MCLA grad authors summary of ideas and action from Aug. 11 summit

A 2016 graduate of the arts-management program at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has completed a summary of ideas and proposed actions generated by more than 60 people who attended the inaugural Greylock Economy Working Group gathering on Aug. 11, 2016. Learn more:

https://greylockcreative.wordpress.com/report-a-catalogue-of-ideas-for-action-from-the-aug-11-summit-questions-by-topic/ 

RELATED: Greylock Independent story by Tela Zasloff.

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Entrepreneurship for millenials: Workshop set Sept. 20 in Williamstown

alice-maggio
Alice Maggio

Are you a teen-ager or young adult with a big idea to change the world and make money? Or someone with skills to help such millenials?  If you are either, put the evening of Sept. 20 on your calendar, for a workshop sponsored by the Williamstown Chamber of Commerce entitled: “Bringing ‘Buy Local’ Full Circle: Creating Community-Supported Industries.”

The event is a chance  for business-minded people to harness their experiences to benefit young potential entrepreneurs. The free, public workshop will run from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Williams Inn; cash bar and light appetizers will be provided. Reserve your spot today!

https://goo.gl/forms/iiy9L5sQBppOhYGC3

keith2
Keith Girouard

The workshop will be co-facilitated by Alice Maggio of BerkShares, Inc. and Keith Girouard of the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network in Pittsfield, who have worked together over the past two years to develop Entry to Entrepreneurship, a business planning program for young people age 14-25.

The workshop will take participants through a fun, collaborative “rapid build-out” process in which participants identify local business opportunities and then work together to develop them. The business projects generated during the workshop will be offered to students for further development during in this winter’s Entry to Entrepreneurship program which will take place in Great Barrington from January until April.

“How can we all contribute to the success of our locally owned businesses – and maybe even help launch new ones?” organizers of the  event ask.

 

IDEAS FOR ACTION: Documenting the Greylock Economy Working Group’s Aug. 11 meeting

INSTRUCTIONS:  Here below is a running list of ideas — in no particular order — advanced at the Greylock Economy Working Group Aug. 11 meeting at the Greylock Mill.  Got an idea? Throw it into the mix. Scroll to the bottom of this page and use the “Add a Comment” box to contribute your idea.  Try to explain how your idea could be converted to actions. What would it take?  View photos of gathering.  View photos of the original Greylock Mills.


VIEW notes of outcomes from Aug. 11

IDEA POSTS (clink on link):

OTHER COMMENTS/IDEAS SO FAR: 

BELOW FROM:
Paul Dupuis / Account Manager / Whitman’s Crystal Clean
2 Melrose St. / Adams, MA 01220 / 413-281-4314 / prdvt@hotmail.com

One thing I’d like to see going forward is a commercial/industrial group of local entrepreneurs that already exist in our community. We MUST ensure their viability. Growing what is already here makes, I think, a lot of sense and cents!!


BELOW FROM:
Barbara Malkas, superintendent, North Adams Publich Schools.
Email: bmalkas@napsk12.org
Website: http://www.napsk12.org

Thank you for developing a facilitated meeting. I do think we need to develop norms for the working group. My suggestions:
1. Assume positive intentions.
2. Use active listening and watch your air time.
3. Provide and consider solutions when bringing forth a problem.
etc.


Tela Zasloff, Greylock Independent editor, participated in the Aug. 11 gathering and has also reviewed the archival video and photographs. She compiled this list of topics presented:

