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Kravitz takes over as town administrator in Sunderland

  • Geoff Kravitz, who was hired as Amherst’s first economic development director in 2016, is now the Sunderland town administrator. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING



Staff Writer
Saturday, February 08, 2020

SUNDERLAND — The new town administrator now has a few days under his belt.

Geoff Kravitz, 39, took the helm in Sunderland, on Feb. 3, three days after leaving his job as Amherst’s economic development director. He said his first day was filled with meetings and he spent time “getting the lay of the land,” acquiring keys and security codes and learning where particular files are kept.

“I’m very excited to be here in Sunderland,” Kravitz said.

He replaces Sherry Patch, who left the post in October to take a job in Princeton to be closer to her home in Hardwick, which is also where she grew up. Patch had been Sunderland’s town administrator since 2015.

Kravitz said he met virtually all town officials, including Police Chief Erik Demetropoulos and Fire Chief Steve Benjamin.

His final day in Amherst was bittersweet, Kravitz said, as he has many close friends and colleagues in that town’s government. He is an Amherst native and plans to still reside there. He became the town’s first economic development director in January 2016.

Kravitz earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Colgate University in New York in 2002 and completed law school at the University of Maryland in 2009. He previously served as deputy chief of staff for the Massachusetts Office of Housing and Economic Development and deputy director of cabinet affairs for former Gov. Deval Patrick, and was also government affairs director for the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce.

Sunderland Select Board Clerk Tom Fydenkevez previously said Kravitz is the right person for the job because of his good temperament, his understanding of town operations, his ability to listen and his empathy toward residents.

Kravitz has said he has been interested in municipal government for some time, and Sunderland is a nearby town that is familiar to him. 

“The first day went great and I hope the first week, first month and first year will be, too,” he said.