Who We Are

Ben Heckscher (co-founder) has published the well-regarded blog about the Second Avenue subway for nearly ten years: The Launch Box. As a person with knowledge of business, engineering, and photography, he began to research and report on the project’s accomplishments, setbacks, and impact on the community as a whole. In 2010, The Village Voice cited his site as one of New York City’s best blogs. Ben’s interest in rail-related topics can probably be traced to his grandfather who worked for many years at the Budd Company, a former manufacturer of stainless steel passenger rail cars. Originally from Pennsylvania, Ben now lives in Hatfield with his wife Julie.

Zane Lumelsky (co-founder) has been a marketing and advertising consultant since 1988 as well as co-owner of a nationally distributed business-to-business company. One reason that Zane and his spouse moved to the area six years ago was the promise of restored passenger rail service. During the initial stages of the rail reconstruction, Zane formed a business to promote rail freight called Knowledge Corridor Services. Zane’s earliest train experiences were at his father’s scrap iron yard, sandwiched between two southeastern Minnesota rail lines. The scrap yard was Zane’s “playground” and the railroad men his playmates. Zane and Leith currently reside in downtown Northampton within earshot of the station.

Rebecca M. Townsend, Ph.D., is a communication professor who has studied transportation and public engagement, for which the White House named her a “Champion of Change for Transportation Innovation” in 2012. The International Association of Public Participation lauded her work with students to increase engagement in transportation planning, and her scholarship earned her the inaugural State of Connecticut Scholarly Excellence Award. Originally from Rhode Island, she saw how greater access to rail can improve economic activity. She founded the Pioneer Valley Advocates for Commuter Rail (2006-2010) with fellow residents of the Greater Springfield region to garner support for rail in our region of Massachusetts.


See also

Transparency & Accountability

Trains in the Valley Launch Event video
by Rachel Ayotte | Northampton Community Television
April 12, 2016


Page last updated: January 5, 2017
Page last reviewed: January 5, 2017


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