Ann McFarland Burke, has over 25 years experience in planning and economic development. Ms. Burke holds a BA from Miami University, Oxford OH and Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She has served as the Vice President of the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts since 1997 and specializes in downtown revitalization and strategic planning, economic development, community facilitation, and industry cluster development. Ms. Burke launched a Pioneer Valley Creative Network for Western MA to support the region’s creative industry cluster. Ms. Burke co- authored enabling legislation to create management districts in Massachusetts, authored a Guidebook for forming Business Improvement Districts (BIDS) in Massachusetts, and led the successful development of BIDS in a number of communities in Western MA and throughout the state. Prior to her involvement with the EDC, Ms. Burke served as President of Greater Holyoke Inc, a nonprofit development corporation based in Holyoke, MA. At GHI, Ms. Burke managed the downtown master plan, established the Greater Holyoke Inc Mortgage Pool for real estate development, and developed other strategic planning initiatives. Earlier in her career, Ms Burke served as Associate Director of Springfield Central, a nonprofit downtown development entity spearheading downtown Springfield’s revitalization effort. Her experience also included engagements with the US Department of the Interior, in Washington DC, Clairmont, NH, and Butte, MT to develop revitalization strategies for historic downtowns. Mrs. Burke has also worked as a consultant in various communities on downtown and economic development projects.
Ms. Burke is married to Michael Burke and has two children, Allison and Andrew who live and work in New York City. Ms. Burke enjoys skiing, golf and exploring culinary and travel experiences.