At our June 28th Annual Election and Legislative Breakfast, we were delighted to welcome Senator Jo Comerford, Representative Paul Mark, Representation Susannah Whipps, Representative Natalie Blais and Jon Gould of Senator Adam Hind's office. Our delegation is a strong voice for Franklin County at the State House and we are grateful for their hardwork on rural issues including education, transportation, health care and workforce development.
At our Annual Election the following officers and directors were elected to the Chamber Board of Directors. We appreciate their willingness to serve and appreciate their interest in this community.
Chair: Elizabeth Fisk, WHAI/Bear Country & The Outlaw
Vice Chair: John Howland, Greenfield Savings Bank
Treasurer: Bob Gilmore, Gilmore and Farrell Insurance Agency
Past Chair: Mark Abramson, Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont Real Estate
Executive Committee At-Large
Linda Dunlavy, Franklin Regional Council of Governments
Shelby Snow, Northfield Golf Club
Michael Tucker, Greenfield Cooperative Bank
Directors for Election and Re-election:
Wade Bassett, Yankee Candle Company
Patricia Crosby, MassHire Franklin Hampshire Workforce Board
Sharon Cross, Greenfield Recorder
Jessye Deane, Community Action Pioneer Valley *
John Howland, Greenfield Savings Bank
Stephanie Luebbers, Stoneleigh-Burnham School *
Molly MacMunn, Baystate Franklin Medical Center *
Nicole Rannikko, Patriot Care *
Mike Tucker, Greenfield Cooperative Bank
Carter Wall, FirstLight Power Resources *
* new director
Directors with Unexpired Terms:
Lisa Alber, Alber Hearing Services
Ben Clark, Clarkdale Fruit Farms, Inc.
Sheila Damkoehler, Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association
Pat Descarage, Judd Wire Inc. Sumitomo Electric Group
Melissa Hancock, Eversource Energy
Bruce Lessels, Zoar Outdoor
Kevin O’Neil, Wilson’s Department Store
Julie Orvis, Historic Deerfield, Inc.
Christopher Pichette, wTe Recycling Inc.
Michael Ramon, Ramon Financial Services
Yves Salomon-Fernandez, Greenfield Community College
I would like to recognize the retirements of long time Board members Doug Clarke, Kim Levitch and William Gabriel. I am grateful I had the chance to work, even briefly, with all three of those gentlemen. Doug has been our Treasurer for many years and we appreciate all his hard work and guidance. I would also like to thank Mark Abramson for his service as Board Chair this past year. It was a year of transition and his assistance was much appreciated. Mark really made me feel welcome here at the Chamber and I will be forever grateful top him for that.
We welcome Jessye Deane, Stephanie Leubbers, Molly MacMunn, Nicole Rannikko and Carter Wall to the Board. Each new member brings a unique perspective and set of skills and I am really looking forward to having them aboard. I appreciate Liz Fisk stepping in as Board Chair, John Howland as Vice Chair and Bob Gilmore as Treasurer. We have an absolutely terrific Board and I am so excited for the work ahead!
Thanks to our Annual Election and Legislative Breakfast sponsors Greenfield Cooperative Bank, Greenfield Recorder, Greenfield Savings Bank, MassHire Franklin/Hampshire Workforce Board, Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, and Yankee Candle Company.
I wish everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July!
Diana M. Szynal
By Diana Szynal
June is a big month here at the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce. On June 21st we will be holding our annual Legislative Breakfast and will welcome all members of the Franklin County delegation to address our membership. The breakfast will be held at 7:30 a.m. at Eaglebrook School in Deerfield. We look forward to hearing from our representatives and senators about their legislative priorities, specifically those that affect our local economy and regional tourism.
Named one of “fifty essential summer music festivals” by The New York Times, Green River Festival celebrates thirty three years with three days of music: a spectacular lineup of over 40 acts on four stages, the best in local food, beer and wine, handmade crafts, a wide array of kid's activities, camping, and hot air balloon rides and a balloon illumination, for Western Massachusetts' largest outdoor event of the summer. This is the only music festival in the country that features hot air balloons.
By Diana Szynal
This week the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT) will roll out the FY2020 Tourism Marketing Grant application. Many local businesses and residents don't realize the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce also serves as the Franklin County Regional Tourism Council (RTC). Being an RTC means that the Chamber applies for and manages a state grant designed to promote tourism in the Commonwealth. Here in Franklin County we have identified our best tourism assets as outdoor recreation, craft beverages and arts and culture with our target market being within a day's driving distance.
February Theme for Franklin County Chamber of Commerce’s 100th Anniversary: Business and Community Partnerships with High Schools
This month’s #FCCC100 theme explores the ways we can partner with Franklin County public and private high schools. We will host a special breakfast panel with school representatives and businesses, hold a workshop on specific related opportunities available, feature a school – community resource page on our website, along with other activities.
2019 is the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce’s 100th Anniversary year and we are dedicating each month to a theme of importance for Franklin County. We kicked off the celebration with a breakfast featuring veteran Greenfield Recorder reporter, Richie Davis, who discussed the history of Greenfield Board of Trade, which became incorporated in 1919 as Greenfield Chamber of Commerce. He included some relative info about circumstances locally and globally and share highlights of news items over his past forty years reporting for The Recorder. We also honored members who have been with us for 100 years including Eversource Energy, Berkshire Gas, Wilson’s Department Store, WHAI, and the Greenfield Recorder.
The Berkshire Gas Company (“Berkshire” or the “Company”), in consultation with the
Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (“DOER”), is making available grant funds
(“Settlement Funds”) in the aggregate amount of one million dollars ($1,000,000). The Settlement
Funds will be allocated for jobs, economic development, or alternative heating programs for
municipal owned buildings, low-income and moderate-income residential consumers, or
residences or businesses impacted by the Berkshire moratorium on new or expanded gas service
interconnections, as determined by DOER.
Head to Franklin County and leave life behind for the afternoon or weekend. Take to the rolling hills, lush river valleys, and charming towns of western Massachusetts to unwind. Here are eight transcendent views to start you off. Read more
Franklin County sugarhouses are yielding the first taste of spring as the maple sap begins to flow. Whether you kick off spring with breakfast at a sugarhouse or pick up fresh maple products including syrup, candy, spread, or other maple items, there are delicious options awaiting. Read more
With Franklin County’s rural landscape featuring more than 75 percent of its acreage in forest and open land, it is no surprise that winter recreation abounds. Whether your destination is a resort or multi-activity facility or a quiet pond, the most rural county in Massachusetts is sure to please. From downhill and cross-country skiing to snowshoeing and snowmobiling, we’ve got your winter adventures covered. Bring your sports equipment and hit one of the many state forest trails, or travel light and check out the full-service options at Berkshire East or Northfield Mountain. Make it a weekend and stay at a cozy inn or rustic cabin and dine out for delicious meals of locally sourced foods and be sure to sample local micro brews, wine, or spirits. Read more