For Political, Economic and Social Discourse


To be the premier organization in Berkshire County focusing on promoting and disseminating the free flow and exchange of ideas and civil discourse on matters political, economic, and social affecting the human condition, with particular emphasis on identifying the effects of same on Berkshire County.

Samuel Adams

Samuel Adams


The selection of the names "Adams" and "Anthony" was done to highlight and honor two political and historic individuals associated with the Town of Adams. On the one hand, Samuel Adams, one of the most important Revolutionary War figures and the town's name sake. On the other hand, Susan B. Anthony, this town's favorite daughter and possibly the most important female in the history of the United States. If you look at the logo for the Center you will note the portrait style likenesses of both appearing in the same. The purpose of the Center is to identify and illucidate political, economic and social issues of import to the well-being of the community. Given the role of these two individuals in this country's development and the fact this forum is based in Adams, it seemed appropriate to have the it identified with these two historic figures.

Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony



To organize and present to the public programs of public discourse in pursuit of the mission; these will be arranged at convenient times and places to afford the public access to the ideas and information of the speakers and programs chosen by the A-AC.

To sponsor and finance, through donations freely given by the public and other appropriate means, two scholarships, each in the amount of $2,000, to be awarded annually, one to a female and one to a male student from the then graduating class of the Adams-Cheshire Hoosac Valley Regional High School, who exhibit a dedication to and a talent for public advocacy in any of its myriad forms. Each such award shall be known as the Adams-Anthony Award for Public Advocacy.

To undertake any other programs or initiatives deemed necessary or useful to fulfill the financial and organizational requirements needed to sustain the A-Ac.



William F. Kolis Jr. Esq.

President of the Adams-Anthony Center, working in the legal field for 35 years.

Mr. Kolis was the speaker at the first presentation of 2015 - Adams' Economic Prospects and Emcee for the fourth presentation on the Downtown Plan for growth.

President of the Adams-Anthony Center and an Adams native. He graduated from HVRHS in 1973. He holds a BA (cum laude) in History and Political Science (1977), as well as a Juris Doctorate degree (1980) from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He currently holds a senior status position with the law firm of Wickens, Herzer, Panza, Cook & Batista (Avon, Ohio) in its litigation department where he has practiced for the last 35 years in the areas of media law, First Amendment rights, intellectual property, environmental law, and all forms of complex and commercial litigation

Web Links
The Mill Children Exhibit
Firehouse Cafe


Steve Melito.

A-AC Co-ordinator focusing on manufacturing, material science and homeland security.   He is the founder and owner of Thunderbolt Business Services.

Mr. Melito was the Emcee for the third presentation on Niche Manufacturing and Jobs in Adams.

Steve Melito is an award-winning technical writer specializing in manufacturing, material science, and homeland security.  Thunderbolt Business Services is a content development agency whose clients include small-to-medium manufacturers across North America. 

Before starting his own business, Steve was the Manager of Engineering Editorial Content at GlobalSpec, an industrial directory and specialized search engine. There, he won awards for profit acceleration, on-line community building, and social media excellence.

Steve's interest in manufacturing includes 3D printing, medical technology, and the defense industrial base. He is a technical writer for FuzeHub, an economic development initiative in New York State; an editorial advisor to, a dedicated platform for India’s 3D printing community; and a regular contributor to Combat & Casualty Care and Security & Border Protection magazines.

Steve holds a B.A. from Colgate University and an M.A. from Southern Methodist University. He lives in Adams with his wife Stephanie and their two boys, both of whom attend the town’s public schools and neither of whom are likely to remain in the Adams unless its economy grows. 

Web Links

AAC Speakers.jpg

Gail Kolis Sellers

A-AC Co-ordinator focusing on the Arts, economic development and public outreach.  

Ms. Sellers was the Emcee for the second presentation - Impact of the Arts on Adams.

Born and raised in Adams. Has a BFA from Kansas City Art Institute with a major in Industrial Design and minor in Ceramics. Master’s in Education from Cleveland State University. Taught Art for 30 years in the middle school and worked on curriculum and project development in the arts for both children and adults. Co-owner of River Hill Pottery for the past 35 years. Their pottery has been in numerous books. In 2008 they moved their studio and Gallery to the Eclipse Mill in North Adams.