  • MARKETING — How to promote the Greylock region as a place for development. We need to hire expert marketing consultants and professionals in business management, attract employers who respect the environment and pay fair wages, bring low-income residents into the discussion, and aim for workforce development.
  • SMALL BUSINESS — We need more than tourism promotion, we need to encourage movement from cultural destinations to local businesses, develop a local loan and venture capital funding, encourage innovative small manufacturing facilities, and small environmental businesses, like commercial composting and a permaculture-based landscape and design.
  • FACULTY ENTREPRENEURSHIP — A unique opportunity our area offers is the close proximity to Williams College, enabling College faculty entrepreneurship
    Environmental research and development, as small business Search out entrepreneurs wanting to establish a small business that researches and develops innovative environmental technologies, [See article on inside pages of this issue.], integrated with environmental science and technology training programs in the local schools and RPI.
  • OUTDOOR SPACES — Open, recreational space, tourism, and housing.  Maximize the area outdoor recreational potential via the Appalachian Trail, including a touring/hiking business that runs trips during the winter and marketing for weddings and partnerships with Jacob’s Pillow and nearby ski/winter resorts. Suitable housing options available to individuals and families of all ages and incomes.
  • FARMING/FOOD —  Local dairy farmers need to expand their businesses. Food tourism, especially the food culture of western MA, and food production are the drivers behind sustainable growth. Develop an ag training program with farms in area and with McCann School, to attract young entrepreneurs. We should promote our area as a model for a green community with strong links to local farms.
  • HEALTH CARE — Improve our county health facilities to attract development. Bring to the table issues of equity in health care, social justice and of public, global health, particularly women’s health
  • ARTS ENGINE —  Use arts to enhance and broaden the Berkshire experience, including in film, higher-paying jobs in the arts economy, training of college interns and arts-management students, and places where mid-career artists can live and exhibit.
  • PLANNING — Planning and research in development strategies. Using services of academics with town planning, research and teaching in regional economic development. Provide projects for scientist/developers. Set up think tanks, and opportunities for college spouses to teach.
  • TRAINING — Education Workforce retraining and apprenticeships in new technologies, internet skills.
  • INFRASTRUCTURE — Transportation, communication and collaboration in infrastructure development.  Most important driver of economic development is transportation—meaning the movement of people, goods, information via the internet. Connect student learning with business through cooperative ventures. Develop fast broadband and support local news media.

 

Ideas for new small-business categories in our region from Shira Wohlberg

Shira Wolhberg submitted these ideas by email. — Bill Densmore

ALSO SEE:
http://www.wastedive.com/news/massachusetts-announces-new-round-of-recycling-business-development-grants/422479/

I am interested in small businesses that also shift attitudes such as a commercial composting business and a permaculture-based landscape and design business like the Regenerative Design Group in Greenfield  (http://regenerativedesigngroup.com). Also small businesses and education centers with the feel of the Conway School of Design, Real Pickles (http://www.realpickles.com/products_kraut.html), and the South River Miso Company (http://www.southrivermiso.com).

I would like to see an artist retreat center (like McDowell,  ehttp://www.macdowellcolony.org, and many many others:
http://www.artistcommunities.org/residencies) as someone proposed a
few years ago. I’m not sure if it already exists, but does The Clark have a residential training program in art restoration?

I would love to see Overland expand and a touring/hiking business connected to the Appalachian Trail that runs winter trips too.

There was talk of developing an ag program in conjunction with Burnett
Farm in Adams and the McCann School —  or by another route — since
there is nothing in the region. (Gail Cariddi was in on this discussion as well.) This would train more people to stay in the area, develop resilient local food systems, and attract young, hands-in-the-ground entrepreneurs. I don’t think anything has come of this yet.

I would love to see a business that has rotating products using almost
entirely locally-sourced “waste”/by-product materials that are upcycled. The work should be done at a human-scale and ideally should be a worker-owned cooperative (https://usworker.coop/home/). There are several good models operating in the Pioneer Valley.

Aside from that, another prep school that college spouses among others could teach at as well as some think tanks.

New businesses should always be situated in existing buildings, especially ones that need to be rejuvenated, and in other previously blighted spaces. They should not impose machine noise, air or water pollution on the neighborhoods they enter. They should be linked by pleasant, safe bus, bicycle and walking routes through downtown for workers and customers.

Please put these ideas into the mix. Sorry to not be in the room with
everyone this evening.

