12.18.2014

Berkshire Bank Honored with 2014 Capital Region Community Impact Award


PITTSFIELD, MASS, December 16, 2014 – Berkshire Bank, America’s Most Exciting Bank® was recently honored by the Stakeholders Foundation in Albany, New York with the 2014 Capital Region Community Impact Award.  Their annual awards honor exemplary companies for their philanthropic and volunteer work that enhances the Capital Region.  Berkshire Bank received the “Corporate Volunteer of the Year” award recognizing its X-TEAM Employee Volunteer Program.  The awards were presented in a ceremony at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady, New York on November 12th.

The “Corporate Volunteer of the Year” award was presented to Berkshire for its exemplary volunteer strategy that effectively integrated volunteerism into the company’s business culture, had a sizeable impact on the community and served as an inspiration to others.  Nearly 100% of bank employees in the Capital Region have participated in one of Berkshire’s company-supported projects over the last two years.  The projects have ranged from fundraising efforts for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk, building homes with Habitat for Humanity and work with the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York.  In 2014, Capital Region employees have completed over two dozen volunteer service projects impacting thousands of lives and dozens of communities.

Berkshire Bank’s X-TEAM provides all employees with paid time off to volunteer at company-supported projects.  Berkshire Bank employees help identify, select, plan and execute all of the company’s volunteer work.  This approach allows the bank to engage staff and select volunteer opportunities that are important to local stakeholders.  The program is also another way for Berkshire to give back to the community in addition to financial contributions.

“Berkshire Bank is honored to receive this award for our collective volunteer efforts in the Capital Region community,” stated Lori Gazzillo, Vice President and Director of Berkshire Bank Foundation, which oversees the program.  “Our volunteer program has become a central part of our culture at America’s Most Exciting Bank and an important way we give back to the communities where we live and work.  We continue to be inspired by all that our employees have accomplished in the community.”

Berkshire Bank is well-known for its commitment to making a difference in the community well beyond the Capital Region.  Berkshire provides over $2 million dollars in financial support annually through their charitable foundations and corporate support.  In addition, 70% of Berkshire Bank’s employees donated in excess of 40,000 hours of service to benefit community organizations across their footprint in 2013 through their nationally-renowned volunteer program.  In addition to the Capital Region Impact Award, the Boston Business Journal named Berkshire Bank one of “Massachusetts Most Charitable Companies” and they were honored with two New England Financial Marketing Awards for their overall philanthropic work and civic responsibility efforts.

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About Berkshire Bank
Berkshire Hills Bancorp (NYSE: BHLB) is the parent of Berkshire Bank, America’s Most Exciting BankÒ.  The Company, recognized for its entrepreneurial approach and distinctive culture, has approximately $6.4 billion in assets and 91 full service branch offices in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and Vermont providing personal and business banking, insurance, and wealth management services.  To learn more, visit www.berkshirebank.com or call 800-773-5601.  Berkshire Bank is the official bank of the Boston Bruins coverage on NESN.

About Berkshire Bank Foundation
Through foundation grants to non-profits, scholarships to students, and employee volunteerism, Berkshire Bank is making a difference.  Each year the Foundation donates nearly $1.6 million to non-profits in the bank’s footprint and employees provide over 40,000 hours of service—all on the company dime.  In 2013 and 2014, Berkshire Bank was named one of Massachusetts’ Most Charitable Companies by the Boston Business Journal.  This year, Berkshire Bank and NESN are teaming up to raise $50,000 for Habitat for Humanity by donating funds to the Hockey 4 Housing campaign each time the Boston Bruins achieved a penalty kill. To learn more about Berkshire Bank Foundation, visitwww.berkshirebank.com/community .

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