Nov. 18: Don Courtemanche, executive director of the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce

posted Dec 8, 2014, 11:30 PM by Amherst Club
President Roger Webb  called the meeting of the Amherst Club to order at noon on Tuesday, November 18th, 2014, and welcomed us all.

Roger noted that the lighting has been somewhat improved in our new dining-room, and there is now a coat-rack for us to use near the food serving tables.

Rachel Hare Mustin shared greetings from former member Janet Lussier, now happily living in North Carolina. She and her husband have a new house, but are still planning to build on more remote land they own in the mountains there.

Raffle:  Elsie Fetterman won the wine and Nancy Brose the $10.   


Docent-led tour of the current exhibit of Matisse drawings at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum on Friday, November 21st at 2:00 PM.  Free, donations welcome. Directions:  From route 116 south, turn left onto Park Street at the first stop light with the post office on the right. Park at the bottom of the hill next to the green houses. Let me know if you are interested so I can tell the museum how many are coming. Thanks.- Larry Siddall 549-0547 or


Wed. November 19th,  Classical Legacy Lecture James Hankins, Harvard University and General Editor of the I Tatti Renaissance Library: "The Virtue Politics of the Italian Humanists." 4:00 p.m.  Reading Room. Free and open to the public. No reservations required.

The Eric Carle Museum Picture Book Theatre, directed by Therese Brady Donohue, will be presented on Saturday Nov. 22 at 2 p.m. and Fri-Sat. Nov. 28-29 at 2 p.m. and 3p.m. Tickets available in advance at 413-658-1126.

Ruth Miller whetted our appetites with information on a brunch outing on Sunday, Feb. 8th, to the Griswold Inn, Essex CT. This is the oldest continuously operating inn in the country, open since the late eighteenth century in the quaint town of Essex. Ruth proposes a nearby concert after brunch. For more information, call her at 253-9855 or



Claude Tellier introduced our speaker, Don Courtemanche, executive director of the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce. Don took over his position in April, moving from Springfield where he ran the BID – Business Improvement District.  He and his wife and four rescue dogs still live in Springfield, in a large house which they fixed up, only to have it badly damaged by the tornado.  Starting life in Connecticut, Don first worked as town manager of New Britain, where he worked on raising the downtown from a condition of blight to a more vital situation. He is interested in town histories, and brings this interest with him to each of his locations.  He recently started a column in the Amherst Bulletin which will appear every other month.  He would love to live in Amherst, if he could afford it. He feels that mom and pop stores are vital to a town’s health, and urged the members to buy something from one of the smaller local stores during the holiday season.  He thinks that the newly proposed retail and residential complexes for downtown will be very important for Amherst’s success, although he does not believe that any more parking structures are yet needed for downtown.  For the Chamber, he hopes to involve young people including students as quasi-members, and to also involve retired business people in a new program he’s calling A+ Memberships, where their interest and knowledge may continue to promote the health of the community.

Your scribe,                                                                                                                                                    Linda Honan