An idea for developing the Greylock region: Research and development in environmental technology

By Tela Zasloff

Secretary of State John Kerry said, in an interview to Rolling Stone last December preceding the Paris conference on climate change:

“We’re betting on the future here. We’re betting on 2020, we’re betting on 2025, 2030, 2050. There’s still time within that framework if we do the right things. And I’m betting that technology—some entrepreneur, the next Elon Musk, the next Steve Jobs—somebody’s out there who’s going to come up with the battery storage or the fusion or whatever it’s going to be, a cleaner nuke . . . So much energy is being concentrated in the context of America’s amazing allocation of capital and brilliant innovation that something’s going to break out at Berkeley or MIT or wherever the hell it’s going to be, and technology, hopefully, will save us on this . . . People are going to quickly see there’s money to be made here. This is the biggest market in the world.”

Why not search out entrepreneurs wanting to establish a small business or plant in our area that aims at developing innovative environmental technologies?  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program just announced last February awarding eight contracts to:

  • Aspen Products Group, Inc., Marlborough, MA. Developing a filtration device to control drinking water contaminants.
  • Environmental Fuel Research, LLC, Philadelphia, PA. Producing biofuel from grease trap waste.
  • ETSVP-JV, LLC, Roanoke, VA. Filters using nanomaterials to remove gaseous pollutants from contaminated air streams.
  • Lucid Design Group, Inc., Oakland, CA. Technology for energy savings in commercial buildings.
  • MesoCoat, Inc., Euclid, Ohio. Corrosion-resistant coatings on steel.
  • Precision combustion, Inc., North Haven, CN. Regenerable high efficiency filters to remove gaseous pollutants from indoor air.
  • Sustainable Bioproducts, LLC, Bozeman, Mont. Simple, low-cost, scalable microbial process for converting municipal solid waste to fuels using fungus.
  • Vista Photonics, Inc., Las Cruces, NM. High-performance, inexpensive, portable air pollution monitor to continuously measure atmospheric ammonia.

EPA funds many environmentally-minded small businesses so they can bring their innovative technologies to market.  EPA is one of 11 federal agencies that participate in the SBIR program, which was enacted in 1982 to strengthen the role of small businesses in federal research and development, create jobs and promote U.S. technical innovation. To be eligible to participate in the SBIR program, a company must be an organized, for-profit U.S. business and have fewer than 500 employees.  www.epa.gov/sbir

 

 

IDEAS: Enabling faculty entrepreneurs — and data transportation

From Northampton, a one-time expert has two thoughts

By Zane Lumelsky  (bio)
(
edited by Bill Densmore)

TALKING POINTS:

 

  • “Quality of life” is not a distinguishing feature; many other areas make the same claim.
  • Proximity to Williams College is a unique feature and the best selling point.
  • Creativity and culture are important but a more important driver of economic development is transportation.
  • Broadly defined, transportation is the movement of people, goods, and information (via the telecom/internet).
  • The internet is the only transit mode in Greylock Valley that is realistically expandable.

NARRATIVE:

Congratulations on organizing Greylock Creative.  Although I left Greylock Valley over five years ago and now live east in the Pioneer Valley, I have a few thoughts about enabling faculty entrepreneurship — and data “transportation” that my interest you.

In the early 1990s I supplied marketing assistance to the Northern Berkshire Industrial Park and Development Corp. At that time I designed marketing collaterals for their Adams Industrial Park as well as for the proposed Williamstown Business Park at the former town landfill. I also contributed to strategic positioning for that venture. All previous marketing materials for Northern Berkshires highlighted “quality of life.”

I disagreed with this approach, not because I believed the area lacked quality of life, but because I felt it was not a competitive, differentiating position. I recall asking “You want to tell an business owner whose facility is in Connecticut, whose primary home is in Greenwich or Westport, who has a pied-a-terre in Manhattan and a beach house in Aruba that if he moves to Northern Berkshire County he will enjoy a better quality of life?” Thousands, even tens of thousands of locations claim the very same thing.
UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY? ENABLE WILLIAMS FACULTY ENTREPRENEURSHIP

What was needed was to identify a unique feature of the area. I believed that feature was close proximity to Williams College. I did not mean next to any small, liberal arts college – there are quite of few of those – but specifically to Williams.

