December 20, 2022
If you've been busy or have just plain procrastinated in your holiday shopping, here are some quick last minute gift ideas you can pick up immediately in person this week from Franklin County retailers.
Take Franklin County with you wherever you go.
Available at the Chamber Office
79 Old Main Street, Deerfield.
We accept cash/check/cards.
Greenfield: Food supply shortages are leaving local food pantry shelves empty, but Greenfield Cooperative Bank President Tony Worden and Merrill Gagne, Founder of Gagne Wealth Management in Greenfield, are working to change that.
Jodi Falk, Director of Rachel’s Table, a food rescue program of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts, initially contacted Worden and Gagne to help purchase meat to stock local pantry fridges. As a result of their generosity, Rachel’s Table purchased 708lbs of chicken, ground beef, and pork for local pantries to distribute over the holiday season. In addition, Greenfield Cooperative Bank and Rachel’s Table partnered to create a non-perishable food drive to help the Franklin County Community Meals Program, Community Action’s Center for Self-Reliance, Salvation Army Greenfield, and the Stone Soup Café’s Free Store. The Franklin County YMCA joined the team, and the Franklin County community-wide “canned-do” food drive was born.
“Several factors are at work here,” states Jodi Falk, “one, hunger in Massachusetts is double what it was pre-pandemic, moving from 8.2% to 16.4%, two, inflation makes purchasing food challenging for people as well as agencies, and three, there are some supply chain issues that have made the typical avenues where agencies get food a little more complicated. Tony and Merrill stepping up so generously, and also encouraging their businesses to help out, especially before the holidays, makes a huge difference to our community.”
Now, Falk and Jessye Deane, Executive Director of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, are calling on other Franklin County businesses and organizations to join the effort.
“The need is great, but our generosity is greater,’ said Deane. “The collaboration between businesses and nonprofits is so uniquely Franklin County. When there’s a need, we all come together to meet it- the responsiveness of Gagne Wealth Management, Greenfield Cooperative Bank, and Rachel’s Table represents the best of Franklin County.”
Rachel’s Table is making it easy for others to get involved, by providing boxes (if needed) and offering donation pick up and delivery. A wish list of non-perishable items can be found either on www.franklincc.org or www.rachelstablepv.org.
Organizations interested in helping or hosting their own food drive can contact Rachel’s Table at 413-733-0084. Individuals can drop off donated goods at the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce offices at 79 Old Main Street in Deerfield.
NON-PERISHABLE FOOD WISHLIST
100% juice boxes
Bottled or Canned Beverages
Chickpea, Lentil, Pea, or other protein snacks
Fruit jerky, 100% juice fruit snacks, Dried fruit
Shelf-stable Milk (any size)
Low sugar/sugar free, gluten free, low sodium, and vegan alternatives
Other Grains- Brown Rice, Quinoa, etc.
Pastas- elbow macaroni, spaghetti, egg noodles, etc. Could also use gluten free or bean pastas!
Root vegetables or squash
Tuna or Chicken Salad pouches or lunch kits
Veggie Straws, Root Chips, or other dehydrated vegetables
Jodi Falk, PhD, Director, Rachel’s Table
Jessye Deane, Executive Director, Franklin County Chamber of Commerce
Discover Shelburne Falls video is a tribute to all the merchants and businesses who weatherd two years of Covid, then a major construction project in the village. Now, storefronts are full and better than ever. Become a Champion of Shopping Small, because dollars spent at your favorite small business can add up, making for a more vibrant community.
In April, we debuted the redesign of our Franklin County tourism brand, and now we're thrilled to share our new Franklin County Chamber of Commerce logo!
As the county's Regional Tourism Council and your Chamber of Commerce, our charge is to build community and connect the dots for Franklin County businesses and visitors. Our new logo serves as a visual reminder that our Chamber does just that for ALL 26 of our Franklin County communities.
Our service area is big, but so is our vision. We have so much to accomplish, and we are extremely grateful to have earned your support as partners in that work.
We hope you like our new look and the direction we're headed. It's full speed ahead for the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce.
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.
We are getting the new Visitors Information Center in Historic Deerfield ready to open at the end of April. Do you love Franklin County and want to share it with visitors? See below for more details.
VISITOR INFORMATION CENTER
VOLUNTEER JOB DESCRIPTION
The Visitor Information Center Volunteer will be an integral member of the Franklin County Regional Tourism Council’s team by being a first point of contact for visitors to the area and offering valuable information on what the region has to offer. In this position, volunteers will provide accurate information on area resources, directions, accommodations, restaurants, and special events.
The Franklin County Visitor Center is located in the heart of Historic Deerfield at 79 Old Main Street and serves 26 Towns in Franklin County and also carries official state tourism information as well as booklets from other Regional Tourism Councils across the state.
• Meet and greet visitors
• Answer visitor questions related to Franklin County resources, attractions, events, accommodations, and other related topics.
• Use brochures/maps/handouts or google to answer questions about the area
• Request visitors sing up for our mailing list and include email address and city and state
• Assist in restocking brochure shelves and keep space tidy and clean
• Work cash register for souvenir purchases
• Assist in opening and closing Visitor Center
• Direct visitors to bathrooms
• Be friendly, outgoing, and patient
• Have a welcoming and professional demeanor and appearance
• Have knowledge of Franklin County and be able and willing to learn about new resources and attractions
• Enjoys working with the public
• Excellent customer service
• Works well both as a team and independently
• General assistance
• Able to communicate information
• Working with people
The Visitor Center will be open Saturday and Sunday 10am – 4:30pm and Monday – Friday 8:30 - 4:30. Volunteer shifts most needed Fridays - Sundays.
Shifts will be from 10am - 1pm and 1pm – 5pm. Minimum committment of one shift per month.
The Franklin County Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to keeping our local dollars local and to support that mission, we are proud to announce the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce Gift Card program.
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
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