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Hansell awarded scholarship

MILLERTON — Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation has announced that full scholarships have been awarded to two executive directors: Jenny Hansell of North East Community Center (NECC) and Bryan Ayars of Community Health Programs in Great Barrington, Mass. They will attend Harvard Business School for a week-long intensive training program: Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management.This program is designed to strengthen the capacity of nonprofit directors to lead their organizations effectively. The program will take place from Sunday, July 17, to Saturday, July 23.Through a partnership with Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Harvard Business School has, for the second year, provided two scholarships, valued at $4,900 each for the week-long program. Hansell and Ayars were selected from a pool of 13 applicants. The advisory board of Berkshire Taconic’s Center for Nonprofit Excellence accepted them based on the quality of their applications and the diversity of experience that these CEOs would bring to the program.“We are thrilled to be sending two such worthy nonprofit leaders to this wonderful program,” said Jennifer Dowley, Berkshire Taconic’s president, who attended the program herself in July 2008. “It is an invaluable experience to learn from the best, both faculty and fellow attendees. In these challenging times, it is important for us all to remain attuned to the best thinking there is on management strategies.”Hansell currently serves as the executive director of North East Community Center. In that capacity, she oversees a multitude of programs including an afterschool program for middle and elementary school students, the Millerton Farmers Market, a farm and food education program and a family support program, among others that work to support NECC’s mission to build a healthy, caring, responsive and welcoming community and act as a catalyst for that community vision.“It’s a rare gift to have a week to read, think, discuss and reflect, along with other nonprofit leaders and some of the best thinkers in the field, about how to prepare NECC to meet the challenges of this next phase,” said Hansell. “We have some new projects on the horizon that will allow us to make a greater impact on our community than we ever have before, and I want to make sure we have the sharpest, most effective tools and strategies we possibly can.”Ayars is executive director of Community Health Programs (CHP), a 35-year-old nonprofit with the mission of providing residents of Berkshire County with high quality preventative and primary care services. These services are integrated with a broad spectrum of support services regardless of ability to pay insurance status or immigrant status.The participants will attend the program with more than 140 other nonprofit leaders from around the world, using a case study method of learning. The program encompasses several themes, such as formulating strategy in complex environments, achieving internal alignment with strategic vision, bridging mission and markets, and leading change. The program is part of the Harvard Business School’s Social Enterprise Initiative, which helps leaders in all sectors apply management skills to create social value. Through an integrated approach to social enterprise-related teaching, research and activities, the Social Enterprise Initiative engages with leaders in the nonprofit, for–profit and public sectors to generate and disseminate practicable resources, tools and knowledge with the ultimate goal of bettering society.The scholarship is offered through Berkshire Taconic’s Center for Nonprofit Excellence, which offers services and resources to help the staff, board and volunteers of nonprofits think strategically, govern effectively and operate efficiently. In addition to this scholarship, the center offers seminars in nonprofit management; two national grants research databases; and the Nonprofit Learning Program in northwest Connecticut, which provides teams from several nonprofits with an intensive learning opportunity each spring.Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation builds stronger communities and improves the quality of life for all residents of northwest Litchfield County, Conn., Berkshire County, Mass., and Columbia County and northeast Dutchess County, N.Y., acting as an agent for positive change in the region. Berkshire Taconic is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity.

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