So the question was why would a business require being physically close to Williams College? The answer was because the founder already worked there. After a brief canvas I discovered that several staff and faculty were thinking about establishing businesses but did not want to give up their teaching or staff positions. That was borne out with Tripod and other previous examples, like the Roper Institute.

TRANSPORTATION — DATA NOT GOODS? 

Over the last three years I have been involved with railroad projects and have come to believe that transportation, historically and today, is the most important driver of economic development. Some would contend that research universities also fit that category and I agree to a point – because its hard to create new ones. But I also have a broader view of what defines transportation to include the movement of information (digital transit, the internet). Greylock Valley is isolated regarding most transit modes with one exception.

But in about 1982 a fiber optic trunk line was buried through the area (along the rail right of way). I explored this when thinking about the Williamstown Business Park and MassMoCA. Although this line is older technology, it should at least be investigated along with other digital modes.

 

Pre-convening ideas from participants: Read registration comments

GREYLOCK ECONOMY WORKING GROUP
MEETING OF AUG. 11, 2016
AT THE GREYLOCK MILL

Registration comments left by participants

(in chronological order of receipt)

Name: Andrea Harrington
Email: andrea@andreaforsenate.com
Website: http://andreaforsenate.com
Comment: As a candidate for State Senate and small business owner, I would like to talk about my experiences and the ideas I have for our region. I would also bring with me the many stories from people I’ve met and spoke with, from all over our district, and their vision for the future of the Berkshires.

Name: Judy Grinnell
Email: HoosicRiverRevival@gmail.com
Website: http://HoosicRiverRevival.org
Comment: Long-time interest in promoting economic renaissance and civic collaboration of NA, Adams, and Williamstown.

Name: Peter Wells
Email: pwells@williams.edu
Website:
Comment: Having lived here since 1982 as an employee of Williams College I would love to not only hear the conversation while also having the perspective of having seen this area — its growth and its amazing potential for so many years and ideally in the now years ahead. Thank you.

Name: Bruce Grinnell
Email: bruce@grinnellpartners.com
Website:
Comment: My expectations are modest. Hopefully, those attending will make a genuine effort to get to know one another, build trust and coalesce around ways to attract employers who have a respect for the environment, pay fair wages and are committed to the long term health of Northern Berkshire.

Name: William F. Kolis, Jr.
Email: wkolis@wickenslaw.com
Website: http://%20Adamsanthony.weebly.com/speakers.html
Comment: I am a lawyer who has practiced in the area of media law for over 35 years. In addition and as a result of litigating various types of cases I have developed a keen eye for spotting issues and resolving the same.

Name: Nancy Harvin
Email: nharvin@gmail.com
Website:
Comment: Concerned W’town resident of four years. I was part of the Northampton MA renaissance in the ’80s. My then-organization (which has changed mission since then) was particularly focused on affordable housing and simultaneous preservation of open space.

Name: William Galusha
Email: kgalusha1@roadrunner.com
Website:
Comment: Local dairy farmer looking to expand business.

Name: ralph brill
Email: ralph.brill@verizon.net
Website: http://www.brillgallery109.com
Comment: The recent MCLA Economic Summit offered some interesting insights, but was mainly a cover up for the poor BMC county health grades received. No one challenged Dr. Ellrodt’s noise. It was also a Tom Krens puff session. No one challenged his 300 seasonal jobs. The recent Seranak get together was more about our cultural Disneyland. Our musicians do more creative thinking and risk taking than our economic planners.

Name: Holly Hardman
Email: gobbofilms@gmail.com
Website: http://www.gobbofilms.com
Comment: I have great faith in this region. Our resources are varied, robust, and growing. Since moving back to the Berkshires after twenty-five years spent in New York and Los Angeles, I have produced an internationally-recognized documentary from my Williamstown base, and I am now in the midst of producing a second — again from Williamstown. I would like to share the number of ways that my film production company, Gobbo Films, offers opportunities that enhance and broaden the Berkshire experience.

