(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – Jodi Joseph, a Berkshire native who lives in Williamstown and has been director of retail operations at MASS MoCA, has been named to the position of director of Berkshire Creative, a five-year-old nonprofit agency representing the interests of 6,500 creative economy workers in Berkshire County. Berkshire Creative’s previous director, Helena Fruscio, now serves as the Creative Economy Director for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts under Secretary Greg Bialecki, Department of Housing and Economic Development.
Joseph says, “Recent data found that the Berkshires are number two in the United States in per capita spending on arts and culture. I am thrilled to represent the interests of the creative economy and all its participants here.”
Joseph leaves her position at MASS MoCA as director of retail operations, a key earned revenue source for the nonprofit museum based in North Adams. In 2010, Joseph coordinated the museum’s participation in Berkshire Creative’s innovative Berkshire Creative Challenge, bringing Berkshire-made products into the retail operation.
Says Joseph, “The MASS MoCA Creative Challenge initially brought in six thousand dollars worth of locally sourced goods to the museum store shelves. In two years, MASS MoCA has more than doubled that number, selling over $15,000 of Berkshire-sourced product to visitors from around world.”
Joseph’s previous freelance sales and marketing projects include work with the Dream Away Lodge (Becket), Inland Management (Williamstown), Braza Corporation (Lee), Berkshire Living Magzine, and BART, The Berkshire Arts and Technology College Prep Charter School (Adams), where she now serves as Secretary on its Board of Trustees.
Earlier in her career, Joseph worked extensively in the gift industry, beginning with Blue Q (Pittsfield), and then in sales with Mair Hill and Associates Inc. (Chicago, IL), before returning to the Berkshires to work with Elements/Jill Schwartz (Great Barrington) and Pulp Paper Products (Torrington, CT).
A Magna Cum Laude graduate of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Joseph is an avid athlete with a passion for cycling, hiking, swimming, and running.
“Jodi Joseph brings a wonderful mix of experience in the creative economy and enthusiasm for the work of Berkshire Creative,” said Cathy Deely, Chair of Berkshire Creative’s board of trustees. “We are very much looking forward to the work she will be doing to promote the creative economy, provide program and event support to creatives in the Berkshires, and to launch our soon-to-be announced membership program, featuring an online directory for the creative economy.”
Joseph said of her appointment, “I am thrilled to lead Berkshire Creative, acknowledged as a pace-setter in creative economy work, at a pivotal time in the organization’s development as it formalizes its working partnership with 1Berkshire. The structure 1Berkshire provides allows Berkshire Creative to be part of an innovative, collaborative approach to the region’s business, tourism, economic and creative development efforts.”
1Berkshire is an independent not-for-profit corporation charged with strengthening and growing the Berkshire economy using an innovative collaborative approach among the region’s business, tourism, economic, and creative development efforts. 1Berkshire partners include, The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, The Berkshire Visitors Bureau, Berkshire Creative, and Berkshire Economic Development Corporation.
“Jodi Joseph is a passionate advocate for the Berkshires and will be a great partner in our 1Berkshire work of helping market the Berkshires and retain and attract business through the collaborative work with the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce and the Berkshire Visitors Bureau,” said Stuart Chase, CEO of 1Berkshire.
Berkshire Creative has for five years stimulated new job growth and economic opportunity in the region by sparking innovative collaborations between artists, designers, cultural institutions and businesses. Berkshire Creative provides the creative economy with the news, information, resources, and representation they need to do better business in the Berkshires and beyond.