Meet Our Staff

Peter Jessop

Peter Jessop

Interim Executive Director
413.586.5855 ext. 190
Kelly Rose

Kelly Rose

Fiscal Director
413.586.5855 ext. 150
Laura Baker

Laura Baker

Real Estate Development Director
413.586.5855 ext. 100
Donna Cabana

Donna Cabana

Homeownership Coordinator
413.586.5855 ext. 180
Jessica Allan

Jessica Allan

Real Estate Project Manager
413.586.5855 ext. 210
Joshua Swift

Joshua Swift

Office Manager | Administrative Assistant
413.586.5855 ext. 170

2021 Board Members

Madeline Weaver Blanchette – President  – Maddy is a principal at Foster and Blanchette, a Holyoke law firm specializing in civil liberties and indigent defense. Having grown up in Northampton in the 1970s and early 1980s, she returned with her husband Peter and children in 2007. She has been on the board since 2016, after coming to understand Valley’s critical role in supporting local housing affordability and promoting equitable community sustainability during the development of the Lumber Yard in her neighborhood.

Kim Alston – Kim Alston is a Program & Communications Manager, and Muslim Student Advisor in Smith College’s Center for Religious and Spiritual Life. She has served the College for 11 years, guiding students on their spiritual path and working on issues of equity and social justice. She advises multiple student secular and religious organizations, including Al Iman, the Muslim student organization. She has been on the board since 2018.

Richard Bauman –  Richard Bauman is an economist who has worked for both large and small companies as well as national and state governments. He’s a baseball fan who volunteers as a coach and umpire, as well as working with youth, seniors, and in housing. He’s also a theater performer and loves to travel. He has been on the board since 2008.

 

Greg Richane – Vice President – Greg specializes in network engagement, group facilitation, communication, public policy, and event planning. His experience includes campaigns and issue advocacy efforts focused on economic and social justice. He hails originally from Western New York, and came to the Pioneer Valley after time in New York City, San Francisco, and Providence. He lives in Easthampton with his wife Amy and son Sam. He has been on the board since 2016.

Amy Fyden – Amy Fyden has been on the board and finance committee since 2012. She lives in Hadley with her husband and 2 teenage daughters. She works for bankESB as an Assistant Vice President, Branch Officer for the Hadley Branch. She also volunteers in supporting the town of Hadley as the chair of the Finance Committee, Capital Planning Member, CPA member, and a member of the Housing & Economic committee.

Dorothy Nemetz – Dorothy is a non-practicing attorney, a graduate of Hampshire College and Rutgers University School of Law. She is the Treasurer of the Board of Directors of the Northampton Center for the Arts and a member of the Board of Directors of the Northampton Community Arts Trust. Dorothy is also a member of the board of directors of the Northampton Education Foundation. She served Congregation B’nai Israel in Northampton in many capacities, including the president, fundraising chair, and personnel chair.

Pat Byrnes – Clerk  – Pat Byrnes has served on the board since 2010. She is a housing professional who has worked in both the private and public sectors to address the continuing need for safe affordable housing for anyone who needs it. A native of Springfield MA, Pat now lives in Northampton.

Carol Walker – Carol Walker is retired from a 40+ year career in affordable housing and human services. Her expertise is in grant writing, marketing, and communications.  She lives in Hatfield and has a particular interest in rural issues.

Maureen Borg – Maureen is a Real Estate Broker Associate working with Delap Real Estate in Northampton.  She has been active in real estate since 2008 and prior to that was in engineering and construction.  She started volunteering with Valley in 2011 out of concern for the ever-increasing cost of local housing and particularly how it impacts low-moderate income families.  She has 2 adult children and 2 grandchildren in the Valley and in her free time, enjoys participating in the local Ballroom/Latin/Contra dance scene. She has been a member of the Board since 2018.

Theresa LaValley – Theresa LaValley – Mensah has been on the board at Valley Community Development for 6 years. Theresa has lived and raised a family in Hampshire County for 30 years. She worked for the Town of Amherst as the Registrar of the Amherst Leisure Services and Supplemental Department, as well as the Hadley Housing Authority as the Executive Assistant. Theresa enjoys volunteering in her community and throughout the US. Gardening, International Cooking, and Pan-African dance are among her interests.

Richard AbbottTreasurer Rich is a retired certified public accountant. He had his own tax and accounting practice in Easthampton for 30 years. During that period he worked with various non-profit organizations throughout Western Massachusetts. He is a director and on the audit committee of Easthampton Savings Bank and the Hometown Financial Group. He is also the chairperson of the Open Space Committee in the Town of Hatfield where he lives with his wife Ellen. Rich is a former Peace Corps Volunteer. Rich has been on the board of Valley CDC for more than 6 years.

Angelique Baker – Angelique lives in Easthampton where she is the Chair of the Commission on Disability and a member of the Healthy Youth Coalition. She is also an active volunteer at Safe Passage, UMass’s Center for Women and Community, and the Southern Hilltown Domestic Violence Task Force. A disabled veteran, Angelique is also a full-time mother and part-time graduate student. In her free time, she enjoys hip hop and Latin dance.

William Fontes – Mr. Fontes is Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending for bankESB, focusing on helping members of the business community with commercial and industrial and commercial real estate financing.  He is also responsible for the Bank’s affordable housing initiatives. He has been in commercial banking for more than 30 years, with 20 years spent serving the needs of small and medium-sized businesses within Hampshire County.  Before joining bankESB, Mr. Fontes was with Bank of Western Massachusetts (now Peoples United Bank) and Shawmut Bank of Hampshire County. A resident of South Hadley, he has been a board member of the Valley Community Development Corporation for the 6 years, a Director of Promoting Downtown Amherst (now Amherst Business Improvement District), as well as the South Hadley Baseball Association.

 

The Board of Directors has the following committees: Executive, Audit/Finance, Governance, Real Estate, Resource Development, Racial Equity and Justice Committee, as well as ad-hoc committees as needed.

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