Web Links
The Mill Children Exhibit


Stephen Stenson MBA, RIBA

A-AC Co-ordinator focusing on real estate development, architecture, urban regeneration, planning and design with a 30 year background as an Architect and Developer.

Mr. Stenson was the speaker at the first presentation of 2015 - Adams' Economic Prospects and fourth presentation on the Downtown Plan for growth. 

Stephen Stenson of redpm is the Developer of the Mausert Block in Adams and has been successfully developing numerous buildings in North Berkshires since 2006.  He is an active member of the Downtown Adams Group.

Previously he worked 25 years as an Architect for architecture firms in London and Boston.  His $1B+ architectural portfolio includes four skyscrapers in New York City (2)Boston and Abu Dhabi as well as retail, restaurant, broadcasting, theatre, and Trial Court projects.  He is a member of the Royal Institute of British ArchitectsBBC Alumni and formerly the IOA and AIA (International Associate).  In addition to his Architectural qualifications he has degrees in AcousticsMarketing and a Masters in Business Administration.

Web Links


Richard Tavelli

A-AC volunteer focusing on economic development; background in entrepreneurial business development and corporate strategies & M & A transactions.  

Mr. Tavelli was the Emcee for the first presentation on - Adams' Economic Prospects and speaker at the second, third and fourth presentations. 

Born and raised in North Adams. Work experience: ten years experience in international mergers and acquisitions for middle market transactions, private equity strategy advisory work; twelve years professional experience managing the turnaround of distressed early stage entrepreneurial ventures; four years professional counseling of MBA students and graduates in entrepreneurial startups; twelve years managing corporate energy and environmental projects in multiple venues across the USA. Education: Drury High School Class of 1969, Williams College BA, 1973, Yale School of Management MBA 1979.Retired back to the Berkshires in November,2014; now focusing on facilitating progress through regional cooperation and volunteer initiatives.

Web Links



Richard Alcombright

A life-long resident of the City, Richard J. Alcombright elected in November 2009, is the 25th Mayor of the City of North Adams currently serving in his fourth term.
After graduating from McCann Technical High School, Alcombright studied accounting and received a diploma from St. Joseph College.  He also is a graduate of the National Association of Mutual Savings Banks School of Banking at Fairfield University.  Alcombright rose to the rank of Senior Vice President of Retail Banking for Hoosac Bank and Williamstown Savings Bank.  His 36 year career included working in various positions and levels of management in customer service, lending, accounting, operations, technology, and product development.

Alcombright has been involved with many community service organizations over the years.  He served on the McCann School Committee for 17 years, North Adams City Council for 9 years and is Chair of the North Adams School Committee.  Alcombright has become a passionate advocate for those with mental health and substance abuse issues.  He serves on the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition’s Rx/Heroin Abuse Work Group, the Massachusetts Municipal Associations Opiate Abuse Task Force and the North Adams Systems of Care Committee.


Jeremiah Ames

Mr. Ames was a speaker at the third presentation of 2015 - Niche Manufacturing and jobs in Adams.

Jeremiah Ames is the principal of Hoosac Valley Middle & High School (HVMHS), which serves students from grades 6 to 12 and is part of the Adams Cheshire Regional School District (ACRSD).


Jason Bassi

Business Development Manager for the Silicones Division of GW Plastics, which is headquartered in Bethel, Vermont.

Mr. Bassi was a speaker at the third presentation of 2015 - Niche Manufacturing and jobs in Adams.  

Jason Bassi was born and raised in Adams and attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he graduated with a B.S. in Plant and Soil Science with a Concentration in Business Management.  He then continued at UMass and received a degree in Occupational Education. 

GW Plastics is a worldwide leader in Medical Device and Automotive contract manufacturing and injection molding with seven global manufacturing locations. 

