Well my retirement date has finally arrived. Wow, after 20 years as Executive Director and after serving Valley for over 22 years, it is time to start another journey.
I am proud of the work I have accomplished with such dedicated staff, Board, committee members, stakeholders, and other volunteers over all those years to make the agency as strong and effective as it is now.
Since I first announced my retirement last fall, Valley has already attained some major additional accomplishments:
- Sergeant House, a 31 unit small studio building at 82 Bridge Street in Northampton, received its Certificate of Occupancy last week and there will be some very happy returning, as well as new tenants, moving into their new homes by the end of July
- Awarded $130,000 in grants to 24 small businesses in response to the Covid crisis in collaboration with the City of Northampton
- 33 apartments of senior housing in Sunderland sponsored by Rural Development Inc. (RDI) was recently funded; Valley acts as its project manager
- Our Homeownership Program, with Amherst CPA funds, will work with low income buyers to purchase homes with substantial financial assistance
- Valley is in the process of obtaining zoning for our 28 small studio housing in Amherst
Of course there is always more to do. If you haven't already met Jane Loechler, Valley's new Executive Director, I hope you will reach out to welcome her. Jane is already working with staff and board to help our neighbors achieve more stable lives through affordable rental housing, homeownership and small business development.
It is hard to say goodbye. I met many of you as colleagues and as I'm leaving realize how many lasting friendships I've developed here. The work of Valley, and community development work in general, is very near and dear to me and so I expect I'll see many of you around as we as a community work to create more affordable housing, and assist low income first time homebuyers, homeowners and small businesses make smart decisions that can improve their financial wealth. See you around the Valley!