PITTSFIELD — Mayor-elect Linda M. Tyer has named two women to help manage the corner office at City Hall when her four-year term begins Jan. 4.
Tyer announced Sunday evening that Roberta McCulloch-Dews will serve as director of administrative services and Catherine VanBramer will be the new mayor's executive assistant.
"As I promised residents during the campaign, it is my intent to restore their faith in government which includes assembling a team of the very best and brightest," Tyer said in a statement. "Catherine and Roberta are knowledgeable, energetic, accountable and committed to improving Pittsfield, and I am thrilled to have them as part of my team."
McCulloch-Dews has recent experience in the mayor's office as she temporarily filled in for Julia Sabourin, outgoing Mayor Daniel Bianchi's top administrative assistant.
In August, Sabourin gave birth to her first child and went on a 12-week maternity leave. Bianchi hired McCulloch-Dews to work a few days per week to handle office communications and other work normally overseen by Sabourin — experience McCulloch-Dews says will come in handy after Tyer is sworn into office.
"It gave me insight into the operations and constituents and what they needed," she said in an Eagle interview. "It gave me a perspective I can build on."
A former newspaper journalist of 15 years, McCulloch-Dews is the founder and CEO of RMDews Media, a company that specializes in communications, public relations, and social media services. She said her business will be on hold as hew new position is full-time.
Prior to establishing RMDews Media, McCulloch-Dews was the assistant director of communications and assistant to the president at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams. She currently serves on several commissions and boards including the Berkshire County Commission on the Status of Women, the educational group Berkshire Compact and the Elizabeth Freeman Center.
VanBramer, the senior clerk in the City Clerk's office, will continue to work under Tyer, currently the city clerk. She has also held the role of clerk for several city boards and commissions including the Charter Review Study Committee, Ordinance Review Committee, and Human Rights Commission. In 2013, VanBramer participated in the Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact (LIPPI), through the Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts. She graduated last year from the Berkshire Leadership Program and now serve's on the program's steering committee. VanBramer also volunteers as a second-grade religious education teacher at St. Joseph's Church.