Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce

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Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce
Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce Logo.png
TypeAdvocacy group
FocusBusiness advocacy
Coordinates42°22′32.3″N 72°31′14.1″W / 42.375639°N 72.520583°W / 42.375639; -72.520583Coordinates: 42°22′32.3″N 72°31′14.1″W / 42.375639°N 72.520583°W / 42.375639; -72.520583
Area served
Amherst, Hadley, Shutesbury, Leverett, Pelham, Sunderland, and Belchertown
MethodBusiness networking
Media attention
Political lobbying
Key people
Don Courtemanche, Executive Director
WebsiteOfficial Website of Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce

The Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce is the local chamber of commerce for portions of Hampshire and Franklin counties within the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts. The chamber represents the business needs of over 600 businesses and 4,200 employees in the area.[citation needed]

The Amherst Area Chamber is considered to be the one of the most powerful business organizations in Western Massachusetts.

Executive Committee

Lynn Gray, President General Manager, Hampshire Mall Pyramid Management Group, LLC

Michael Gay, Vice President Banking Center Manager, Amherst PeoplesBank

Robin Brown, Interim-Treasurer Director of Sales Inn on Boltwood

Maura Guzik, Secretary Vice President Commercial Loan Officer Greenfield Northampton Cooperative Bank

Nancy Buffone Associate Vice Chancellor for University Relations University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Sean Cleary Owner Amherst Copy & Designworks

Heidi Flanders Owner and Principle Designer Integrity Development and Construction, Inc.

Board of Directors

Jim Brassord Chief of Campus Operations Amherst College

Elizabeth Craun Director of Facilities and Business Operations Hampshire College

Alex Laguerra Sierra, CAPS Director of Property Management Amherst Innovative Living

Kathleen Plante Relationship Builder Business West

Kishore Parmar Vice President Pioneer Valley Hotel Group

Beth Pearson Owner Pearson Wallace Insurance, LLC

Steven Prothers Project Manager Amherst Landscape & Design Associates, A MountainView Company

Hannah Rechtschaffen Director of Placemaking W.D. Cowls, Inc.

Barry Roberts Owner EV Realty Trust

Aelan B. Tierney, AIA, LEED AP Principal Kuhn Riddle Architects

Sherri Willey Project Coordinator Hampshire Hospitality Group

Chamber model[edit]

The Amherst Area Chamber is supported by members' dues and its own fundraising activities. Membership is open to anyone and dues are based upon a sliding scale based on the number of employees. The Chamber is a partner organization with the Greater Northampton Chamber and Greater Easthampton Chamber in the formation and management of the Hampshire County Regional Tourism Council.

The Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce is divided into Councils, with each Council being an advocate for different interests of the members or responsible for the hosting of various chamber events throughout the year.

  • Amherst Future
Amherst Future is a group that assists in developing congruence among local economic development projects and the Town of Amherst’s Master Planning Document.[1] This advocacy group seeks to stimulate the commercial tax base through economic development while protecting its recreational areas and open space.
  • Ambassadors Committee
  • Annual Dinner
  • Golf Tournament
  • Government Affairs
  • Margarita Madness
  • Merry Maple
  • Program
  • Promotion
  • Taste of Amherst

Member benefits[edit]

There are many benefits that businesses can access once they become members. They are in the areas of marketing, advertising, educational support, ribbon cutting ceremonies, referrals, networking, business advocacy, special discounts and group buying power.[2]


The Amherst Area Chamber supported the ban on disposable food and drink containers made from expanded polystyrene (commonly called Styrofoam) beginning on January 1, 2014 in the town of Amherst. The chamber hoped that prices for alternative containers would go down for local restaurants affected businesses as paper-based containers become more popular.[3]


The annual Taste of Amherst is one of the most popular events that the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce hosts. It draws over 20,000 people[4] to eat at over 20 local restaurants that set up tents on the Amherst town common. There are also bounce houses and face painting for children and a beer tent for adults. The Taste of Amherst has had a large effort in the past few years to "green up the event". All of the plates and silverware are made of compostable materials. There are three stations where patrons bring their trash to be sorted into recycling, compost, and waste.

Example members[edit]

  • AEIOU Occupational & Urgent Healthcare
  • Alan Hurwitz Associates
  • Amethyst Farm
  • Amherst College
  • Berkshire Gas
  • Elements Hot Tub Spa
  • Emily Dickinson Museum
  • Fine Interior Painting
  • Ford Gillen Architects
  • Hilltown Tree and Garden
  • Jean Lukens, LICSW
  • Law Office of Greta LaMountain Biagi
  • Lincoln Real Estate
  • Marney Electrical Services
  • Modern Memoirs Private Publishing
  • Moira Clingman Design
  • Northeast Solar
  • Off The Wall Games
  • Osteo Naturals
  • Stakeholders Capital
  • The Loose Goose Cafe
  • Thomas A Warger Consulting
  • Traditional Health First
  • Valley Nutritional Counseling
  • Valley Generators
  • Western Massachusetts Electric Company
  • Wheatberry Bakery & Cafe
  • Whirl Wind Farm Kennel

Example legislative members[edit]


  1. ^ "Master Plan". Retrieved 2012-08-24.
  2. ^ "Member Benefits". Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  3. ^ Merzbach, Scott (November 23, 2012). "Amherst bans Styrofoam containers". Amherst Bulletin. Archived from the original on January 17, 2013. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
  4. ^ "Taste of Amherst gets underway Thursday". 12 June 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-24.

External links[edit]