Valley Community Development names new executive director

  • Jane Loechler SUBMITTED PHOTO/VALLEY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Staff Writer
Published: 5/12/2020 4:14:52 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Valley Community Development’s board of directors has chosen a new executive director to lead the Northampton-based nonprofit organization.

Jane Loechler will begin in the new role starting June 1, succeeding longtime executive director Joanne Campbell, who is set to retire this summer. 

“We believe that she is an excellent match for the Valley, given her long history of affordable housing and commitment to resident engagement,” Peter Jessop, president of the Valley Community Development’s board of directors, said in a statement this week. 

Loechler has spent more than 25 years working in community development and affordable housing, including in roles at The Community Builders, a nonprofit real estate developer, and Twin Cities Housing Development Corp. in Minnesota, according to the statement. 

“It’s a dream come true,” Loechler said. “Getting to do the work around affordable housing is the main work that I’ve done in my career, but I’ve touched all aspects of what Valley Community Development does.”

Loechler moved to eastern Massachusetts six years ago to work at The Community Builders’ Boston office, and now plans to relocate to western Massachusetts.

With the pandemic, she anticipates new challenges and supporting struggling businesses and residents. “That’s the lifeline of the VCD and that’s the mission — to help them out,” she said. “I think challenges in this type of work are always present,” she said.

Valley Community Development has established affordable housing projects in downtown Northampton, Florence, Amherst and Easthampton. The nonprofit also helps first-time homebuyers and the development of small businesses. 

Campbell has been the executive director since 1998. “She has been instrumental in developing Valley into a thriving, well-functioning, and dynamic organization, ready to move into its next level of development,” Jessop wrote.

Greta Jochem can be reached at gjochem@gazettenet.com.




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