Board of Directors

Michael Tesoro

Michael Tesoro lives in Windsor, MA (a northern Berkshire County town of 900 inhabitants) with his wife Robin, and two children Francesca and Nicholas, their dog Otto, and depending upon the time of year some 34 (+/-) chickens. Michael is passionate about expanding economic activity in the Berkshires and particularly expanding BerkShares’ presence in northern Berkshire County.

 

Michael is the Founder, Owner, and Chef of Ooma Tesoro’s, a specialty food company started in November 2009. Ooma Tesoro’s makes, markets and sells Ooma Tesoro’s marinara sauce (his grandmother’s recipe) throughout New England and New York in over 250 fine food stores, such as: Guido’s, Bizalions, Berkshire Organics, Berkshire Co-op, Wild Oats, LaBonne’s, Whole Foods Market, Wegmans and PriceChopper/Market32).

 

Michael has a broad and varied professional career. He started on the political campaign of Attorney General Joseph Lieberman for U.S. Senate in Connecticut and then served on his U.S. Senate staff for three years. Later, Michael lived and worked London, England; Kiel, Germany; Sydney, Australia, and Tanzania, Africa. He returned to the U.S. to serve as Managing Director of a strategic consulting firm Vogl International in Washington, DC. Michael also worked for a number of internet start-ups Outpost.com, Promotions.com, Thoughtbubble.com in New York. After 9/11, Michael joined ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports, as Director of Broadband and Interactive Television Sales. After moving to the Berkshires, he later served as a consultant to other media companies engaged in developing new business in broadband video and digital technologies, such as Turner Broadcasting, The Outdoor Life Network, Versus, and NBC sports.

 

Michael grew up in Sharon, Connecticut, and is a graduate of Indian Mountain School in Lakeville, CT, and Kent School in Kent, CT. He achieved his B.A. and M.A. from Drew University in Madison, NJ in Political Science and International Affairs. Michael played centerfield for the Drew University varsity baseball team. As an undergrad, Michael spent a semester at The United Nations in New York and The European Union in Brussels, Belgium. He wrote his Master’s thesis on the Maastricht Treaty and single currency for the European Union. He also participated in post-graduate work at The London School of Economics in London, England, and in the Advanced Studies Program at the Institut für Weltwirtschaft (IfW) [Institute for the World Economy] an economics research center and think tank, in Kiel, Germany.

Sierra Watson

Sierra King Watson was born and raised in Berkshire County. While still attending High School at Mount Everett, she started her career with Salisbury Bank and Trust (SBT) and began learning the dynamics of banking. She has since been with SBT for 8 years and served many different positions.

 

Sierra has participated in many community events, lending her skills and time while also building relationships throughout the business community. Many of her mentors and friends have inspired her to participate more in the public sphere, and she feels that serving on the board of BerkShares will be a great introduction to board service, and a way to help develop future changes to our community.

Susan Witt

Susan Witt is the Executive Director of the Schumacher Center for a New Economics, heir to the legacy programs of the E. F. Schumacher Society. She helped found the Schumacher Society in 1980 and led the development of its publication, library, seminar, and other educational programs.  She helped found the Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires in 1980 to create more affordable access to land for housing, farming, and small business development. In 2006 she co-founded BerkShares, and before that created and administered the SHARE micro-credit program, the precursor to BerkShares. A Rotarian since 1989, she was the first woman President of the Great Barrington Club.  She lives and works on Community Land Trust land in Egremont.

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