Business Briefs: Homeyer and Ward launch Housatonic Real Estate; BCC adds VP, Director; Tatiana Godfrey joins WAM; Berkshire Bank appoints Pustake – theberkshireedge.com

Homeyer and Ward launch Housatonic Real Estate

Suzann Ward (left) and Samantha Homeyer celebrate the opening of their new agency.

Samantha Homeyer and Suzann Ward have opened Housatonic Real Estate at 402 Park Street in Housatonic, Mass. They are excited to bring their significant experience representing both buyers and sellers to their own new agency.

A Berkshire native, Homeyer has been a licensed Realtor since 2011. She is a member of the Berkshire County Board of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors, which has granted her a GREEN designation. She also sits on the Great Barrington Affordable Housing Trust, helping to ensure that the “Berkshire Dream” is available to all members of the community. As a partner with her husband in their family-owned home building company, Homeyer offers her clients knowledge of the construction process.

Ward has worked as an agent in Berkshire County for 22+ years, and has developed an extensive network of professionals to help her clients at every stage of the buying and selling process. She has a track record as a top producing agent in Massachusetts; in the past year alone, she has sold 54 homes equaling over 31 million dollars in sales. Also active in the community, she is a recipient of the Good Neighbor Award from the Massachusetts Association of Realtors for her 15 years as co-chair of Breaking Bread, which provides meals to the disadvantaged and/or misplaced in South County.

        —B.E.

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BCC welcomes Kierstyn Hunter as VP for Academic Affairs & Chief Academic Officer, Kelly Osorio as Director of Student Financial Services

Dr. Kierstyn Hunter. Photo courtesy BCC

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Community College (BCC) announces Dr. Kierstyn Hunter has joined the college as Vice President for Academic Affairs & Chief Academic Officer. She most recently served as Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs at American International College (AIC) in Springfield, Massachusetts, where she previously was Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Accreditation Liaison Officer. She has held academic leadership roles at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont and Cambridge College in Boston.

Hunter has extensive experience in humanitarian and advocacy work on gender, which she pursued in Tanzania, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Canada, and has developed efforts that led to system-wide changes for gender equality. With a focus on adult learners and gender-responsive research, her efforts have centered on topics ranging from artificial intelligence and big data to teacher professional development. She has also worked on community development programs and initiatives in Cameroon, including girls’ empowerment programming and women’s entrepreneurship and micro-lending. On the New Hampshire coast, she managed educational programming in a women’s homeless shelter for new mothers as they transitioned to stable housing.

Hunter’s career has also included work on assessment and accreditation. She has led or served in key roles in college-wide accreditation, including those with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the New England Commission of Higher Education, and the Middle States Commission of Higher Education, as well as for specialty programs including nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and educator preparation. Currently, she is an affiliated board member of the New England Educational Assessment Network.

She earned a bachelor of arts degree in global studies from Long Island University in New York, a master of arts degree in whole systems design from Antioch University in Seattle, and a PhD in education from Prescott College in Prescott, Arizona. Calling herself “a determined ally and advocate for social justice and inclusive campuses,” Hunter said her education and experience have given her “the specific tools to lead in educational settings where the goal is inclusive, sustainable academic excellence.”

Kelly Osorio. Photo courtesy BCC

BCC also announces the hire of Kelly Osorio as Director of Student Financial Services. Working in higher education for the past 12 years, Osorio began her financial aid career at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York and was most recently Director of Financial Aid at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania.

Osorio earned a bachelor of science degree physical education, with a teaching certification from the State University of New York, College at Brockport, and a master of science degree in educational psychology from the College of Saint Rose.

Along with managing federal, state, and institutional aid programs, Osorio strives to create an environment in which students and their families feel comfortable discussing financial needs while also working to improve financial accessibility. One of her first accomplishments at BCC was creating a series of short videos to help new students navigate the financial aid process. She also recently launched the FAFSA Thursdays series, a virtual program led by financial aid staff who assist students with completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.

—A.K.

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Tatiana Godfrey joins WAM Theatre as Dramaturg

Tatiana Godfrey. Photo courtesy WAM

LENOX — Tatiana Godfrey (she/her), who worked with WAM Theatre last fall as the Assistant Dramaturg on “ROE,” has officially joined the WAM Team as its Dramaturg. She holds a BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and an MFA in dramaturgy from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Other dramaturgy credits include: “No Dogs Allowed” (Atlantic Theatre Company), “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company), “The Revolutionists” (Silverthorne Theater Company), “Good Hair” (Pipeline Theatre Company PlayLab). As a performer, Godfrey has appeared on film in: “Phil Spector” (HBO) and “Outside” (Rio Contrada), and as an improvisational comedian at: Improv Cincinnati, ComedySportz Cincinnati, Impro Theatre. She works directly with the students of Operation Exodus, a faith-based organization that provides education and family resources to the underserved community in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City.

—A.K.

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Berkshire Bank appoints Sumant Pustake to Chief Transformation Officer

Sumant Pustake. Photo courtesy Berkshire Bank

BOSTON — Berkshire Bank recently announced that Sumant Pustake has been named Chief Transformation Officer. Pustake has served in a range of roles in the banking industry since joining Berkshire in 2017, most recently serving as a Senior Vice President, Corporate Development Officer. In his new role, Pustake will lead transformation efforts and provide support to solve large, complex challenges and drive high company performance. He will partner with Sean Gray, President and COO of Berkshire Bank, to drive business strategy and transformation.

Pustake has more than 13 years of banking experience, most recently overseeing Berkshire’s corporate development efforts, where he served as the development leader defining and realizing the vision and growth strategy. Prior to joining Berkshire Bank, he served as Vice President, Head of Corporate Credit for Commerce Bank and Trust. Pustake holds a Master of Business Administration from the Yale School of Management, a Master of Finance from Clark University, and a Bachelor of Electronics Engineering from University of Pune.

—A.K.