Board of Directors

Wray Gunn, Sr., Chair, a longtime member and Trustee of the Clinton A.M.E. Zion Church, is a fifth-generation descendant of Agrippa Hull, with deep family roots in the Berkshires that date back to the Revolutionary War. He retired from Pfizer Industrials after a 40-year career as an analytical chemist. He currently serves on the board of the Olga Dunn Dance Company and is a member of the W.E.B. Du Bois National Historic Site Working Committee, Friends of the W.E.B. Du Bois Homesite, and the advisory council of the Upper Housatonic Valley African- American Heritage Trail.

Cora Portnoff, Secretary, a former teacher of the hearing impaired, was a longtime member of the Clinton A.M.E. Church, where she was involved in various church activities with the late Reverend Esther Dozier, the Church’s first female pastor. She has served on the board of the Olga Dunn Dance Company for more than 30 years and is a member of the W.E.B. Du Bois National Historic Site Working Committee.

Dennis Powell, Vice Chair, is a retired culinary educator and executive in the food service and hospitality industry, a community activist and president of the Berkshire County Unit of the NAACP. Dennis currently serves on the Pittsfield Licensing Board, the Pittsfield School Committee and the Steering Committee of the W.E.B. Du Bois Educational Series in Great Barrington. For more than 12 years, he prepared meals for the homeless at St. Stephen’s Church in Pittsfield.

Will Singleton, Treasurer, is a retired public school educator and administrator. He is the past president of the Berkshire County Chapter of the NAACP, the reactivation of which he initiated in 2012. He currently serves on the board of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College.

Beth Carlson is a community activist, entrepreneur and the executive director of Oldtone Productions, a company dedicated to the preservation and continuation of American Roots music tradition. She was a key player in the effort to save the historic Searles School in Great Barrington, and a founding member of the Green Tea Party, a progressive activist grassroots group that works on political issues. She is a board member of Dewey Memorial Hall in Sheffield and the bipartisan Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus Berkshire Branch.

Diego Gutierrez is a licensed architect specializing in residential and light commercial design, ADA applicability, Change of Use, and building permit applications and reviews, and the owner of Housatonic Architecture. He has been a member of the Town of Great Barrington’s Energy Committee and the Friends of the Great Barrington Libraries and is assisting the town’s Parks Committee in developing a Master Plan for the Housatonic Village Green. Diego also teaches design workshops for children about the art and science of architecture.

Dan Bolognani, ex officio, is executive director of the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area, a program of the National Park Service. Housatonic Heritage’s initiatives include the W.E.B. Du Bois Homesite, the Upper Housatonic African American Heritage Trail and Reclaiming Our Local Heritage. He currently serves as chair of the Western CT Convention and Visitors Bureau.