Kenneth W. Singer
Kenneth W. SingerPresident & CEO
Kenneth W. Singer is the President & CEO of Berkshire County Arc. He has been with the agency since 1980. For 15 years he was the Coordinator of Residential Services, and was appointed Executive Director in 1994 and promoted to President & CEO in 2014.

Under his leadership the agency’s budget has grown from $7m to over $33m.  Singer has served on various statewide committees, has had leadership roles such as President of the Association of Developmental Disability Providers (ADDP) and has been on two governor appointed committees.  Previously, Kenneth received the “Massachusetts Executive Director of the Year” Award from the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers.  Most recently, Singer was the recipient of the prestigious Joseph Andrade Award for Leadership by the Arc of Massachusetts.

Maryann Hyatt
Maryann HyattChief Operating Officer
Maryann Hyatt has worked in the human services field advocating for individuals with disabilities and their families for more than three decades. As the Chief Operating Officer at Berkshire County Arc, she oversees many of the Berkshire County Arc’s programs, including strategic planning.

Maryann has been instrumental in growing all of BCArc’s Family Support and Respite Services as well as the Adult Family Care Program.  The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, The House of Representatives presented Maryann with a Citation for her work on behalf of individuals and families.  Maryann also serves as the agency’s Human Rights Coordinator, a role she has held at BCArc for more than 25 years.

Paul Gavrity
Paul GavrityVice President of Administration and Employment Services
Paul S. Gavrity has served in various positions over 31 years with Berkshire County Arc. Paul is currently the Vice president of Administration & Employment Services. In that capacity he is responsible for the overall operation of Berkshire County Arc – Employment Services and Zip N Sort Mail Services.

Paul also oversees the agency training Department that develops an annual training plan to enhance the skills of our work force, expand the use of online training and maintain electronic client files.

Paul has worked supporting people with disabilities to live, work and have fun in their communities for over 40 years.

Paul was a founding Board member of the Massachusetts Association for People in Supported Employment ( MAPSE) in the early 90’s.  Currently he serves on the Massachusetts Partnerships in Transition to Employment.  A 5 year statewide collaboration grant project working to increase the number of  students, with disabilities,  leaving school and accessing competitive/integrated employment opportunities and secondary education.

He has served on the Board of Directors of the Center for EcoTechnology, with locations in Pittsfield, Northampton & Springfield, for 22 years and has been the Board Chair for the past 14 years.

For 17 years Paul has volunteered as a PSIA certified adaptive Ski instructor for Stride Adaptive Sports, located at Jiminy Peak.  Paul specializes in students that use sit equipment to ski or are on the Autism Spectrum.

Jennifer Rush
Jennifer RushVice President of Residential and Clinical Services
Jennifer Rush is the Vice President of Residential and Clinical Services. At Berkshire County Arc she oversees all of the residential services including the Autism Outreach Services Program and the Brain Injury Services Program. She has a diverse background in providing clinical services in medical, educational, and community-based settings.

Most recently, Jennifer was the Area Director of the Department of Development Services (DDS) for Franklin and Hampshire Counties.  Rush has experience overseeing and implementing Massachusetts state initiatives including Positive Behavior Support (PBS) and Home and Community Based Waiver Compliance. She has over a decade of administration experience in and hospital and substance abuse settings in organizations such Northern Berkshire Healthcare and the Brattleboro Retreat.

Blanca Durant
Blanca DurantDirector of Finance
Blanca Durant is the Director of Finance for Berkshire County Arc, where she is responsible for managing the Arc’s administrative activities, information technology, accounting and finance functions, including management of internal control systems.

Blanca’s duties also include the development of the annual operating budget, preparation of all financial management reports, and tax and regulatory filings. Reporting to Berkshire County Arc’s President and CEO, Durant is a member of the Arc’s executive leadership team, responsible for shaping and directing the implementation of aspects of the Arc’s strategies.

Durant joined Berkshire County Arc in 1998 as an accounting associate, became the Accounting Supervisor in 1999 and was appointed Director of Finance in 2011.

Kristi Nastars
Kristi NastarsDirector of Human Resources
Kristi Nastars is the Director of Human Resources at Berkshire County Arc where she is responsible for overseeing hiring & retention, compliance with all laws & regulations that protect both employees & applicants, as well as benefits administration.

She has several decades of experience including many years as part of a Corporate Global HR Management Team as well as 15 years owning & running her own recruiting firm.

Living in Upstate New York, she is member of the Capital Region Human Resources Association, Capital Region Women at Work, VFW Auxiliary, and Society for Human Resources Management

She holds both the SPHR & SHRM-SCP National HR certifications. Class of 2015 CRHRA Leadership program graduate.’

