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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Tom Bernard, who just wrapped up his service as mayor of North Adams, has been selected to lead Berkshire United Way (BUW) as the new president and chief executive officer, and will begin Jan. 24.

“I’m thrilled to begin the next chapter of my career as part of the Berkshire United Way team,” Bernard said. “The organization’s mission is clear and critical, and the board, staff, partner agencies, and individuals we serve are laser-focused on building a stronger and more resilient community throughout the Berkshires. Our work has been a cornerstone of supporting individuals and strengthening families for nearly a century, and our role will continue to evolve and our impact magnify as we work together to address the challenges and opportunities ahead of us.”

Raised and educated in North Adams, Bernard earned his bachelor’s degree from Williams College and later his Master of Public Administration from Westfield State University.

After a decade working in Boston and then as a freelance writer, he began a long career in the nonprofit sector. Bernard first served as development officer at Mass MoCA, followed by nearly 10 years at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) as director of corporate, foundation, and government relations, then executive assistant to the president, and eventually director of business affairs. He was the director of special projects at Smith College before becoming mayor in 2018.

“Tom’s proven leadership experience and dedication to the community will serve him well as head of Berkshire United Way” said Michael Stoddard, chairman of the BUW board. “He has worked with multiple stakeholders, is familiar with federal and state granting agencies and processes, and has experience in community and economic development, and strategic planning. His leadership and response to the needs of his constituents during COVID-19 also shows his ability to quickly adapt and address emerging and critical needs. His passion for public service, commitment to being an advocate and voice for change, and willingness to collaborate with others to build a stronger community align with Berkshire United Way’s mission and vision. The staff and board look forward to having him join the team.”


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