UMass-towns liaison Maroulis takes development chops to W.D. Cowls

Staff Writer
Published: 1/11/2021 8:24:16 PM
Modified: 1/11/2021 8:23:55 PM

AMHERST — Tony Maroulis, a longtime advocate for the business community in the Amherst region, will be bringing his expertise to the continuing growth of The Mill District in North Amherst village center.

“It’s not often one gets a chance to curate the mix and develop a community,” Maroulis said Monday after being named vice president for real estate and community development for W.D. Cowls Inc., which owns and operates the development.

Maroulis, who for the past several years has worked for the University of Massachusetts in enhancing its relationship with Amherst and surrounding towns, will focus on efforts to bring in businesses that will make The Mill District a destination in the Pioneer Valley. He is also charged with growing the company’s real estate and business portfolio.

“I’m excited about this opportunity to build community with such a dynamic and visionary team,” said Maroulis, who has also served on the Amherst Business Improvement District’s board and as co-director of the Hampshire County Regional Tourism Council. “Now I have the chance to bring the vibe and grow an amazing place from the ground up.”

Maroulis said he has enjoyed his role as executive director of external relations and university events at UMass since 2017, often as the point person between the town and campus, including as it relates to student behavior and, recently, the potential spread of COVID-19. His job has also been overseeing the university events team, the University of Massachusetts Community Campaign, and management of the Old Chapel.

“The last several months have been extremely challenging, but Amherst and the university have assembled a really great town-gown team,” Maroulis said. “We are a model for how this is supposed to work.”

UMass spokesman Edward Blaguszewski said Maroulis, through his entrepreneurial nature, strategic thinking and collaborative style, has strengthened the bonds between UMass and its host communities.

“While Tony will certainly be missed by his campus colleagues, we are thrilled that he has this new opportunity, and we know that he will continue to make the Amherst area a better place for all,” Blaguszewski said.

Maroulis said he was drawn to by W.D. Cowls President Cinda Jones’ accomplishments in getting the North Square Apartments built, as well as the adjacent Trolley Barn, where Jake’s at the Mill and The Lift salon are located, and the recent arrival of a Provisions store that replaced an Atkins Farms satellite. Maroulis sees being creative and entrepreneurial as essential during the “weird times” of the pandemic.

Jones, who was president of the chamber when Maroulis was hired in 2008, said from talking with him again that he could be a game changer, invigorating the economy and culturally shifting the region.

Before his work in economic and community development, Maroulis, who lives in Pelham, was co-director and owner of wunderarts, a commercial art gallery in Amherst. Before that he had jobs in operations, fundraising, and marketing arts and cultural organizations including Museums10, the Emily Dickinson Museum, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.




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