Our Team

Franklin County Community Development Staff


photo of John WaiteJohn Waite, Executive DirectorJohn 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.
John has a Business degree from University of Massachusetts and a Masters degree from Columbia University. He has over 35 years of community economic development experience, including Peace Corps in Burkina Faso and Uzbekistan, CARE/UNDP in Uganda, Community Organization in Brooklyn working with Refugee entrepreneurs. He is on many boards and committees at the local, regional and national organizations.
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Iris Alma, Business Assistance ManagerIris Alma joined FCCDC in 2024 as a Business Assistance Manager. She brings with her more than 10 years of varied accounting experience to provide confidential counseling and technical assistance to individuals and companies: from those starting off with a business idea for the first time in their life, to seasoned business owners facing a specific challenge in their established business, and everyone in between. Iris is a first-generation immigrant and has worked in one of the big four accounting firms, a boutique CPA firm, and as an analyst in investment management. She was also a small business owner and personally experienced the highs and lows that come with managing one’s own enterprise. Iris completed BA in Sociology from Marlboro College, holds an MBA in International Business, and was a Fulbright Scholar in 2017. Iris speaks six languages, but not all equally well, and enjoys visiting farms, learning about the lived experiences of others, supporting business owners, cross-cultural competency, and economic development.413-774-7204, X107
Liz Buxton, Food Processing Center Operations DirectorLiz 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. 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. 413-774-7204, X110
Arthur Haselkorn, Credit AnalystArthur Haselkorn is the Credit Analyst reporting to Glen Ohlund, Lending Program Director. He supports all aspects of lending, from his initial interview, to collection and analysis of data, and ultimate decision making. He then follows with loan structure, documentation, and monitoring of ongoing relationships. His background includes both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in business, along with extensive experience in all aspects of lending both on behalf of banks and commercial finance lenders. He’s working at FCCDC to help grow and strengthen the employment base of Franklin County.413-774-7204, X115
Scott LaRochelle, Administrative AssistantScott has been providing administrative support since the early 90s at a variety of organizations. His background comes from working with production factories, doctor’s offices, daycares, and most recently a local union as their office manager. Scott has worked with, and alongside of, many nonprofits over the years. He did physical labor, office work, fundraising, and pretty much anything needed to get to the agency’s goal. Scott has done volunteer work since 2001 and understands the need for people to get involved in helping others. Scott joined the organization in late 2021.413-774-7204, X100
Kate Lawless, Communications DirectorCommunications Director Kate strives to make sure that people understand the impact that the FCCDC and its programs have on the communities they serve. Kate’s background is in journalism; she worked for print outlets covering beats including corporate finance, Brooklyn neighborhoods, and New England politics before transitioning to marketing and communications roles at independent schools. She has also held leadership positions in nonprofits serving family farmers and local businesses. She is passionate about strengthening local economies, increasing equity, and creating community. She holds a B.A. in English from SUNY Buffalo, an M.A. in journalism from New York University, and an M.A. in sustainable landscape planning and design from the Conway School. She joined the Franklin County CDC in 2022.413-774-7204, X114
Myra Marcellin, Massachusetts Agriculture Innovation Center (MAAIC) Financial Business AdvisorMyra Marcellin is the Massachusetts Agriculture Innovation Center (MAAIC) Financial Business Advisor at the Franklin County CDC (FCCDC ). In this role Myra provides business technical assistance to farmers and value-added food producers across the state of Massachusetts. Myra has more than 25 years of working with New England farmers as Vice-President and Senior Loan Officer at Farm Credit East (FCE), supporting small and mid-size farmers in realizing their business goals and helping young, beginning farmers launch their businesses. She most recently served as the Executive Director at the Carrot Project, advancing their mission of breaking down financial barriers in the agriculture and food sectors and increasing access to capital. Myra is passionate about serving agricultural communities by bolstering local food economies, creating thriving farm operations, and building a more racially diverse, equitable, and just food system. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors at CISA and is a Trustee to the Eastern States Exposition representing the State of Massachusetts.413-774-7204, x108
Shannon Martineau, Finance and Administration DirectorShannon Martineau is the Director of Finance and Administration at the FCCDC. A finance leader with over fifteen years’ experience working in retail banking and the nonprofit community, Shannon leads the financial and administrative functions. She comes to work excited to make a difference in the lives of others by utilizing her experience with financial accounting, tax law, grant writing, small business consulting and organizational leadership skills. Shannon holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from the Isenberg School of Management. In her free time, Shannon enjoys New England's four seasons by spending time outdoors with her family and friends.413-774-7204, X106
Kate Minifie, Food Entrepreneurship Program ManagerKate Minifie is the Food Entrepreneurship Program Manager for the Western MA Food Processing Center. Kate has worked across many sectors of the local food system, including on farms, in restaurants and in the nonprofit sector as a farm to school and local food system advocate. At the Food Processing Center, Kate is the first point of contact for clients making a specialty food product in the facility. She helps entrepreneurs navigate systems for bringing a product to market, including recipe development, basic food science, food safety, licensing and regulatory navigation, distribution and general business planning. Kate is well versed in helping food entrepreneurs launch sustainable businesses and is passionate about supporting local farms and other value-added producers. 413-774-7204, X104
Glen Ohlund, Lending Program DirectorGlen Ohlund has been the Business Lending Director at the FCCDC since 2022. He has worked in community economic development and business finance for more than 30 years. Glen is excited to be lending in western Massachusetts and is committed to sustainable development that adds value to businesses, builds community, and benefits people who may have challenges in access to capital and wealth creation. Glen holds a B.S. in business management and an M.S. in community economic development, both obtained at Southern New Hampshire University. He also is certified as an Economic Development Finance Professional through the National Development Council. Glen serves on the board of a nonprofit focused on land access and farm tenure, as well as on the Loan Committee of a regional Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). He lives with his artist-wife Tracy Vernon in Montague. In his free time, he enjoys cycling and fly fishing, although not at the same time.413-774-7204, X105
Judy Scherer, Operations DirectorJudy 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. She also brings Amelio, our feline receptionist, to provide his warm welcome to visitors. Judy coordinates training activities, manages data collection and reporting for programs. 413-774-7204, X111
Hannah Sobel, Program Manager, PVGrows Investment Fund and Massachusetts Food TrustHannah Sobel is the Program Manager, PVGrows Investment Fund and Massachusetts Food Trust. In that role, she works with farms and retail food businesses to secure funding and technical assistance to strengthen local agricultural economies and improve the nutrition access of low-income communities. Prior to joining FCCDC in 2023, Hannah worked throughout the food system, from farming and urban agriculture to municipal food truck policy and nonprofit meals programs. She has an M.A. in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning and an M.S. in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition from Tufts University. She is excited to draw from her food systems and community development experiences in order to help create equitable, sustainable, and healthy communities throughout the Connecticut River Valley.413-774-7204, x112
Traci Talbert, Racial Justice and Community Engagement LeaderTraci Talbert joined the FCCDC 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," she says.

