By Ronak Parida, DLE Marketing/Content Creator Intern, Junior at Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
The DLE recently celebrated one of its biggest surges in membership. Hear why our newest members are excited to be a part of our extraordinary community.
Tonia (Tone-ya) Pinheiro calls herself a Wake Up! Artist, which captures what she does to “give people the tools they need to liberate themselves.” She is the founder and director of Wake Up! Works, an organization dedicated to empowering individuals and professionals through customized facilitation, coaching, consulting and projects to develop more cohesive and productive teams.
A Boston-area native and resident for most of her life, Tonia says her move to the Berkshires in 2020 wasn’t easy—especially during the pandemic. She works and performs remotely now with True Story Theater, a troupe she’s been with since 2003. She is also the founder of Iseeu Theater, where her current goal is to offer training in improvisational theater skills, leading to a performing ensemble in Pittsfield. Tonia notes, “This artistic practice can foster essential leadership qualities like fearlessness, authenticity, creativity and self-awareness.”
Tonia is eager to make new connections with people in Western Massachusetts, which was a big reason for her decision to get involved with the DLE. After learning about the DLE Leadership Immersion, she saw the benefits the organization could offer. “I’d like to develop my professional presence by stepping out of my comfort zone and making new connections and long-lasting relationships with those who participate in the DLE. I also hope to be able to share some of what I know with this vibrant community.”
Cameron Hadley, a financial advisor with Northwestern Mutual, learned about the DLE through a friend who has been very active in the organization, AJ Bowman. While currently working in Albany, Cameron is from the Western Massachusetts area and is passionate about helping others.
The DLE’s community outreach projects are of particular interest to Cameron. “I wanted to join the DLE because of the positive impact it has had in Berkshire County. I have lived here my entire life and always want to be giving back to the community. By joining the DLE group, I’ll not only be able to give back to Berkshire County, but also meet amazing people throughout the experience.”
Looking into the future, Cameron plans to branch out and start his own practice (under Northwestern Mutual) to further his goal of helping people.
Jay Ogle has lived and worked in the Berkshires for over 20 years, most recently as the business development officer for Adams Community Bank.
A key reason why he decided to join the DLE is to connect more with younger people and their trends. “I am young enough to know I am getting older,” he says. “The diversity of the DLE community can help me stay in touch.”
Jay hopes to continue what he is doing, with a bigger focus on commercial relationships and assisting young entrepreneurs with their ventures.
Scott Haviland is a client service coordinator for CompuWorks and has been working in the IT field for 14 years.
Scott’s job is to ensure that the day-to-day operations run smoothly. The hardest part is trying to work out technical problems with someone who does not have a technical background, he says. “Sometimes there is a bigger problem,” he notes, “such as when someone has a deadline in half an hour or in the case of an individual who is just having a bad day.”
Now as an official DLE member and an attendee of the Leadership Immersion, Scott looks forward to meeting many different people from diverse backgrounds. He entered the Leadership Immersion with the goal of engaging with world-class quality speakers and gaining new perspectives to become a better professional in the workplace. And indeed that mission was accomplished. As Scott says, “The Leadership Immersion was amazing. I found it to be invigorating, and I have already started applying what I learned to my day-to-day life.”