May 24, 2022
DEERFIELD: The Franklin County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has named Jessye Deane its next Executive Director.
Deane, a lifelong Franklin County resident and Bernardston native, has served on the Franklin County Chamber Board of Directors since 2019. She will assume the role currently held by Diana Szynal, who plans to take over as President of the Springfield Regional Chamber in July.
"The Board is thrilled to have Jessye transition into this role at the Chamber. Her ability to connect with the community and build business relationships is a tremendous asset for Franklin County and our membership," said Shelby Snow Hasanbasic, Chair of the Chamber's Board of Directors. "Jessye's dynamic skillset will lead the Chamber into great success as we continue to adapt to deliver value to members in a changing economic landscape. Her vision for refining and building on the Chamber's role in Franklin County is exciting, and we believe her expertise in community collaboration will excel successful partnerships for the greater good of our members, our community, and our visitors."
As an entrepreneur with over a decade of experience in volunteer, community, and nonprofit service, Deane has an accomplished background in business, marketing, and community building, which Hasanbasic says will serve her well in this position.
Deane currently serves as the Director of Communications & Development for antipoverty agency Community Action Pioneer Valley. During her 12 years at Community Action, the $36 million dollar nonprofit has seen a 1,645.7% increase in private funding under her leadership.
Simultaneously, Jessye and her husband Danny also own and operate two award-winning fitness studios, F45 Training Hampshire Meadows in Hadley and F45 Training Riverdale in West Springfield, where Deane has spearheaded the businesses’ community impact program, benefitting more than 86 local nonprofits with nearly $100,000 in donations and in-kind services.
“My passion has always been strengthening community through partnerships and creative collaboration, and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to continue that work and support business and tourism in the county I love,” said Deane. “I understand the economic challenges Franklin County faces, and I am looking forward to working with our legislators to advocate on behalf of all those who work, live, and vacation in Franklin County.”
In 2019, Jessye was awarded the Chamber MVP Award for her work as an Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassador. The Franklin County Chamber of Commerce named Deane its first-ever Young Professional of the Year in 2020, and she was recognized as a member of BusinessWest’s 40 Under Forty 2021 class.
“As someone who’s engaged with numerous Chambers up and down the Valley as a business owner and as a nonprofit leader, I bring a widespread, community-minded perspective to this role. I am excited to add to the already-impressive Franklin County Chamber team and its Board of Directors as we launch a strategic planning process to refine the Chamber’s priorities both as a business collective and as a Regional Tourism Council,” says Deane, who presented the Board of Directors with a 14-page strategic planning proposal during the screening process.
“Having Jessye as the next Executive Director will mean the smoothest transition possible,” said Szynal, “and having such a well-qualified candidate rise from our Board of Directors is just incredible. Jessye is a wonder woman, the Chamber will be in excellent hands,” she added.
Deane and Szynal have begun planning what both say will be a smooth transition.