Shelburne Falls Village Task Force

Tuesday, May 3, 6:30 pm until 12:30 pm
Via Zoom

Shelburne Falls Village Task Force Update

The purpose of the Task Force is to support actions that sustain a vibrant Shelburne Falls Village Center with a thriving business community. The Task Force is a volunteer, short-term group. The first meeting of the Task Force will be on May 3, 2022 at 6:30 pm over Zoom

The meeting will focus on making decisions on “housekeeping” (i.e. how the Task Force will operate) and discussing how to improve communications among the village business community and stakeholders. The meeting is open to the public. However, at the meeting, the discussion will be limited to Task Force members, unless the Task Force would like to hear from other participants. To register in advance for this meeting and receive the Zoom link, go to:

The following table is the list of Task Force members and the current vacant seat. Brief candidate statements provided by each Task Force member is below the table.

Task Force Seat Categories

Task Force Member

Village Business

Missy Elie, Rethreads Consignment Store

Village Business

Ann McCormack, Water Street Barn and Studio

Village Business

Ellen Purinton, Wellington Shields & Co LLC

Village Business

Holly Sonntag Ramirez, The Blue Rock Restaurant and Bar

Village Business

Crystal Stinson, Bridge Street Bazaar

Public Official - Buckland

- Vacant -

Public Official - Shelburne

Andrew Baker, Shelburne Select Board

Resident - Buckland

Jon Wyman, Jon Michael Wyman Design + Planning LLC, Buckland Planning Board, FRCOG Planning Board

Resident - Buckland

Deborah Yaffee, EZ Tai Chi for Health, EZ Tai Chi for Health, Riverside Healing Arts and the Little Cooking School

Resident - Shelburne

Brianne Benness, resident & home-based business working in online media & communications

Resident - Shelburne

Stefan Topolski, MD, Trailside Health

Village Business Seats (5)

Name, Affiliation: Missy Elie, Rethreads Consignment Store.

Statement: Business owner, Event planning back ground, worked many years in town, village lifer, was instrumental in helping plan for Moonlight Magic in 2021. Helped start a Business Networking gathering for area business owners and managers. I believe in this town and want to see the businesses succeed while holding on to the character of the town.

Name, Affiliation: Ann McCormack, Water Street Barn and Studio.

Statement: My cozy little performance venue, Water Street Barn -and more recently, my Lawn - has presented over 70 local musicians in concert, hosted Piti Theatre Co, and offered ukulele and piano lessons from local musicians. My aim has been to share my space/s with local artists and the Hilltown communities. I have a strong background in music and theatre work - performing, producing, directing, working backstage, & teaching. In the past few years, my tech communication skills have grown as well, hosting shows live on zoom and social media. I would like to offer the Shelburne Falls Task Force - and The Village - whatever creative and practical skills I have developed during the last 4 years here in Shelburne Falls & over many years supporting artists, students, producing & directing events in NYC.

Name, Affiliation: Ellen Purinton, Wellington Shields & Co LLC.

Statement: Multi-generational local. Grew up on Main St, attended local schools, and delivered newspapers as my first “real” job. I bring a broad variety of experience. Past owner (1980’s-90’s) of Shelburne Falls Businesses – Village Variety and Good Spirits. Renovation of multiple commercial and residential properties. Current business presence - federally licensed financial planner/wealth manager. I have a strong interest in having Shelburne Falls retain its charm and vitality while being able to financially support and retain local business.

Name, Affiliation: Holly Sonntag Ramirez, The Blue Rock Restaurant and Bar.

Statement: I run a small business in town and want to help improve getting information to citizens and business owners.

Name, Affiliation: Crystal Stinson, Bridge Street Bazaar.

Statement: The Bridge Street Bazaar promotes a thriving Village with independent business supported by a creative, healthy local community and tourists looking for the quintessential New England experience.

Buckland Public Official Seat (1)

(Seat vacant)

Shelburne Public Official Seat (1)

Name, Affiliation: Andrew Baker, Shelburne Select Board.

Statement: I would like to continue supporting the revitalization of our Shelburne Falls business district and the businesses in our region. I'd also like to help develop a successor organization to the now defunct Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association that can represent businesses and residents in the Shelburne Falls area and which can partner with the towns of Shelburne and Buckland on economic development projects to benefit our communities. However, if there is someone else who would like to serve as the Shelburne Public Official on this project I would like to withdraw my candidacy in favor of that person - I'd like to make room for more voices on this project and have a pretty full plate right now. I am only stepping up to this if needed.

Buckland Resident Seats (2)

Name, Affiliation: Jon Wyman, Jon Michael Wyman Design + Planning LLC, Buckland Planning Board, FRCOG Planning Board

Statement: I have been involved on many local projects in Shelburne Falls and am committed to giving my time and knowledge to our towns. Projects include Greenfield Coop Bank building, Trinity Church Access for All project, Shelburne Historical Society Access project, North River Glass building, Shelburne Police Station, Buckland Police Station and 4 Conway Street apartments, Buckland. My home based design business is located at 100 North Street, Buckland. I am a former Mohawk School District vice chair of the school committee (12 years) and past president of the Shelburne Falls Kiwanis Club (5 years). I live and work locally and have a great interest in our communities future.

Name, Affiliation: Deborah Yaffee, EZ Tai Chi for Health, EZ Tai Chi for Health, Riverside Healing Arts and the Little Cooking School

Statement: I have been a resident and business owner in the village for 40 years. I’ve created and/or nurtured to health many community events (Frog and Flower Parade, Riverside Revels, Riverfest, healing clinics, free thanksgiving meal, classes and workshops, labyrinth at St. Joseph church) and know the work involved in getting the word out. I am a natural networker who has actively supported local businesses over the years. My husband and I owned and managed the much beloved Riverside Restaurant. Our Riverside Healing Arts Center and the Little Cooking School were drowned by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. I am most interested in seeing more communication around what is happening here.

Shelburne Resident Seats (2)

Name, Affiliation: Brianne Benness

Statement: I’m a Shelburne resident with a home-based business working in online media & communications, and I also have an immune disorder that puts me at high risk for complications from Covid. I’m very motivated to make sure the task force focuses on building an accessible hybrid future so our local economy actively includes elders and disabled people, and so we can make resilient plans so that our events won’t need to be scaled back or cancelled completely during potential future surges. I have a lot of experience planning events and working with community stakeholders to develop online communication and marketing plans, as well as building a resource base for future task force members, local businesses or other stakeholders who coordinate with the task force in future.

Name, Affiliation: Stefan Topolski, MD, Trailside Health

Statement: I have lived and worked in Shelburne for twenty years with a strong reputation for outspoken honesty and hard work in caring for our community, fighting for the rights and dignity of all residents of our hill towns, providing care to all people regardless of backgrounds, and holding businesspeople accountable to the communities they serve with fair and competitive business dealings. I have no joy in power and little patience in wasting time and I desire neither while offering to help if we need more people on this task force.

Posted to: Selectboard