PITTSFIELD -- Peter Lafayette has retired as the executive director of the Berkshire Bank Foundation, the bank announced on Friday.

He had served as the head of the charitable arm of the county’s largest bank for eight years.

Lafayette will be replaced by Lori Gazzillo, who has served as the foundation’s assistant director for the past year. Lafayette will continue with the foundation in a part-time advisory capacity.

Lafayette became executive director of the Berkshire Bank Foundation in 2006, working for Berkshire as the financial institution merged with Legacy Banks, and expanded its footprint in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont, and into the Albany and Syracuse areas in New York.

Before coming to Berkshire, Lafayette spent 25 years as the president of the Berkshire Housing Development Corporation. He led efforts to build affordable housing projects throughout Berkshire County, and helped with the conversion of the Central Block in downtown Pittsfield.

Through his role with the Berkshire Housing Development Corporation, Lafayette served on the board of directors of Berkshire Hills Bancorp, the bank’s holding company.

Lafayette and his wife Roberta will continue to live in Pittsfield. He also plans to continue his volunteer efforts with Downtown Pittsfield Inc., the Berkshire United Way, and affordable housing initiatives.

Gazzillo joined Berkshire Bank from Legacy Bank after the two financial institutions merged in July 2011.


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At Legacy, she served as vice president of community relations and was responsible for overseeing the company’s charitable giving, marketing and public relations activities.

At Berkshire, Gazzillo served as assistant vice president of community relations/CRA officer before becoming the Berkshire Bank Foundation’s assistant director. Prior to her banking career, she worked for nine years at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts overseeing public relations.