Name: Roger Bolton
Email: rbolton@williams.edu
Website:
Comment: Academic with experience in citizen planning (town and regional governments), research, and teaching about regional and area economic development.

Name: Paul Dupuis
Email: prdvt@hotmail.com
Website:
Comment: I’m a lifelong resident of the area, with an open mind regarding retail, commercial and industrial development in North Berkshire. I’m particularly interested in getting current and future visitors to make their way from cultural destinations, to local businesses in the downtown area of North Adams. I’m also interested in helping more businesses open on Main Street and the other available storefronts.Name: Paula Consolini

Email: pconsoli@williams.edu
Website: http://learning-in-action.williams.edu
Comment: I’m interested in and have experience with:
1) developing collaborative projects, especially those focused on improving infrastructure (such as public transit) and 2) drafting local college students to participate in projects both during the academic year and the summer

Name: Kim Gutschow
Email: kim.gutschow@williams.edu
Website:
Comment: I want to bring social justice, reproductive justice, and issues of public health and global health, and women’s health to the table as a medical anthropologist and activist who has worked on these issues for 30 years in diverse settings including US, India, Nepal, and elsewhere in Asia.

Name: Brian D. Handspicker
Email: bd@handspicker.net
Website: http://practicalmarkets.net
Comment: Product strategist, serial entrepreneur, for-profit CEO, and Non-Profit Executive Director – I foster innovation, help companies create investable opportunities, and manage organizations to deliver on those opportunities.

Name: Angela Cardinali
Email: angela@angelacardinali.com
Website: http://www.berkshirefarmandtable.org
Comment: In 2011, I founded Berkshire Farm & Table (BF&T) — an organization working to advance economic development by employing food tourism and food production as the drivers behind sustainable growth. BF&T’s mission is to cultivate and promote the vibrant food culture of western Massachusetts. Inspired by the region’s rich agricultural history and its verdant landscape, our non-profit organization nourishes the strong connection between makers and producers and our region’s taste of place. We collaborate with farmers, food makers and tastemakers to produce events, foster dialogue and create awareness for the region’s food craft. Building effective platforms to share the unique stories of culinary artisans, farmers and food experiences, BF&T as work advances the food story by building the region’s identity as a source and destination for food. BF&T is looking to share ideas and hear from community leaders about what is happening in the Northern Berkshires and how it will connect to the greater region regarding sustainable growth, our foodshed, hospitality and tourism, and economic development in general.

Name: Jason Velazquez
Email: editor@greylockglass.com
Website: http://www.greylockglass.com
Comment: Very excited to see a continuation of the conversations about growth held recently. Interested in the subjects of agriculture and boutique manufacturing.

Name: Merritt Colaizzi
Email: mcolaizzi@gmail.com
Website: http://DestinationWilliamstown.org
Comment: Destination Williamstown, interested in improving communication in the Northern Berkshires

Name: Rich Remsberg
Email: rich@atlasfilms.org
Website: http://www.atlasfilms.org
Comment: I have a small (one-person) company that provides archival research for documentary films. About half of my work is for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), the other half a mix of feature docs, museum exhibits and high-end cable. I have been based in North Adams since 2003.

Name: Barbara Malkas
Email: bmalkas@napsk12.org
Website: http://www.napsk12.org
Comment: Education is a major component of economic infrastructure.

Name: Dr. Douglas Dias
Email: ddias@mgrhs.org
Website:
Comment: I would like to find ways to connect student learning with businesses in the area through cooperative ventures.

Name: Deborah Brown
Email: glassbrook2003@yahoo.com
Website:
Comment: Involved with Jim Mahon, Judy Grinnell & Sherwood Guernsey and the NBCC with Employ Northern Berkshire. Am interested in retraining, work force currently unemployed. Am interested in how to encourage the graduates of local high schools to stay in North Berkshire vis a vis jobs, transportation, and skills development.