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 faculty member at Cambridge College and Bay Path University. She is teaching Business Management, Project Management, Diversity in the Workplace, Business Ethics, Leadership Models, and the Capstone Research Project.
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woman smilingTricia Wancko, Massachusetts Agriculture Innovation Center DirectorTricia Wancko is the Massachusetts Agriculture Innovation Center (MAIC) Director at the FCCDC, providing technical assistance and coordinating a network of partners across Massachusetts that help farms launch and scale value-added product ventures safely, legally, and sustainably. She joined the FCCDC in 2022. Tricia has more than 15 years of experience working at national nonprofits, with local farm and food businesses, and in hospitality. She's an entrepreneur at heart and is passionate about cultivating robust food cultures, resilient local economies, and regional food systems. Tricia holds a B.S. in communications from Boston University and an M.A. in food studies, along with an M.B.A. from Chatham University’s Falk School of Sustainability.413-774-7204, X116
Business Advisors413-774-7204
Photo of Amy ShapiroAmy Shapiro
Jack Clemente
Max Fripp
Western Mass Food Processing Center
Scott Savoie
Operations and Production Floor Supervisor
Jason Noyes
Warehouse Lead/Production Support
Evan Manning
Packaging Lead/Warehouse and Production Support
Carlos Cardenales
Production Worker
And our long-term temp crew from Working Fields: Juan, Joy, and Louis