Chris Melski
Chris MelskiCo-Director of Residential Services
Chris is one of the Co-Directors of Residential Services. He has worked at Berkshire County Arc for over 30 years. He started his career at Berkshire County Arc as a Site Manager, and quickly rose through the agency to the Assistant Residential Coordinator, Residential Coordinator, and finally to the Co Director of Residential Services.

Chris also oversees all of the maintenance for the agency and is a Licensed Construction Supervisor. Chris also runs the monthly BCArc Men’s Group which is a group that discusses men’s health issues, appropriate interactions with females, and general issues of concern.

Rhodora Higgins
Rhodora HigginsCo-Director of Residential Services
Rhodora Higgins is one of the Co-Directors of Residential Services. Rhodora has over 40 years of experience in the field and has been at Berkshire County Arc for over 30 years. Rhodora started as a residential support staff and has held several positions over the years before becoming the Co-Director.

Over the years Rhodora has contributed many ideas that have helped the agency to move forward.  Rhodora instituted the BCArc “give backs” in an effort to show the community that our individuals can be productive members of society by giving back by way of donations and or volunteerism. The other goal was to help our individuals experience that “warm and fuzzy” feeling that one only gets from helping others. This project has grown over the years to incorporate a give back for every month of the year and is very popular both here at Berkshire County Arc as well as in the community. She is devoted to the staff and individuals and works to ensure that they have all the tools they need to live happy and productive lives.

Rhodora is a guardian of a young woman with developmental disabilities and works to help her be as independent as possible when making her life decisions as well as sharing her home with a Down Syndrome woman who became a part of her family over 30 years ago.

Cybèle Kilby
Cybèle KilbyDirector of Day and Family Enrichment Services
Cybèle is the Director of Day and Family Enrichment Services at Berkshire County Arc. Cybèle Kilby has been with BCArc since 2006. She has been a residential site manager and a case manager at Berkshire County Arc’s Center for Development day program.

Most recently, she worked as a Case Manager and Family Advocate in the Advocacy and Family Support department.

Rick Hawes
Rick HawesDirector of Employment Services
Rick Hawes has been the Director of Employment Services for Berkshire County Arc for the past 27 years. Rick has overseen the successful conversion to total community based employment services as well as the development and expansion of successful school to career transition services.

With over 35 years of experience in vocational services, Rick has served on several state wide task forces for supported employment. He has also conducted many presentations and provided technical consultation to providers on a statewide and national basis on supported employment.

Rick has also been an active participant in Berkshire County business community as a former Board of Director for the Chamber of Commerce and Berkshire YMCA. He is an active member of 1Berkshire.

David Singer
David SingerDirector of Marketing and Communications
David Singer joined BARC in March 2019. Previously he worked as Director of Communications and Marketing at Albany Law School, Albany, N.Y.

He started his career as a reporter for local papers in the Boston suburbs. After that he served as managing editor of the Dispute Resolution Journal, an international magazine for mediators, arbitrators, and negotiators. He has worked in communications for the Mass. Department of Education; Allmerica Financial, a Fortune 500 company in Worcester, Mass.; Schwartz Communications, Boston; and Sawchuk Brown, Albany, N.Y. He has written for a variety of publications, often about music, and continues to review live music for the Daily Gazette, Schenectady, N.Y.

 

Sonja Stewart
Sonja StewartDirector of Family Support and Advocacy
Sonja Stewart oversees Case Management in the Adult Family Care program. She directs the operations of BCArc’s Family Support Center, providing services that support children and adults with disabilities living in the community with their families. She will also coordinate Berkshire County Arc’s respite services, which provide a break for family members and create opportunities for community engagement for individuals with disabilities.

Prior to this position, Stewart served as BCArc’s Family Support Manager for two years, where she oversaw the Case Managers and Family Advocates. When first starting at BCArc she served as a Family Advocate and Case Manager herself. Before coming to BCArc, she worked for several years serving at-risk youth and low-income families in an array of capacities.

She holds a Master’s in Education from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the College of Saint Rose.

Amber Steele
Amber SteeleDirector of Brain Injury Services
Amber Steele is the Director of Brain Injury Services. Amber has over 20 years of experience in the field of Human Services and has been at Berkshire County Arc for 6 years now. Amber started as a Site Manager with the agency in 2011, transitioning to a Senior Site Manager and a Residential Supervisor before becoming the Director of Brain Injury Services.

Amber is responsible for the Oversite of twelve Brain Injury Services programs funded through the Mass Rehabilitation Commission and the Department of Developmental Services, ABI/MFP Waiver Program. During her time here Amber has enhanced staff trainings, including the initiation of the Certified Brain Injury Specialist Certification for Supervisors, which is currently underway.

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