The City of Pittsfield officially announced Michael Coakley as the city’s new Business Development Manager at a press conference Monday, Jan. 29 at City Hall. The role was specially created, in conjunction with the Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corporation (PERC) and the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority (PEDA), to advance the city’s economic development efforts.
Coakley, of Lenox, will start on Monday, Feb. 5. He has a career in sales and marketing that spans more than 30 years working at Fortune 500 companies and marketing firms across the northeast region. In his previous role, he served as Vice President, Account Services, for Winstanley Partners in Lenox where he led the agency’s new business development efforts, as well as managed and implemented the strategic marketing plans for clients, such as Spalding, Polar Beverages, and Smith & Wesson. Coakley is a Williams College alumnus and earned an MBA from Northeastern University.
Coakley, who will represent the city, PEDA, and PERC, is ready to get started in his new role. He will report to the Mayor’s Economic Development Council, which is composed of Mayor Tyer, PEDA Chairman Mick Callahan and PERC President Jay Anderson. Community Development Director Deanna Ruffer serves as an ex-officio member of the Council.
His office will be on the second floor of City Hall.
Coakley will be working with a variety of stakeholders to develop new marketing initiatives that will promote capital investment, job growth and economic development for Pittsfield. Also, he will be meeting with parties who have received funding over the past few years from PERC and the city, as well as those who have been interested in locating at the William Stanley Business Park.
"As a Berkshire County native and longtime resident, I look forward to working with the Economic Development Council to facilitate the growth of Pittsfield’s economic base by assisting local companies with their expansion plans, and by attracting and recruiting high-potential enterprises from outside the city,” said Coakley, who is also affiliated with several local organizations. “I look forward to accelerating the positive momentum already happening in the city.”
Mayor Linda Tyer said the filling of this position meets a crucial step in Pittsfield’s economic revitalization plan, which furthers the goal of creating a collaborative environment that fosters business development in the city.
“I am absolutely thrilled to welcome Michael Coakley as the new Business Development Manager for the City of Pittsfield. Michael brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and valuable connections that will help to open up new and viable pathways for business investment in Pittsfield,” said Mayor Tyer. “Moreover, his selection demonstrates the city’s full and unwavering commitment to economic development initiatives in Pittsfield.”
Mayor Tyer, Callahan and Anderson collaboratively developed the job description, which was then reviewed by the members of the PEDA and PERC boards. The position is funded through an interagency agreement between the City of Pittsfield, PEDA and PERC.
“Improving and expanding our economic base is vital for the future health of our community. On behalf of the PEDA Board of Directors, we are pleased to welcome Michael Coakley, as the leader of our city’s economic team. Pittsfield now has an experienced, “go-to-person,” to assist our current businesses with their plans to grow and prosper,” Callahan said. “We have a great story to tell, and we know that Mike will be an effective advocate leading targeted and comprehensive strategies to encourage and welcome new business investments in Pittsfield.”
“PERC is thrilled to be involved in making real, foundational changes in economic development for the City. We have been very impressed with the quality of candidates and we think Michael’s resume speaks volumes to that,” said Anderson.
The city received 29 applications for the position, with many of the applicants having direct experience in business development. Several candidates were either from Berkshire County or the Pioneer Valley area. There were also candidates from as far away as the state of Washington and North Carolina.
The candidate screening committee, composed of PEDA and PERC members, interviewed seven candidates for the position.
Committee members included: Pam Green (PEDA), Doug Crane (PEDA), Christina Wynn (PEDA), Mark McKenna (PERC), and Christine Burke (PERC). A subgroup of the candidate screening committee was selected to conduct the first round of interviews with the city’s Personnel Director Michael Taylor and Ruffer.
For more information, please contact Roberta McCulloch-Dews, Director of Administrative Services, Mayor’s Office, 413-499-9322.