Name: Jean Vankin
Email: jvankin@wlliams.edu
Website:
Comment: Will be interested to see what comes of this meeting. Am working with BIO on the problem of transportation and with NCCC on our quixotic quest for equity in health care . . . which is essential for a vibrant economy.

Name: Valerie Hall
Email: vhall@northadamspartnership.com
Website: http://northadamspartnership.com
Comment: The North Adams Partnership has been working on supporting economic development in North Adams for several years and is interested in the new ideas created by this group.

Name: David Fowle
Email: davidfowlevt@gmail.com
Website:
Comment: I have lived in the area since 1972, and was one of the project initiators and later general manager of Wild Oats Co-op in Williamstown. I am devoted to the cooperative structure of business, and of community building. I will come mostly to listen, but will be happy to contribute what I can.

Name: Richard Tavelli
Email: rt.tavelli@gmail.com
Website:
Comment: I am actively working on economic development initiatives , as a volunteer, in Adams, North Adams, Williamstown, and the Berkshires in general. I have a professional background in mergers & acquisitions, private equity, early stage company development and turn-arounds, entrepreneurship and mentoring, corporate strategy, environmental remediation and permitting, energy company management, and business operations and management. My hope is that this discussion will move beyond idealistic, blue sky aspirations to concrete actions that are achievable.

Name: Valeria Sosa
Email: vns1@williams.edu
Website:
Comment: As a student, I would love to learn more about this community and see how our students can help and get involved!

Name: Donald Pecor
Email: dpecor@mcla.edu
Website:
Comment: Would like to hear about the progress of the various projects that are in development. Interested how it might impact zoning.

Name: Joshua Moran
Email: joshuajmoran@hotmail.com
Website:
Comment: I am a North Adams City Councilor who is trying to maximize the city’s outdoor recreational potential via the Appalachian Trail.

Name: Diane Sullivan
Email: dianesullivanclay@msn.com
Website: http://www.dianesullivanceramics.com
Comment: I have lived in North Adams for 12 years as an artist and art educator. I bring the perspective of someone who has started Open Studios and was involved with Downstreet Art from the very beginning. Besides being part of the Eclipse Mill community for seven years, I am now a home owner in North Adams . I did not move away when I sold my loft, but invested in a home. I also have an AirBnB apartment and get a lot of input from my guests on the area. I look forward to this meeting.

Name: Amy Shapiro
Email: amys@fccdc.org
Website: http://www.fccdc.org
Comment: Born in North Adams I currently work for a non profit the Franklin County CDC (FCCDC) that is working in northern Berkshire on community development issues that support growing and expanding small businesses. Currently we are implanting a state grant that is working to develop a Northern Berkshire Loan Fund for small businesses and help North Adams businesses with a succession plan to retain jobs. The FCCDC is also the home to the Western MA Food Processing Center a share use commercial kitchen.

Name: Jason Koperniak
Email: Info@bbprecbuilders.com
Website: http://www.houzz.com/professional2/1135933/bb-precision-builders-llc
Comment: Managing Member of B&B Precision Builders, LLC — We recently launched a Recreational Vehicle and Small Structure manufacturing facility in Adams. We started by building Tiny Houses and RV’s but can also produce writer studios, sheds, gazebos, and other small structures. We are looking to meet like minded entrepreneurs in the Berkshires.

Name: Van Ellet
Email: vellet1@roadrunner.com
Website: http://N/A
Comment: I am retired, and have an extensive background in heath policy and aging issues. I have been very involved in an array of public and private sector volunteer opportunities since moving to Williamstown six years age. Currently I serve as chair of the Williamstown Housing Committee (once the Affordable Housing Committee), the Affordable Housing Trust, Elder Services of Berkshire County, and co-chair the Age Friendly Communities Workgroup of Berkshire County. I am deeply involved in and concerned about the lack of suitable housing options available to individuals and families of all ages and incomes . . . Including those with moderate/middle incomes and seniors. As noted by Williamstown’s Economic Development Committee, the lack of housing is a significant contributor to some of the economic challenges facing both Williamstown and Berkshire County. The WHC just issued an RFP to study/document the extent of Williamstown’s housing needs, which will serve as the foundation for future policy development and decision making relating to housing. New thinking and collaborative efforts will be needed to address this major challenges confronting this area.