Jason’s diverse background includes working as Golf Course Superintendent and Teacher of Agricultural Education and Industrial Arts.  Over the past 15 years, he’s succeeded at various sales roles focused on product development, engineering and manufacturing. Jason has worked for and represented leading 3D printing companies such as Stratasys and Z Corporation with a focus on end-use commercial applications. He’s also provided manufacturing solutions to Fortune 500 companies such as Johnson and Johnson, Medtronic, Boeing, Keurig, EMC, Nike, Abbott Laboratories, Baxter International, L-3 Communications and Boston Scientific. 

Jason is married with two children and resides in Newbury, NH.  He enjoys playing basketball, fly fishing, golfing, hiking, and writing music.  In addition, he’s the Assistant Troop leader for his son’s Boy Scouts of America troop, and also serves on a variety of committees for his church.  


Richard Blanchard

Selectman, Town of Adams

Rick was first elected to the Board of Selectmen in 2013.  
He served as Chairman during the last term, and was re-elected to another 3-year term in May 2016.

Mr. Blanchard has been a Town Meeting Member since 2009 and served with the U.S. Army in Iraq.


Jim Brosnan

Mr. Brosnan was a speaker at the third presentation of 2015 - Niche Manufacturing and jobs in Adams.

Jim Brosnan is the Superintendent of Schools for the Northern Berkshire Vocational School District, which serves students from Adams, North Adams, Williamstown, Cheshire, Lanesborough, Clarksburg, Florida, Savoy, and Monroe. During the 2014 – 2015 school year, McCann Technical High School in North Adams had an enrollment of 500 students. Post-secondary programs at McCann include medical assisting and surgical technology.


Gailanne Cariddi

MA State Representative, First Berkshire District

Consisting of Adams; Cheshire; Clarksburg; Florida; Hancock; Lanesborough; New Ashford; North Adams; Williamstown.  Vice Chair, Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies

  • BS, Management, Bentley University·         Representative,

  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts House of Representatives, 2010-present

  • Council Member, North Adams City Council.

  • Member, North Adams Democratic City Com.

  • Employee, Cariddi Sales Company and Real Estate, 1976-present


John Hockridge

Chairman, Berkshire County Education Task Force

John Hockridge is Chair of the Berkshire County Education Task Force, and Chair of Massachusetts Association of School Committees’ Division VI, which represents Berkshire County. He is a member of the North Adams School Committee, in his 15th year of serving on the committee. John is owner of New England Weather Associates, an independent weather consulting service, and serves as parish administrator of All Saints Episcopal Church and Congregation Beth Israel in North Adams. 


Nathan Girard

Nathan Girard is an accomplished Massachusetts licensed real estate broker, real estate developer, and real estate investor. Besides doing his own developments Nathan has sold over $25 Million in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. When Nathan is not busy developing, selling, managing and owning property he also co-owns a gastropub restaurant in Adams, called the Adams Ale House. Of course what accomplishments can be listed without included why he does it. He is married to his beautiful wife Migdeliz and has two amazing boys Elliot & Maverick who make it all possible for him to wake up every day and better their lives. Nathan enjoys fishing, hiking, golfing, spending time with his boys, loves all Boston sports teams, and spending time with his family.

AAC Speakers (1).jpg

Keith Girouard

Keith Girouard has been a senior business advisor with the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network since December 2007. He is also the regional director for the office. Prior to joining the MSBDC, Keith operated his own business consulting firm, and served as an adjunct faculty instructor in Business Management at Berkshire Community College. He also held the position of executive director for the Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire, Inc. Keith received his Bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Connecticut and a Master of Science in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Springfield College with a specialty in Strategic and Organizational Change and Development. In addition to his many published articles and business training initiatives, Keith has been actively involved in various community organizations including Business Network International, the Berkshire Film and Media Arts Commission, Berkshire Connect, Toastmasters International and the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce.


Mark Kline

Mr. Kline was a speaker at the third presentation of 2015 - Niche Manufacturing and jobs in Adams.

