Who We Are/What We Do
The purpose of the corporation is to stimulate a more vital rural economy, to maximize community control over our future economic destiny, and to expand opportunities for low and moderate income residents.
Who We Are
Headquartered in Greenfield, Massachusetts, the Franklin County Community Development Corporation (FCCDC) is an economic development non profit organization providing comprehensive business development education, access to capital, commercial office and manufacturing space plus home of the Western Massachusetts Food Processing Center.
The FCCDC was formed in 1979 to maximize community control over our future economic destiny. At that time, a number of manufacturing companies in the area were closing and moving elsewhere. The FCCDC has changed over the years as the needs of the community have changed. Yet our programs and activities are still geared toward stimulating a robust economy that closely fits our sense of place – our hills and valleys, and our towns and villages.
What We Do
The Franklin County Community Development Corporation assists small business owners with business development in business planning, lending, and commercial space. Our goal is to help entrepreneurs who live or work in Western Massachusetts and the North Quabbin to minimize their risks by connecting them to resources and information to maximize their success.
The Western MA Food Processing Center (Food Center) helps guide specialty food entrepreneurs from throughout the New England region along the path to launch and manufacture food products.
The FCCDC’s commercial properties provide a space for new entrepreneurs in their early years. Since 1989 the Venture Center has been incubating and growing businesses by offering commercial space. Today there are 8 current businesses with one anchor tenant.
The FCCDC team consists of experienced staff, industry expert consultants and dedicated volunteers. The Franklin County CDC is funded by program fees (rental income, loan payments and tuition), state and federal grants and private contributors.
The FCCDC can:
- assist with business planning for pre-venture and existing business owners.
- connect business owners with information and referrals
- provide financial support for working capital, new equipment, general business needs.
- provide commercial space for office or light manufacturing businesses
- arrange for commercial kitchen space for value added food production
Keep in touch!
Main #: 413-774-7204
John Waite, Executive Director
John Waite has been Executive Director of the Franklin County Community Development Corporation (FCCDC) since March 2000. John oversees all programs and finances of the organization. He has helped expand the Business Assistance Program, the Small Business Lending program, and construct and operate the Western Massachusetts Food Processing Center. Most recently he has helped expand the FCCDC’s work in Food Systems and Racial Equity and is leading the Strategic Planning process during the organization’s 40th Anniversary year.
Traci Talbert Gaynor
Racial Justice and Community Engagement Leader
Traci joined us as the Racial Justice Community Engagement Leader in late 2020.
Traci appreciates and values the significance of cultural competence as a tool for achieving success and making significant changes in our ever-changing world. "Take the time to discern, by listening to the individuals that surround you and, asking significant questions, before constructing a conclusion."
Traci has spent the last five years facilitating presentations on diversity and cultural awareness in various organizations, incorporating customer service skills as a strategic initiative to develop a team and grow a business. Traci is an adjunct at Cambridge College and Bay Path University. She is teaching Business Management, Project Managment, Diversity in the Workplace, Business Ethics, Leadership Models and the Capstone Research Project.
Amy Shapiro, Business Development Director
Amy Shapiro has been the Business Assistance Director at the FCCDC since 2001.
Amy has an MBA and owned and operated a family business for many years. She is a seasoned business owner, business consultant and instructor skilled in entrepreneurial training, business management, advising and strategic planning. She has experience working with businesses, communities, non-profit organizations, arts & culture, trade associations and young people to promote programs, conduct outreach and provide classroom and one-on-one training. Strengths include client recruitment, counseling, teaching and course design. She has strong knowledge of local and national business trends, and the ability to collaborate with a diverse blend of professionals, business leaders, instructors and students.
Chris Janke, Business Assistance Coordinator
Christopher Janke is a poet, artist, educator, and entrepreneur. He brings a skepticism of the market and a passion for independent creativity, business, and local control to his new position at the CDC.
He believes in the value of small-scale enterprise as a way to push against the corporatization and financialization of daily life in the 21st century. In addition to nearly two decades of entrepreneurial experience in Franklin County, he teaches writing, art, and financial management at UMass, Springfield College, and other schools in the region. In poems and art installations, Janke explores the connection between mind and body in the ways that words connect to and interact with the physical world. Chris joined us in late 2020.
Alan Singer, Lending Director
Alan Singer has been the Lending Director at the FCCDC since 2003. Alan has both an undergraduate degree in Economics and an MBA with an accounting concentration. He is also formally credit trained by a major commercial bank and has worked in the private sector in various capacities both managing and underwriting commercial loans to businesses both large and small. Alan manages all aspects of the FCCDC $3.5Million lending program. Alan works closely with all clients seeking financing. He focuses on assisting clients with their financials to prepare for a bank loan or a financing from a non-traditional lender like the FCCDC.
