BUSINESS BRIEFS: BUW Welcomes New Chief Development Officer; AMP Professional Development for Art Educators; Gallery Manager guild names; Dowd Agencies acquires Ideal Insurance

Berkshire United War welcomes Emily Daunis as new Director of Development

Pittsfield– Berkshire United Way (BUW) is pleased to welcome Emily Daunis to the team as Director of Development.

Daunis has over a decade of experience in all aspects of fundraising and development in the nonprofit sector, including museums, performing arts, education, and healthcare organizations. throughout the Northeast. During her career, she has spearheaded major giving initiatives, led special events and galas, developed membership programs, and created successful annual appeal solicitations.

She most recently served as Director of Donor Support and Engagement Programs at the Clark Art Institute, where she managed the culture and management of high-level donors and special events.

Emilie Daunis. Photo courtesy of Berkshire United Way.

“I welcome the opportunity to work with the staff and dynamic Board of Berkshire United Way. Supporting our community is personally important to me and Berkshire United Way provides outsized support to local nonprofits,” Daunis said. “It’s exciting to dedicate this next stage of my career to increasing philanthropic engagement for such an impactful organization.”

Daunis has demonstrated effective leadership and strategic planning in previous roles, while helping organizations meet and exceed fundraising goals. As Senior Director of Memberships and Special Events at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, she led the team in raising $3.5 million of the $5 million annual fundraising revenue. and helped close a $100 million campaign to build support for endowments.

A native of Massachusetts, Daunis graduated from Lesley University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and received a certificate in nonprofit management from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. She moved to North Adams five years ago with her husband and three children. In 2020, she was elected to serve on the North Adams Public Schools School Committee. She also sits on the city’s Community and Economic Development Advisory Board.


American Mural Project Launches New Professional Development Workshop for Art Educators

Winsted, Connecticut— The American Mural Project (AMP) is offering a new professional development workshop for art educators on Tuesday, November 8 at 90 Whiting Street in Winsted, CT. The program is the first of several new educational offerings for teachers.

“Recharge @AMP” event for K-12 educators kicks off with an exclusive tour of the AMP campus, with opportunities to view the massive three-dimensional mural from multiple viewing levels . The collaborative mural will serve as inspiration for hands-on art-making activities throughout the half-day session. In addition to its enrichment incentives, the workshop will foster networking opportunities for fellow art teachers to share ideas, explore new concepts, and engage with a variety of dynamic art mediums. Participants will take home lesson plans influenced by the immersive mural experience.

AMP workshops are facilitated by teaching artists who are dynamic leaders with extensive teaching experience in schools, museums, libraries, etc.

“We are acutely aware of the scale of work educators have done over the past few years and want AMP to be the place where they come to seek inspiration, community, support and recharge their creative batteries,” said Michelle Begley. , head of education at AMP. program director.

@AMP recharge is offered on Tuesdays, November 8, 9am-12pm The cost is $75 per person. More information and registration information:


Guild of Berkshire Artists appoints artist Shany Porras as new Main Gallery Art Director

West Stockbridge— The Berkshire Artists Guild has announced that Guild member Shany Porras has volunteered to take on the position of Gallery Manager of the Art on Main Gallery in West Stockbridge. Art on Main is a newly created art gallery for Guild members who can now register to host their own exhibition and exhibit their work with other member artists.

Following the success of the Guild’s annual ‘Art on Main’ art exhibition in July, the Art on Main gallery was conceived when building owner Randy Thunfors approached the Guild with the idea. He facilitated the Guild’s use of space at 38 Main Street to accommodate a year-round art gallery. In August, the gallery quickly opened its doors to host art exhibitions organized by Guild members.

Shany Porras, the new director of the Art on Main Gallery. Photo courtesy of Berkshire Artists Guild.

Shany Porras, a Guild member and professional artist from Stockbridge, comes to the role, having had years of experience setting up new enterprise risk programs at global financial organizations before moving into the arts a few years ago. Additionally, Porras brings extensive experience of her ability to organize, coordinate and generate results in combination with her painting practice and online gallery. His initial goal for the gallery will be to encourage members to exhibit their work and to help participating artists in the process. Shany’s experience will ensure the Berkshire community is aware of outstanding shows as she manages the calendar with unique offerings throughout the year. She hopes the gallery will strengthen the city’s already established artistic community.

For location, show schedule and more, please visit: or


The Dowd Agencies acquires Ideal Insurance

Holyoke– The Dowd Agencies, a leading insurance provider serving New England for over 120 years, recently acquired Ideal Insurance, merging their operations to provide unparalleled service to their customers. Now called Ideal Insurance, a member of Dowd Agencies, LLC, the 33-year-old insurance agency will continue to serve individuals, families and businesses in Western Massachusetts and Connecticut from its offices in Ludlow and Chicopee.

“We are thrilled to have Ideal Insurance join us, and we have great respect for the business that Joe & Tony and their team have built from the ground up,” said John E. Dowd Jr., President and CEO of The Dowd Agencies. “Their team enjoys helping families and small businesses thrive with affordable, comprehensive insurance coverage, just like us. With a small-town atmosphere offering big-city service, we know everyone at Ideal will fit very well into the Dowd Agencies family.

Ideal Insurance was founded in 1989 by Joseph Chaves and Antonio Goncalves and over the years has grown into a full-service insurance agency. They currently serve the insurance needs of approximately 2,500 individuals and families and 500 businesses in the region.

“Like at Dowd, a primary goal of Ideal Insurance has been to provide old-fashioned service with a commitment to excellence,” added David W. Griffin Jr., vice president of The Dowd Agencies. “They treat each client’s needs as if they were their own; a distinction that will continue.

Ideal Insurance at Dowd is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and can be reached by calling 413-589-0901 in Ludlow or 413-474-6281 in Chicopee.

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