Interview with Leigh Davis

How are you involved in the community?

  • Vice-Chair, Great Barrington Selectboard, Town of Great Barrington
  • Development Director, Construct (nonprofit provider of affordable housing and supportive services in South Berkshire County)
  • Board of Directors, Saint James Place Cultural Center, Great Barrington 
  • Board Member, Community Preservation Committee, Town of Great Barrington 
  • Vice-Chair, Economic Development Committee, Town of Great Barrington 
  • Member, Great Barrington Land Conservancy

Why did you decide to get involved in the Blackshires Initiative?

The small population and inadequate representation of Blacks in the Berkshires is a concern for me. The collective efforts of the Blackshires to elevate, empower, enrich, and expand the black voice in the Berkshires is a movement I am proud to be a part of.

What are your areas of focus for the Blackshires?

  • Political Representation
  • Advocacy and Education 
  • Community Engagement
  • Economic Development
  • Women and Youth Empowerment

Why are you an expert in the field?

  • Political Representation / Local Government: (current position as Vice-Chair, GB Selectboard, led the movement in GB for Home Rule legislation which made it to the State House 
  • Fundraising: (current position as Development Director at Construct)
  • Marketing: (former positions as Director of Marketing at The Berkshire Eagle and Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. Also, former Hollywood studio film editor in LA and Ireland)
  • Economic Development: (Former position as Director of Development of Eagle Mill Redevelopment in Lee, MA & former Vice-Chair of the Economic Development Committee, Town of Great Barrington
  • Education, Women & Youth Empowerment: (Single mom to three teens & former tenured professor for ten years in Ireland)

What do you do for the Blackshires?

  • Leadership Circle Member 
  • To Be Determined…

What’s your favorite thing about the Berkshires?

  • Quality of Life (if I had to pick one)
  • Respect for the Environment and Open Space 
  • Entrepreneurial Energy 
  • High Level of Citizen Engagement

What’s your favorite place to eat? 

  • Tangier Cafe (Great Barrington)

What are you excited about right now?

  • Seeing the Blackshires take off and make a real impact 
  • My newly elected position as Vice-Chair of the Great Barrington Selectboard 
  • My daughter studying political science at George Washington University