Berkshire Bank Honors Employees for Volunteerism

PITTSFIELD, MASS. May 27, 2015 – Berkshire Bank has recognized 27 employees for their volunteerism in the community, and has named three “top volunteers” through their Volunteer Service X-ellence Awards Program. These annual awards celebrate bank employees who have made outstanding contributions to their communities.

The three award recipients were selected based on their strong record of volunteerism to non-profit organizations through both company-supported activities and in individual service to the broader community. An awards luncheon was held in Pittsfield at the bank’s headquarters where the recipients received their awards from company leadership. Each of the award winners also received a $1,000 donation that will be made to the non-profit organization of their choice.

This year’s Volunteer X-ellence Award winners include:

  • Sue Gagne, Branch Officer in East Longmeadow, MA. Gagne received the Volunteer Service X-ellence award for her leadership and participation in the bank’s corporate volunteer program.
    • Gagne’s donation was made to: Wolf Swamp Road School in East Longmeadow, MA and Washington Elementary School in Springfield, MA.
  • Monica Schlaepfer, Financial Services Representative in West Winfield, NY. Schlaepfer received the Volunteer Service X-ellence award for her leadership and service in both company-supported and individual volunteer activities.
    • Schlaepfer’s donation was made to: Mount Markham Central School District Foundation
  • Michael Provencher, Teller in Ludlow, VT. Michael received the Volunteer Service X-ellence award for his individual volunteer service outside the bank’s corporate program.
    • Provencher’s donation was made to: Knight-Allen Hose Company

In addition to the three Volunteer Service X-ellence Award recipients, Berkshire Bank named twenty-seven employees to their Community Service Honor Roll. Those employees eligible for the Honor Roll completed a minimum of 150 hours of volunteer service in the last calendar year. Honorees included:

  • Dawn Adams-Rea
  • Theresa Andersen
  • Barbara Cooney
  • Joshua Cutler
  • Jody DeMarco
  • Marc Dickie
  • Leigha Durfee
  • Susan Gagne
  • David Gonci
  • Heidi Higgins
  • James Kochakian
  • Gary Levante
  • Elizabeth Mach
  • Ceroi Mello
  • Thomas Miller
  • Beth Molinero
  • LeeAnn Morrone
  • Sandra O'Neil
  • Elizabeth Phillips
  • Ann Ciepiela
  • John Prividera
  • Michael Provencher
  • Monica Schlaepfer
  • Ray Smith
  • Michael Smith
  • Deborah Stephenson
  • Karen Worcester

Linda Johnson, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer of Berkshire Bank, stated, “The generosity of our employees continues to inspire all of us at America’s Most Exciting Bank® as these award winners went above and beyond by donating their time, talent, and skills to help dozens of non-profit organizations. The employees selected for this year’s honor roll embody our values as a company and share in our commitment to making a difference in our community. We applaud them for their continued commitment to our communities.”

The XTEAM®, Berkshire Bank’s nationally acclaimed Employee Volunteer Program, was established in 2008 to help the bank and employees give back to the communities in which they live and do business. Every Berkshire Bank employee receives paid time off to participate in company supported projects that usually occur during regular business hours. In 2014, Berkshire Bank employees completed 223 corporate volunteer projects in which 70% of Berkshire’s employees participated. In recognition of their work in the community, Berkshire Bank was honored with the Capital Region Community Impact Award, the United Way Agar Volunteerism Award, and two New England Financial Marketing Awards for their overall philanthropic work and civic responsibility efforts. Additionally, the Boston Business Journal named Berkshire one of Massachusetts Most Charitable Companies for the second consecutive year in 2014.


About Berkshire Bank
Berkshire Hills Bancorp (NYSE: BHLB) is the parent of Berkshire Bank, America’s Most Exciting Bank®. The Company, recognized for its entrepreneurial approach and distinctive culture, has more than $7.3 billion in assets and 96 full service branch offices in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and Vermont providing personal and business banking, insurance, and wealth management services. In 2014, Berkshire Bank was named one of Massachusetts Most Charitable Companies by the Boston Business Journal. To learn more, visit 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 nonprofits, 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. This year, Berkshire Bank and NESN teamed up to raise $37,600 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, visit