Director leaves Shelburne Falls-area business association


Recorder Staff
Published: 1/29/2018 11:08:22 PM

SHELBURNE FALLS — Carmela Lanza-Weil, executive director of the Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association will be leaving her post Friday.

In a letter to business association members, President John Baldwin announced that Lanza-Weil was stepping down to return to her earlier work, as a consultant in the performing arts field.

“She has led our organization with thoughtfulness, commitment and hard work during a challenging time of reorganization and self-examination,” Baldwin said of Lanza-Weil. “Although we are saddened by this news, we wish Carmela our best as she pursues the next chapter in her career.”

“I am proud of the work GSFABA has accomplished in the last three years, to promote the business community in the Hilltowns,” Lanza-Weil said, when reached for a comment. “I’m ready to find some new challenges and the time to pursue my first love — the performing arts. To that end, I’m directing Mohawk (Trail Regional High School)’s spring musical, ‘Little Shop of Horrors,’” she said.

Lanza-Weil of Buckland became the business association’s interim director during the summer of 2015 and stepped into the full-time executive director’s job in October 2015, when Mary Vilbon left to take a job on Cape Cod.

Lanza-Weil said her happiest accomplishments include starting the “Business After Hours” program, providing networking opportunities for local companies, expanding marketing programs and the West County Arts and Culture, a nonprofit organization to promote arts and culture. She said the new organization also helps artists by serving as a fiscal sponsor and providing technical assistance.

Lanza-Weil said the organization worked with artist Phillis Labanowski and The Art Garden to create the Hilltown Arts and Thriving Community Happenings (HATCH), which paid for 10 new community art projects last year.

Also, the business association has streamlined its administrative processes and redesigned its website — making it easier for members to update their listings and pay their dues.

Baldwin said the business association is currently revising and finishing a strategic plan, based on recent meetings, that best reflects the needs of business association members.

“Our main focus is to create more value for our members,” Baldwin said. “I think our focus will be more marketing and less on events.”

Baldwin said they will be looking for a new executive director this spring.


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