Berkshire Bank Sets 100% Corporate Volunteer Program Milestone

PITTSFIELD, MA, January 11, 2017 – Berkshire Bank, America's Most Exciting Bank®, is excited to announce that during 2016 it has achieved a 100% employee participation in its corporate volunteer program, the XTEAM®.

Launched in 2008, Berkshire Bank's award winning employee volunteer program was created as a way for employees in all of the Bank's geographic markets to give back to the communities they serve. Through the XTEAM® program, employees receive paid time off to volunteer during regular business hours at a series of company-supported service projects that benefit nonprofit organizations throughout the Bank's footprint.

"Volunteering is about so much more than contributing time; it is about creating a sense of unity throughout all of our employees and communities," said Tami Gunsch, Executive Vice President, Retail Banking. "Our XTEAM® helps us bring our America's Most Exciting Bank® values to life and deliver on our promise to improve the quality of life in the communities where we live and work. Achieving 100% employee participation exemplifies our dedication to the culture that we live by every day."

In addition to their year round schedule of service projects, Berkshire Bank completed Xtraordinary Day of Service in June 2016. On that day, the Bank closed all retail locations, departments and operations centers to give its employees the opportunity to volunteer in their communities. During Xtraordinary Day, employees completed 56 group service projects. The day empowered employees to champion the causes that were most important to them.

"We are so proud of what we have built with the XTEAM®," said Gary Levante, Berkshire Bank's AVP of Community Engagement. "Through this program, Berkshire Bank has been able to impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, helping to change the landscape of our communities. We are excited about our 100% employee volunteer achievement, but more so about the number of people and organizations we've helped," he added.

Berkshire Bank has received local, regional and national award recognition for the achievements of the XTEAM® . The program's volunteer hours completed in 2016 are valued at over $1 million to the nonprofit organizations served, according to Independent Sector, the leading coalition of nonprofits, foundations, and corporations. The dollar valuation is based on the average hourly earnings of all workers provided by the US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2016, the XTEAM® completed nearly 300 projects directly impacting more than 350,000 individuals.

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 $9 billion in assets and 99 full service branch offices in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey and Pennsylvania providing personal and business banking, insurance, and wealth management services. To learn more, visit, call 800-773-5601 or follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Berkshire Bank is the official bank of NESN's Boston Bruins coverage and the community partner of Boston Seasons at City Hall Plaza.

About Berkshire Bank Foundation

Through foundation grants to nonprofits, scholarships to students, environmental programs, and employee volunteerism, Berkshire Bank is making a difference. Each year the Foundation donates $2 million to nonprofits throughout the Bank's footprint and 100% of bank employees provide over 40,000 hours of service through their XTEAM® corporate volunteer program, one of the highest participation rates of any company in the U.S. Berkshire Bank was named one of Massachusetts' Most Charitable Companies by the Boston Business Journal in 2016. To learn more about Berkshire Bank Foundation, visit

Contact: Heidi Higgins
Berkshire Bank
Phone: (413) 236-3756
E-Mail: [email protected]

Vanessa Pesa
Berkshire Bank
Phone: 413-447-1851
E-Mail: [email protected]