Rebecca Busansky, PV Grows Investment Fund Manager
Rebecca Busansky is the Program Manager for the PVGrows Investment Fund (PVGIF). PVGIF provides financing and technical assistance to farm and food entrepreneurs located primarily in western Massachusetts through community investments. She has worked for PVGrows since 2013, and joined the FCCDC team in 2015 to launch the PVGrows Investment Fund, with a focus on developing and maintaining relationships with local food system borrowers and community investors. She has an undergraduate degree from Brown University and has worked in community economic development for more than 25 years.
Arthur Hasselkorn, Credit Analyst
Arthur Haselkorn is the Credit Analyst reporting to Alan Singer, Business Lending Director. In that capacity supporting all aspects of lending from initial interview to collection and analysis of data and ultimate decision making. Then following with loan structure, documentation and monitoring of ongoing relationships. Background includes both Bachelor’s and Masters degrees in business along with extensive experience in all aspects of lending both on behalf of banks and commercial finance lenders. Working at FCCDC to help grow and strengthen the employment base of Franklin County.
Liz Buxton, Director of Operations at the WMFPC
Liz Buxton has been the Director of Operations of the Western MA Food Processing Center (WMFPC) since August of 2013. Liz has over 30 years of management experience in food service, food production and food safety. She has held positions in many facets of food production such as restaurants, business and industry food service, college food service, and K-12 food service. Liz holds certificates in Better Process Control School, HACCP Plan development, Juice HACCP, FSPCA Preventative Controls for Human Food , Serv-Safe and OSHA 10 and 30(anticipated July 2020) .She works directly with food entrepreneurs to scale up and make their processes commercial ready and with local farms to develop value added products from their crops.
Kate Minifie, Food Business Manager
Kate Minifie is the Food Business Manager for the Western MA Food Processing Center (FPC). Kate has worked across many sectors of the local food system, including on farms, in restaurants and most recently, as the Farm to School Program Manager for a southern Vermont non-profit organization and food hub. At the FPC, Kate is the first point of contact for clients hoping to make a specialty food product in the facility. In addition, she coordinates product sourcing and sales for the Valley Vegetables program, a line of frozen local veggies sold to schools and institutions. Kate holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health and strives to apply this lens to her work at the FPC in order to build a more resilient food system that is accessible to all.
Judy Scherer, Operations Director
Judy Scherer, the Director of Operations at the FCCDC, has been here since 2005. She is responsible for IT and maintenance of efficient office operations for the FCCDC and Venture Center. She brings many years of varied work experiences to the job. Judy coordinates training activities, manages data collection and reporting for programs.
Jackie Spooner, Business Development Assistant
Jackie Spooner has worked at the Franklin County CDC since 2010 when she was first hired as an intern. She now holds the title of Business Development Assistant which entails a myriad of responsibilities including data entry, QuickBooks accounting, collecting receivables along with other front office duties.
Helen Perham, Development and Communications Manager
Helen Perham is the Development and Communications Manager at the FCCDC. Helen has led marketing and communications projects at organizations of various sizes across the state of Massachusetts. At the FCCDC Helen focuses primarily on marketing, communications and fundraising. Helen is the main contact for the organization’s story-telling, information sharing and brainstorming! Helen holds BA/MA Degrees in International Development and Social Change and a BA in Studio Art. In her free time, Helen enjoys making art, reading good novels and spending time with her family and friends.
FCCDC Board of Directors
The Franklin County CDC is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors elected annually at our Annual Meeting. Board members represent the members of the CDC from throughout Franklin County. Board members appreciate hearing from CDC members. To speak with any Board member, please contact the CDC office and we will be glad to put you touch with the appropriate person.
We’re looking for additional community members to join our board! If you are interested in becoming a board member, please contact John Waite.
Back row: A.J. Bresciano, Andrea Nathanson, Rachel Stoler, Matt Allen (retired 2021), Darren Gale
Front row: Claire Chang, Cheryl L. Dukes, Tom Ewing
Not pictured: Margaret Christie
Our Current Board:
Andrea Nathanson, Chairperson, Joined 2014
Companions and Homemakers, Inc.
Claire Chang, Vice Chairperson, Joined 2016
Solar Store of Greenfield
Margaret Christie, Clerk, Joined 2014
Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture
A.J. Bresciano, Treasurer, Joined 2011
Greenfield Savings Bank
Cheryl L. Dukes, Joined 2018
UMASS College of Nursing
Tom Ewing, Joined 2018
Ewing Controls (former owner)
Darren Gale, Joined 2008
Innovative Design Concepts
Rachel Stoler, Joined 2018
Franklin Regional Council of Governments
Annual Reports and Audited Financials
To request additional Annual Reports or Financial Statements please call 413-774-7204. Note that files are in PDF format.
Contact the Franklin County Community Development Corporation
324 Wells St
Phone: (413) 774-7204
or email John Waite for more information.
Careers at the FCCDC
The FCCDC is a small but mighty nonprofit! All positions are currently filled.