If you care about housing, you should be there!

Thursday, September 20th from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.  at the Colonial Theater in Pittsfield we will be joined by Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash, Senator Adam Hinds and many more to talk housing!  Our mission is to unite all under the common belief that a successful region has dynamic and diverse neighborhoods with a mix of housing opportunities, legislation that supports a well-balanced housing market, and protection of private property rights for all. Our Housing Summit seeks to open a dialog about the current state of our housing, pending legislation and community investment that can improve all facets of our region.

In 2017, the region’s housing sales topped $466 million, with a multiplier effect creating an additional $58.5 million of economic impact. The National Association of REALTORS reports that in Massachusetts, the real estate industry accounted for $89,488 million or 18.5% of the gross state product in 2015. That is a significant impact to our local economy, and having a community-wide conversation about this is critical for our future. As the voice for real estate in Berkshire County, we are excited to offer this opportunity.

Our agenda includes many different voices, talking about all aspects of housing that impacts our Berkshire neighborhoods: (More speakers added as the agenda is finalized!)

  • Secretary Jay Ashe: The Housing Economy / Housing Choice Initiative
  • Overview of Pending Housing Legislation
  • 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act
  • Berkshire Home Ownership Overview Amid Changing Demographics
  • Massachusetts Senator Adam Hinds: Infrastructure Impacts on Housing and Growth
  • Challenges & Opportunities In Housing: Panel Discussion: Some Topics May include:
    • Home Values Needed to Cover Costs of Local Government and Education
    • Property Value Impacts: What current initiatives will affect property values
    • Homeowners as stakeholders in countywide initiatives
    • Cultural institutions, Infrastructural Needs and Upgrades
    • Expansion of Condo and multifamily markets, development of excess land
    • New construction, perspective of developers, community solutions to challenges?
    • Local/state/federal grant and lending opportunities for homeowners, homebuilders
    • Older Housing Stock need for energy efficiency and general improvements
    • Economic Benefits of Mixed Use Developments
    • Local Zoning and Grant Opportunities
  • Presentation of the Berkshire Housing Hero Award
  • Presentation of the Berkshire Neighborhood Beautification Award
  • Realtor Wrap-Up: Take-a-ways/Action items, wrap up and thanks
  • Take the Stage: Guests invited to Networking / Interactive Displays as curtain rises
Jay Ash
MA Secretary of Housing and Economic Development

Secretary Ash is responsible for directing and executing Governor Charlie Baker’s agenda on housing and community development, job creation, business development, consumer affairs, and business regulation. Since joining the Baker-Polito Administration, Secretary Ash has prioritized efforts to grow jobs, help communities realize their economic development priorities, connect citizens to new economic opportunities, and build prosperity across Massachusetts.


Under Secretary Ash’s leadership, the Commonwealth has substantially increased its commitment to public infrastructure that unlocks economic development, to the revitalization of Brownfields, to workforce training equipment, and to the development and commercialization of emerging technologies. He has led efforts to increase affordable housing production, to redevelop and modernize public housing communities, and to substantially reduce the number of homeless families sheltered in motel rooms.

Adam Hinds
Massachusetts State Senator

State Senator Adam Hinds representing western Mass, assumed office in 2017 and represents the largest geographic territory in the Legislature.  He serves as the Senate chair of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development and the Senate vice-chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development & Emerging Technologies. Adam has been instrumental in bringing services and funding for infrastructure upgrades to the Berkshires.

He is a member of the powerful Senate Committee on Ways & Means as well as the following policy committees Higher Education; Housing; Mental Health, Substance Abuse & Recovery; and Intergovernmental Affairs.  Senator Hinds also serves as the Senate co-chair of the Rural Caucus, Gateway Cities, Regional Schools, Regional Transit Authority and Trails Caucuses.

Linda Tyer
Mayor, City of Pittsfield

Linda M. Tyer was inaugurated as Mayor of the City of Pittsfield in January 2016.  Her experience has been honed from her work in law firms, school systems, and city government.  Her elected roles in the City of Pittsfield included that of City Clerk and Ward 3 City Councilor.

During this period, Mayor Tyer served as a member of the Ordinances & Rules, Finance, Public Health and Safety; and Community Development Board. Mayor Tyer was also a founding member and past president of the Samuel Harrison Society in Pittsfield, and an alumna of the Leadership Institute for Public Policy and Impact (LIPPI).

Sandy Carroll
CEO Berkshire County Board of Realtors

Sandy Carroll's aim is to create an environment where Berkshire Realtors can thrive and the housing market is regulated and smooth running.

She oversees all facets of the database of properties for sale, manages thousands of hours of real estate education, industry events, and the development of latest industry news to keep Realtors up-to-date.  She works to create and maintain the standard contracts and forms used in our transactions, creates housing market updates, and manages a tech, transaction and complaint helpline.  Working with over a hundred volunteers, she coordinates efforts to make the housing market work in Berkshire County.

Joe Thompson, Mass MoCA
Founding Director. Director 1Berkshire

Joe Thompson spearheaded the creation of MASS MoCA.  His vision of MASS MoCA as an open laboratory for both artists and visitors to explore contemporary art has led to the creation of an institution unparalleled in this country.

He has overseen the development of the architectural program for the 13-acre campus of 19th-century factory buildings; articulated the institution's far-ranging program; and built the center's staff, board, and governing structure. Thompson's nearly twenty-year career in the arts spans museums and academia. He currently serves on the 1Berkshire Board of Directors, as well as several not-for-profit and profit boards throughout the county.

Tim Burke
Managing Director: Mill Town Capital

Tim is responsible for sourcing and leading start-up investments and partnering with entrepreneurs on concept exploration and company formation. He also works with community organizations to support Mill Town’s local involvement.

Prior to Mill Town, Tim spent seven years in the biotech industry in Cambridge, MA in a variety of finance, planning, and operational roles, most recently with Biogen. Tim began his career in the Financial Leadership Program at United Technologies Corporation.

Cortney Dupont
2018 President, Berkshire County board of Realtors

Cortney Dupont, a Realtor with Cohen & White Associates in Lenox was elected to led the Berkshire County Board of REALTORS in 2018 by her peers in the association.  She is relied upon in professional circles to be the one to open lines of communication, to make sure everyone is aware of issues and participating in a solution.

Cortney brings her talents and energy to the serving the industry as a whole by volunteering for Board of REALTORS. She was identified as a natural leader early on and has served in many volunteer capacities in the past several years, in addition to her extensive involvement in charitable projects in her southern Berkshire community.

Billy Keane
Board Member, 2018 Government Affairs Chair

Billy Keane, the broker-owner of Jan Perry Realty in Pittsfield was elected to serve on the Board of REALTORS Board and to chair the Government Affairs Committee.  His most notable service includes the MassDOT working group for Berkshire-NYC rail service, Tyler Street’s Better Block $15K grant and developing this Summit. 

He served as spokesperson about housing legislation in visits to Beacon Hill, serves on Pittsfield's Re-Zoning Steering Committee. He is a vocal and strong advocate for residents and business owners in the region and shares his love of Pittsfield with all.  He's also recognizable as a member of the Whiskey Treaty Roadshow.