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Berkshire Housing President and CEO Elton Ogden speaks at the opening of the Highland Woods senior housing project in Williamstown in 2019.

Berkshire Housing Announces Leadership Transition

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Eileen Peltier, Executive Director of Downstreet Housing & Community Development, is one of three leads in creating and...

Posted by Change The Story VT on Tuesday, May 5, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The board of directors of Berkshire Housing Development Corp. has announced that Eileen Peltier, currently of Montpelier, Vt., has been selected as its new president and chief executive officer effective April 20.
Elton Ogden, who has led the non-profit since 2006, will continue to oversee completion of Berkshire Housing's major real estate development projects and serve in an advisory capacity through September.
Peltier brings 25 years of experience in non-profit leadership with a focus on housing, community development, and healthcare and was selected by the board at the conclusion of a national search effort.
Over the past 13 years, she has been executive director of Downstreet Housing and Community Development in Central Vermont ( During her tenure, Downstreet has completed several transformative projects including two in Vermont's capital city of Montpelier.
The projects included the rehabilitation of an historic downtown building that had been vacant for 85 years and a long-awaited initiative to create a multimodal transportation hub and affordable housing.
"Eileen has been the city's "go-to" person for housing solutions," Montepelier City Manager Bill Frazier said. "She is a fantastic collaborator and advisor on development issues and community needs. Eileen also brings years of experience bringing together community partners at the intersection of health and housing to ensure all our neighbors have the opportunity to have a home and to thrive."
Peltier said she is looking forward to the opportunity to continue her work in the Berkshires.
"My passion for social and economic justice has inspired my work throughout my career in non-profit leadership within healthcare and housing," Peltier said. "I am inspired by the opportunity to bring my experience, compassion, and commitment to Berkshire Housing."
The chair of the Berkshire Housing board said it is confident Peltier can continue and expand on Ogden's work.
"We feel fortunate to have attracted a leader of Eileen's caliber and qualifications," Michael Ferry said. "She brings a wealth of programming and development experience as Berkshire Housing looks to build upon the successes of Elton and his team.  Eileen has been a champion in developing housing and providing support services to residents to further housing stability."
Under Ogden's leadership, Berkshire Housing has expanded its housing assistance programs to assist more households, completed development of six affordable rental housing projects totaling 282 units, formed a unique partnership with Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority to transform the Berkshire Housing Consumer Education Center into a seamless and comprehensive assessment-driven service delivery system for people struggling with housing instability and poverty, and expanded its portfolio of managed properties. 
This year Berkshire Housing is celebrating 50 years of mission-driven work to improve lives in the Berkshires by expanding housing opportunities, carrying out community development projects and providing high quality property management services. 
Berkshire Housing's current activities include two new affordable rental housing projects under construction with a total of 96 units, administering over $1 million in COVID-19 relief funding targeted to families and individuals at risk of losing their housing as a result of the pandemic, administration of 600 state and federal rental housing vouchers and providing professional management services to 25 properties with over 800 units comprised of rental communities, condominiums and commercial properties. 

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Letter: Playing Ukraine National Anthem at Tanglewood on Parade Was Bad Idea

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

As recently reported by The Eagle in a piece by Clarence Fanto, at Tanglewood on Parade, the Ukrainian national anthem was played. Many in the shed and the lawn stood up in support. While I would certainly concede that Russia is the worst of the two countries in terms of human rights abuses, Ukraine has many despicable aspects to it of which I am highly confident almost all the people standing were ignorant.

Boston Pops conductor Thomas Wilkins said, "The Boston Pops and the Boston Symphony stands with the people of Ukraine, and salutes all who stand for democracy and against injustice, and are willing to sacrifice everything for their freedom." Ironically, Mr. Wilkins also made reference to the rights of the Ukrainian people to have self-determination.

Let me explain why I used the word "ironic." While most Americans do not know it, the present government of Ukraine obtained power by a violent coup in 2014. The Revolution of Dignity, also known as the Maidan Revolution, took place in Ukraine in February 2014 at the end of the Euromaidan protests, when a series of violent events involving protesters, riot police, and unknown shooters in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv culminated in the ousting of elected President Viktor Yanukovych and the overthrow of the Ukrainian government. In a Cato piece titled, "America's Ukraine Hypocrisy," Ted Galen Carpenter writes: "Despite his leadership defects and character flaws, Yanukovych had been duly elected in balloting that international observers considered reasonably free and fair — about the best standard one can hope for outside the mature Western democracies."

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