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Jeffrey Simon

Jeffrey Simon

Director, MA Recovery & Reinvestment Office

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Iredale_exterior As Director of the state’s stimulus program, I have spent the past two years overseeing the program and, of course, touting Massachusetts’ success stories. It’s nice to see that the White House agrees with me.

The White House recently named Iredale Mineral Cosmetics one of its “Champions of Change.”  Now I don’t usually like to say I told you so, but in this case I can’t help it – its true.

On the Champions of Change site, it describes who qualifies for this title: “All across the country, ordinary Americans are doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.”

Iredale Mineral Cosmetics clearly qualifies.

Iredale_interior Jane Iredale, who founded the cosmetics company, wanted to create cosmetics that were good for the skin. Basing her products on minerals, she did just that and found a domestic and international market clamoring for her wares. But as the Champions of Change article notes, “While this forced the company  to expand, Ms. Iredale refused to turn her back on the small town of Great Barrington and was adamant about keeping her company in it.”

Iredale is now renovating an old school building (located across the street from where she lives in Great Barrington) with the help of a stimulus grant. This new building will enable Iredale to expand and hire more employees. As the article notes, “Moreover, it will continue to invigorate Great Barrington’s entire economy, as over 1,000 people visit the facility for meetings and trainings each year.”

Iredale’s is a great story, not only because stimulus funds are helping this cosmetics company grow and hire in the small town of Great Barrington. It’s also a great story of how a company is using stimulus funds in a creative and innovative way now to ensure that it can continue to contribute to the local economy and to the state – and to the country – for a long time.

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