Mark Kline was a classroom teacher for over 25 years. His experience as a teacher have served him well in recent position, which include Technology Integration Specialist, Technology Coordinator, and now Director of Technology for Adams-Cheshire Regional School District (ACRSD) .In addition to Education and Technology, Mark enjoys building and remodeling, landscaping, and hockey.


George Le Maitre

Mr. George LeMaitre: Artist Sculptor/Contractor: BFA is in sculpture bronze casting from Colorado State University-graduate studies in ceramics at San Francisco Art Institute SF- painting at University of California Berkeley. Work experience: Production Manager Rocky Mountain Art Casting Loveland Co.- Director of 3D displays Record Factory SF Ca.-General Contractor in the State of California -Project Manager for the renovation of a 1913  grade school to the Dini Theater Yerington NV.- board member/president of Yerington Theater for the Arts- curator of the Courthouse Gallery- board member/ president of The Dini Theater- board member of the City of  Yerington Planning Department-Owner/Operator KSVL radio- board member Nevada State Tourism representing Rural Nevada- General Contractor in the State of Ma.- Currently developing the 131/2 Grove St. project.


Anthony Mazzucco

Town Administrator for the Town of Adams, with a background in political science and public administration.

Mr. Mazzucco was a speaker at the first and second presentations of 2015 - Adams' Economic Prospects and the Impact of the Arts on Adams.

Born in Boston and raised in Randolph, MA Tony serves as the Town administrator of the Town of Adams. As the town administrator Tony is responsible for managing the towns operations on a day to day basis for the Selectboard. Tony previously served as assistant city manager in Caribou, ME and has a background in operations management in the private sector.  Tony earned a BA in political science and a master’s in public administration from Bridgewater State


Francie Anne Riley

Ms. Riley was a speaker at the second presentation of 2015 on the opportunities for Arts related development in Adams and the fourth presentation - Downtown Plan for Growth.

Ms. Riley has worked in the New York theater industry for over 25 years, back stage, on stage, and front of house.  Her work in voice overs led to a national ad, an audio book, and umpteen recorded books for the blind, medical and technical narrations.  She is a member of NAPO, the National Association of Professional Organizers.  Her painted floor cloths are featured in the two best-selling books on the subject.  Now, located in Adams she has found her new design muse, Mt. Greylock

AAC Speakers (2).jpg

Eric Rudd

Mr. Rudd was the keynote speaker at the second presentation of 2015 on the regional perspectives of the Impact of the Arts on Adams.

Eric Rudd: well-known sculptor/mixed media artist. Within one of the largest private art studios in the United States, he works with new technological processes and materials including robotics, theme park rides, industrial spray polyurethanes and blow-molded polycarbonates. Eric developed several historic properties in North Adams, including the Eclipse Mill, Beaver Mill, Flatiron, 21 High St.; He repurposed the United Methodist Church and the Universalist-Unitarian Church into the Berkshire Artist Museum.

He is the author of the novels Maple Syrup and Fish Sauce, Sayulita Mariposa, Sayulita Butterfly and The Slums of Heaven (publishing dates t/b/a); books geared for artists including The Art Studio/Loft Manual - For Ambitious Artists and Creators, The Art World Dream – Alternative Strategies for Working Artists, and Strategies for Serious Older Artists; the play Wet Paint; and among his children’s books, The Day Something Strange Happened in Sayulita


Charles P. O'Brien

President and CEO of Adams Community Bank, working in public accounting and banking industries for 35 years.

Mr. O'Brien was a speaker at the first presentation of 2015 - Adams' Economic Prospects. 

President and CEO of Adams Community Bank since 2002. He has worked in public accounting and banking industries for 35 years beginning in 1980. Mr. O’Brien has been active on a number of boards, including the Northern Berkshire United Way, the Adams Lions Club, Berkshire Housing Development Corp., and the Berkshire Visitors Bureau. He is past president of both the United Way and the Lions Club. Mr. O’Brien also serves on the boards/committees of the American Bankers Association and the Massachusetts Bankers Association where he was recently elected as Treasurer. A 1980 graduate of Pace University with a BBA in accounting, he lives in Williamstown with his wife, Lisa.