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Holliston welcomes Economic Development Coordinator Melanie Hamblen Part-time position was approved by voters in May

By Theresa Knapp 

Melanie Hamblen is Holliston’s new part-time Economic Development Coordinator. 

At a Select Board meeting on Oct. 30, Assistant Town Administrator Kathleen Buckley said the purpose of the position – which was approved by town meeting in May - is “to provide overall better support for [Holliston’s] existing businesses and better two-way communication and identifying new business opportunities.” 

Buckley noted Hamblen has “extensive experience from Franklin and is also a small business owner herself, so we’re excited to present her to the business community.” 

Hamblen is a member of the Franklin Town Council and is chair of Franklin’s Economic Development Subcommittee. She and her husband own the Franklin Agway and Broken Fork Farm.  

Hamblen said, “When I’m here, I hope to be able to reach out to different businesses, to all the businesses, and be that connection for the town to the businesses to the industrial areas, to help people and guide them through the processes that aren’t usually that easy to do.” 

Select Board Chair John Cronin said Hamblen’s municipal experience will be a great asset in this role. 

“Clearly through your background in Franklin Town Council and learning how local government works, I think that’s going to be invaluable because what we’ve always missed in this role is not having the bridge between what businesses want/need, what an interested business might want to know, and where to go to get the answers – you’re that bridge.” 

Select Board member Ben Sparrell asked about her thoughts on drawing in new business. 

Hamblen said she plans to create a network of information, to meet with local businesses and stakeholders to “get that network up and running,” and hopes to bring people together to get them to trust each other.

Select Board member Tina Hein said Hamblen is a “phenomenal addition” to the town. “I do love the fact that you have a science background, a research background; I think the way those minds work is to the benefit of the work that you’re going to be doing in Holliston…Your approach to finding common ground on complicated issues I think is going to be a tremendous value here in Holliston.” 

Cronin added, “Economic Development is the partnership between a community’s needs/wants and what businesses can do for it. Holliston is open for business, I’ve been saying that for a long time; we really want business to come here and thrive so I’m looking forward to having you on board.”

Hamblen with work with the Economic Development Committee and report to the Town Administrator. Her office is located in the basement of the Town Hall, near the Conservation Agent. For more information, visit