded in 1852, Lee Bank is one of the few remaining local, independent full-service banks in the region. It has branches in Lee, Stockbridge, Great Barrington, Pittsfield and Lenox. For more information, visit

-A J

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