Berkshire County Chapter of Credit Unions Holds First Meeting of the Year

The Board of Directors of the Berkshire County Chapter of the Cooperative Credit Union Association, Inc. opened its first meeting of the year with another large crowd of local credit union officials. It was generously sponsored by Credit Union of the Berkshires, Pittsfield. For the health and safety of members, a virtual meeting format was used. A lively group of almost 30 credit union officials, representing Credit Union of the Berkshires, MyCom Federal Credit Union, and Greylock Federal Credit Union, welcomed the New Year, renewed acquaintances, networked, and deepened their knowledge on a very important and timely issue facing everyone during this prolonged health emergency: employee wellness. For the convenience of attendees, the meeting began one hour earlier than its regularly scheduled time, beginning at 4:00 pm, and was well received by attendees.

Chapter President Mark Mancari opened the meeting by introducing the entire Chapter Board of Directors, each of whom were present at the event. The following Chapter officers were also recognized:

Mark Mancari, Chapter President
Michael Maddalena, Chapter Vice President
Terry Ziemba, Chapter Treasurer
Nancy Canino, Chapter Secretary
Kathy Francoeur, Chapter Director
Melissa Morin, Chapter Director

In a special tribute, the Chapter held a moment of silence as a salute to Dan Dillon, Relationship Director, Greylock Federal Credit Union, who passed on recently due to COVID-19 related causes. Dan was a tremendous supporter and advocate for credit unions, as well as anyone in need. He will always be remembered for the joy he brought to all attendees at the annual holiday gathering of the Berkshire County Chapter and his special role as Santa. A donation from the Chapter was made in Dan’s name to Santa Toy Fund, a favorite local charity supported by Dan. Chapter President Mancari also extended a special welcome to the Chapter’s Strategic Partner Vertifi Software, LLC and its CEO, Cynthia Nelson, and Association audit preferred vendor, Wipfli, LLP, Michael Moreau, Manager, Credit Union Services.

The late afternoon program culminated with credit unions receiving an informative keynote presentation from Beth Piantoni, Berkshire Health Group Wellness Coordinator, who addressed Employee Wellness. In addition to leading attendees in stress reducing exercises, Beth also provided helpful hints on the three R’s: Rest, Ritual and Reset. Her popular resource list included, amongst other items, free apps for wellness such as Insight Timer, Headspace, and Cosmic Kids Yoga.

In addressing regular business agenda items, meeting minutes from the Chapter’s September 24 meeting, found at Berkshire County Chapter - Meeting Minutes September 24, 2020, as well as the Treasurer’s Report provided by Chapter Treasurer Terry Ziemba, found at Treasurer's Report, were unanimously approved.

Chapter Treasurer Terry Ziemba also delivered an oral report on the three (3) charity donations, in the amount of $150 each, made by the Berkshire County Chapter in lieu of hosting its annual in-person 2020 holiday dinner. Heartfelt expressions of appreciation were received from the Friendship Center Food Pantry, North Adams; Berkshire Dream Center, Pittsfield; and The People’s Food Pantry, Great Barrington. In praising the Chapter for its generosity and thoughtfulness, recipients noted that the donations were used to supply eggs, milk, cheese and other essentials to local residents in need. Members agreed that these donations, totaling $450, represented the best use of funds ever spent by the Chapter.

The meeting concluded with door prize drawings, testing the luck of attendees, and a popular activity. Winners were drawn based upon their entries in the Chat Room during the meeting for four (4) $25 VISA gift cards. The next meeting of the Berkshire Chapter, its Annual Meeting, will be held in May in either an in-person or remote format.