At its recent 39th Annual Meeting on November 15, 2018, the Franklin County Community Development Corporation (FCCDC) elected four new Board members and offered thank yous and goodbyes to three others. During the occasion, long-time State Representative Steve Kulik was also honored for his many years of dedicated service. The Annual Meeting was held at Pioneer Valley Indoor Karting in Hatfield, a recent FCCDC borrower. Chairperson AJ Bresciano, a Senior Vice President at Greenfield Saving Bank, conducted the election and the following community members were unanimously voted on the Board of Directors:
Michelle Barthelemy lives in Florence and is Chair of the Business Department at Greenfield Community College. Michelle has collaborated with the FCCDC for several years and knows the importance of the community and GCC working together so students and local businesses succeed.
Cheryl Dukes lives in Buckland and as a former Selectman, she understands the value of community economic development facilitating wealth accumulation for families and business creation in our rural areas. In her current position as Director of Healthcare Outreach and Community Engagement at UMass Amherst College of Nursing, Cheryl helps connect all the determinants of health that make people and the community stronger and healthier including the local public research university.
Tom Ewing lives in Leverett and is recently retired. He was the founder and owner of Ewing Controls, an engineering firm that started and grew their business in the FCCDC’s Venture Center for 7 years, before moving to their own building on Deerfield St. in Greenfield. He recently sold his company to the employees.
Rachel Stoler lives in Montague and is the Community Health Program Manager at Franklin Regional Council of Governments. Rachel has collaborated with the FCCDC’s Food Programs, in particular trying to get more local healthy foods into our schools.
FCCDC Executive Director John Waite said, “These new Board members bring experience, knowledge and passion to our organization. They join 11 other Board members to ensure that our mission, values and programs stay strong and relevant as we move into our 40th year and beyond.”
While still named the Franklin County CDC, the organization has also been working with entrepreneurs and small businesses in northern Berkshire, Hampshire and Hampden County over the past few years to give them access to the services offered by the FCCDC like flexible loans, business assistance and help with starting and growing food businesses.
The FCCDC also thanked the following long-standing Board members for their many years of service:
Jessica Atwood, the Economic Development Program Manager at the Franklin Regional Council of Governments, has served on the FCCDC Board longer than any other member and has consistently helped the FCCDC keep focused on regional economic development. She was instrumental in our successful expansion into northern Berkshire County, our involvement with the Arts and Culture as an economic engine and the development of the Entrepreneur of the Year Event. Jessica will continue as a valued member of the FCCDC’s Loan Review Committee and move onto the FCCDC’s Advisory Board.
Gary Gruber of the law firm Gruber and Tripp, LLC served as a Chairperson and valued advisor for legal issues as well as the FCCDC’s real estate programs, mainly the Venture Center on Wells St. and the First National Bank Building. Gary played a major role in helping the FCCDC repair and stabilize the Bank Building, which then led to the redevelopment of the neighboring buildings on Bank Row and around Court Square. Gary will move onto the FCCDC’s Advisory Board.
Mary Chicoine recently retired as the Land Use Planner at the Franklin Regional Council of Governments. She was the FCCDC Clerk and used her wonderful graphic design skills to enhance many of the FCCDC materials and events.
At the December FCCDC Board meeting, the following people were elected as officers:
Andrea Nathanson – Chairperson
Claire Chang – Vice Chairperson
AJ Bresciano – Treasurer
Margaret Christie – Clerk