Hello, Friend of the Franklin County CDC

Since our last newsletter, we have received sad news about the death of two dear friends of the Franklin County CDC. Stephen Kulik passed away on December 18 and Ann Hamilton on January 16. Both of them are known for caring deeply about the people of our region and working for much of their lives to advocate for our rural towns and small businesses.

Among other things, Steve was instrumental in helping get the Western MA Food Processing Center funded at the beginning and he stayed a strong supporter to help us expand and serve more farms and food businesses. He also served on the Massachusetts Food Policy Council for many years and was Vice-Chair when he retired as State Representative. I was honored to be selected by the Council to take his spot as Vice-Chair when he left.

Ann was an unwavering supporter of small local businesses and was always promoting the services of the FCCDC. She was one of the first people I met when starting as Executive Director in 2000 and was a great mentor. I turned her to when we needed help with a project, or we had a businessperson with a difficult situation. She was always generous with her time. Ann was always helping people make connections, many of which grew into interesting projects and businesses.

We will miss Steve and Ann, and we are so glad they were part of our community. And in signing off I’ll use the words at the end of Ann’s obituary: “She would also want you to shop locally, support the arts and live music, protect our planet, embrace your community and do as much as you can for your family friends and neighbors.”

In Community,
John Waite
Executive Director