Our February Community Forum – Join us to learn from and ask question of our local workforce experts. Can’t make the forum? Email your questions to info@nbccoalition.org or join us via Zoom at https://bit.ly/nbcc_feb_forum. We look to community members from all walks of life for this important Coalition meeting. The first half of the forum will be devoted to introductions and announcements and please bring your flyers for distribution. For more info about this forum, contact Amber Besaw or Bri Hantman at nbCC, (413) 663-7588.

Welcome Stephen & Suzy to the nbCC Team!

Stephen Barrow, Prevention & Recovery Coordinator

Stephen Barrow is excited to be joining us as our Prevention and Recovery Coordinator. He was born and raised in Adams, Massachusetts. Stephen is a father to two beautiful daughters and is a former business owner. 
Stephen co-owned Image Office Interiors, for twelve years from 1997 through 2009, working with companies in Pittsfield, such as GE Plastics, KB Toys, and Berkshire Life, moving their offices.He has worked in social services for four years doing outreach work. Before joining the nbCC team, Stephen was employed as a peer support worker at the Brien Center assisting individuals with mental health and substance misuse issues, helping them find meaning in their lives, and move forward in recovery.Stephen’s favorite thing to do is to connect with community organizations and the arts.

Suzy Helme, Communications Coordinator

Suzy spent the past seven years as the City’s Director of Tourism & Events and looks forward to staying connected with the community through the work of the coalition. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communication/Graphic Design and spent several years as a freelance illustrator for publications like Scholastic and Weekly Reader. 
Suzy loves spending summer evenings with her family at Windsor Lake, outdoor concerts at MASS MoCA, and snow days sledding with her children at Colegrove Park.Since moving to North Adams she has served on numerous local boards and commissions over the years including Berkshire Nursing Families, the Makers’ Mill, the North Adams Chamber of Commerce, the Human Services Commission, and the nbCC board of directors. . Suzy served on the Coalition board of directors from 2009 through 2021 and is a former board president.

Dr. Kerri Nicoll Announced as Peacemaker Award Recipient

The Martin Luther King Day Committee is proud to announce the 2022 recipient of the Peacemaker Award, Kerri Nicoll, nominated for her work with the Williamstown CARES project. The annual award would normally be presented during the luncheon at the MLK Day of Service, but this year’s event was canceled due to several factors, including inclement weather. Kerri will be presented with the award at the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition’s annual meeting this summer, on Friday, June 17th, at the Greylock WORKS event space in North Adams.

Dr. Nicoll works full time as an Associate Professor at MCLA, and was nominated for being extremely active in the Williamstown community at an especially difficult time. Kerri worked with a number of other social workers to create the Williamstown CARES project, which offers an opportunity to the community to share what community safety and wellbeing mean to them in order to better inform the town on the best ways to serve the community’s needs. This project uses a community-based participatory research framework, and Kerri has been instrumental in making sure the research is rigorous and adheres to this framework. Kerri has volunteered her time to conceptualize this project, answer questions thoroughly and thoughtfully to the public, and offer her expertise in terms of conducting analysis of community members’ interviews. Kerri had also served on the Diversity, Inclusion, Racial Equity Committee for the Town of Williamstown, but is also an active volunteer in North Adams, and is passionate about many issues that affect our larger Northern Berkshire community. Even amongst challenges, Kerri has been a leader and support to the community.

The Peacemaker Award is given once annually to individuals or groups in our region. The award, which originated as part of the local celebration of the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. is made to persons who have contributed substantially to peace in this region. In general, the Peacemaker Award recognizes persons who have worked with people and/or neighborhoods and communities to provide for greater tolerance, understanding, and caring and should exemplify the teachings and model of Martin Luther King Jr. While the award may be made to a person or group well known in the region, those making nominations are particularly urged to consider those who have worked hard and made contributions without much recognition. Award winners will receive a certificate of recognition and their names will be engraved on a Peacemaker Plaque, which is kept in the office of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition. Recent former recipients of the award include: Joan Lord; Dick Alcombright; Al & Cindi McLain; PopCares Inc; Kenna Waterman; James Bush; and Bilal Ansari.  The nbCC Annual Meeting will be held on Friday, June 17th, at 11:30 a.m. at Greylock WORKS. In addition to the Peacemaker Award, the MLK Day student essay winner, and the Northern Berkshire Hero Award will also be presented at the event. Tickets and additional details for the event will be available in early May, 2022.