Board of Directors

Gillette Conner

Gillette Conner is passionate about building bridges between private, public and civil sectors to address both international and domestic development challenges. She is an integrative and holistic thinker with extensive experience in program strategy, design and management with focused expertise in stakeholder engagement processes, building alliances and spearheading and designing development partnerships. She works for the World Bank Group/International Finance Corporation where she is a Senior Knowledge Officer and is Senior Knowledge Officer in the Finance and Markets Global Practice. She has a diverse background with subject matter expertise in HIV/AIDS and women’s health, knowledge management and community and stakeholder engagement. She has worked across multiple sectors including financial services, oil and gas, mining, light manufacturing, technology and the hospitality industries engaging with companies, non-profit organizations and civil society across sub-Saharan Africa, the Russian Federation, the Caribbean, the Pacific Islands and the US.

Gillette is committed to local and regional development, and although relatively new to the Berkshires, she currently serves as a Commissioner for the Berkshire County Commission on the Status of Women, is a member with the Berkshire Business and Professional Women’s Association, and volunteers her time and expertise with Berkshire Starts. She also works with Halcyon Incubator in Washington, DC, where she has served as a mentor and in other capacities since the first class of Fellows in the fall of 2014. She received her MBA with a focus on Finance and International Business from Georgetown University in Washington, DC and a BA with cum laude distinction in Psychology and French from Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

Tim Geller

Tim Geller works in community development and has most recently worked for the Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire (CDCSB). Before joining CDCSB, Tim was Portfolio Manager of the Western Massachusetts Enterprise Fund, and was Founder and President of the Berkshire Interfaith Community Investment Fund. He has a Master’s Degree in Community Economic Development from the University of Southern New Hampshire, as well as degrees in music from the Cleveland Institute of Music, Southern Methodist University and Princeton University.He has served on the Board of BerkShares since 2012 and also serves on the Board of Directors of the Stockbridge Land Trust, the Great Barrington Land Conservancy, and HousingUs, a tri-state affordable housing advocacy and development organization.

Wendy Healey, co-chair

 

Wendy Healey has been in the banking and financial technology business for over 20 years. She has been active with local chambers of commerce her entire career, and has served on the board of three of them as well as serving as the President of the Avon Chamber of Commerce. She currently serves as the Treasurer of WAM Theatre. Wendy has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Connecticut where she majored in English Literature, as well as a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Connecticut. Wendy lives in an 1832 home on an old dairy farm in Colebrook, CT with her partner Scott and their 3 rescue dogs.

 

 

John Lewis

John Lewis is CEO of R3SET Enterprises, which includes Team R3SET, a networking and consulting service for entrepreneurs, and cooperative and community organizations. Another subsidiary is SP3AK EASY Studio, a multimedia video and podcast production studio in West Stockbridge. He is also active as a volunteer in several community organizations, including serving on the Berkshire Blueprint 2.0 Advisory Panel of the 1Berkshire economic development organization; the Leadership Advisory Board of Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll), an entrepreneurial accelerator, and Economic Development and Justice Chair of the NAACP Berkshire County Branch. He is chairman of the Black Economic Council (BEC) and recently facilitated the BEC Success Idea Jam with 75 critical community leaders and community stakeholders from all segments of the Berkshire Black Community.

 

Dave Rejeski

Dave Rejeski is presently a visiting scholar at the Environmental Law Institute in Washington DC where his work focuses on better understanding the environment and social impacts of the digital economy, including artificial intelligence and sharing platforms.  Previously, he directed the Science, Technology, and Innovation Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center, an independent think tank, working on nanotechnology, biotechnology, 3-D printing, technology assessment, citizen science, and serious games, helping create the national budget game (The Fiscal Ship) and Cards Against Calamity, a game on community resilience.  He spent six years in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Council on Environmental Quality where he helped develop and implement the National Environmental Technology Strategy and the National Recycling Strategy. 

 

He is a passionate fundraiser and has received support from numerous foundations (Sloan, Pew, and MacArthur), government agencies (the National Science Foundation, EPA, NASA, NOAA, and the Department of Agriculture), corporations (IBM and AT&T), as well as foreign entities (the European Union and Finnish Research Ministry).   He has graduate degrees in public administration and environmental design from Harvard and Yale Universities, received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, and was a visiting scholar at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis in Vienna. He designs and builds furniture and is a member of the Berkshire Woodworkers Guild.  Dave lives in South Egremont.

Jo Valens

Jo Valens has been a resident of Berkshire County for the past twenty-four years.  She recently retired from over thirty years of teaching, the last eighteen of which were as an Early Childhood teacher at the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School.  The mother of a grown son, Jo lives in Great Barrington with her husband, sculptor and filmmaker Michael Thomas.  She has been an enthusiastic user of Berkshires since they were first available.

 

 

Susan Witt, treasurer

Susan Witt is the Executive Director of the Schumacher Center for a New Economics, which she co-founded in 1980 with Bob Swann. She has led the development of the Center’s publication, library, seminar, and other educational programs.  She incorporated 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.