Name: Charles Bonenti
Email: cbonenti@yahoo.com
Website:
Comment: I am interested in these topics and in what can be done to advance the region economically while protecting its natural assets.

Name: Michael Bedford
Email: mfbedford@hotmail.com
Website:
Comment: Interested in discussion on how best to bring low-income residents into discussion.

Name: Sarah Sutro
Email: artssutro@yahoo.com
Website: http://www.sarahsutro.com
Comment: How best to integrate higher paying jobs into an arts/tourist economy.

Name: Adrian Dunn
Email: dunns03@roadrunner.com
Website:
Comment: I am interested in hearing other people’s ideas and supporting this effort. I think northern Berkshire County should continue to develop as a center for the arts and also as a model for a green community with strong links to local agriculture. Addressing our waste in a greener way would be important. Developing fast broadband and supporting our local news media are also extremely important.

Name: Roger Lawrence
Email: charteroffreeinquiry@gmail.com
Website:
Comment: I am an architectural designer and lover of the outdoors. I have learned that both the built and natural environments we inhabit have a profound impact on the quality of human life. Having traveled widely and lived on other continents, I have observed how these criteria play out in a variety of cultures. A native of Williamstown, I have returned to spend the remainder of my life in this area and am interested in meeting with others who are also committed to living here for the long term. It is my hope that by acting together, we may help to guide the inevitable development lying ahead in a direction that provides the opportunity of future economic growth while asserting a strong mandate for valuing and preserving the extraordinary quality of our landscapes and townscapes.

Name: Diane M. Gallese-Parsons
Email: dmparsons@verizon.net
Website: http://DNA
Comment: A former city councilor, long-time educator, MCLA ret., early board member of the North Adams Community Development Corp. (now defunct), local cable contributor, I am interested in participating in the advancement of North Berkshire County and the cultural corridor. As a native, who has lived elsewhere, I am here by choice and possess a fair amount of area history. I am not afraid of change that is well planned and executed.

Name: Robert Kent, Adjunct Instructor, Political Science, Williams College
Email: rkent@williams.edu
Comment: I encourage the Greylock Economy Working Group to be in touch with Peter Hirschberg, author of the “Maker City: A Practical Guide to Reinvention in American Cities.” (makercitybook.com).   I teach a class each January at Williams. I’m hoping in the next few years to be able to move to Williamstown and open a dojo, and wouldn’t mind being part of a Maker Space project at the same time, putting my 20+ years in aerospace and robotics to good use — so I have every reason to want something like this to be successful. Hirschberg was just keynote speaker at an Aug. 7-9 conference in Burlington, Vt., the inaugural Maker Places Conference.

Name: Kathy Keeser
Email: kkeeser@familylifesupport.org
Website: http://louisonhouse.org

Comment: I have worked with the community and in particular to improve the outlook for the lower income portion of the population, especially in regards to housing, food insecurity, and workforce development. I will actually be unable to attend the meeting on August 11th due to our fundraiser, but would like to be part of the group in the future.

Name: Betty Vera
Email: BVArtstuff@aol.com
Website: http://www.bettyvera.com

Comment: I am a visual artist and art educator. I would like to see economic opportunities develop for the many visual artists like myself who have settled in North Adams. There are world-class museums here, and opportunities for college interns, arts management students, and emerging artists–but no economic opportunities (such as galleries) exist for the mid-career artists who live here. And I would love to see lots of small businesses populating Main Street!

Name: Nancy Bullett
Email: ptofna@yahoo.com
Website:

Comment: I am a city councilor and very involved in community efforts to improve the quality of living here. I am a native of North adams and I believe we are on the cusp of becoming something great!