Who We Are
Rural Intelligence is the brainchild of journalists Marilyn Bethany, who lives full-time in Columbia County, NY, and Dan Shaw, who lives full-time in Litchfield County, CT. They have both worked as editors and reporters at The New York Times and New York Magazine, where they met 20 years ago. They created Rural Intelligence because they recognized the need for a reliable information source for people like themselves, who routinely do business and seek recreation and entertainment in four counties—Berkshire, Columbia, northern Dutchess and northern Litchfield—that are spread over three states. This sprawling region is not well-served by mainstream media, which tends to hew to conventional jurisdictional lines. They combined their extensive experience in print journalism with the technology of the day to create Rural Intelligence, which treats this uniquely sophisticated region as one big neighborhood. Their hope was that sharing information would foster a sense of community that transcends county and state boundaries. Rural Intelligence is the place where full-time residents and weekenders can share their passion for culture and country life.
Editor Lisa Green has crossed the great divide between Church and State (or is that State and Church?), having previously served as RI’s advertising director. But the hopscotching between editorial and marketing has been the hallmark of her career all along. Before moving to the Berkshires, Lisa was senior writer in The Palm Beach Post’s marketing department for nearly 13 years. Prior to moving to Florida, she was a freelance writer in New York; her articles have appeared in Beauty, YM, Family Circle, Natural Pharmacy, Apparel News, Woman’s World, Delicious!, and other magazines. On the marketing side, she produced sales promotional materials for many publications, including The New York Times, ELLE, Seventeen, and Parenting. She was also a contributor to Women and Music in America Since 1900: An Encyclopedia. Certified as a Music Practitioner by the Music for Healing and Transition Program, Lisa is an amateur harpist. She is married to clarinetist Paul Green. Photo: Lisa Vollmer.
Publisher Mark Williams divides his time between Manhattan and the Tyringham Valley, though he’d much prefer to spend more of his time in the latter locale, where he and his wife Liz tend to a barnyard full of goats, chickens, and guinea fowl, as well as their mouser, Clack. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Jacob’s Pillow, and Liz serves on the board of Community Access to the Arts (CATA). Photo: Chris Jones.
Assistant Editor Amy Krzanik was born and raised in the Berkshires. She graduated from Emerson College in Boston with a BFA in Writing, and lived in Oregon, Arizona, and Martha’s Vineyard before moving back to the region. She’s worked as a book buyer, bartender, graduation gown fitter, house painter, candy-apple maker, Hawaiian coffee expert, and proofreader for The Berkshire Homebuyers Guide. Her dream job is to be either Nancy Drew or Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and her dream home is located at 1313 Mockingbird Lane in Narnia, but for now she enjoys writing, editing, and covering parties for Rural Intelligence, as well as creating the weekly “RI Recommends” email blasts.
Editorial Assistant Rachel Louchen, originally from Torrington, attended Saint Josephs College in West Hartford, where she studied creative writing, before moving to Brooklyn and finally settling in Great Barrington. She contributes to blogs while maintaining her own and working on short stories and fiction work. Rachel enjoys living in the Berkshires without actually spending any time outdoors in the Berkshires.
Jamie Larson is a freelance reporter with a background in newspapers, investigative reporting, and features. Writing for Rural Intelligence has finally given him the welcome opportunity to write stories where the subjects aren’t mad at him afterwards. He spent almost three years covering Hudson NY (where he lives with wife Kristin) for the Register Star before getting his masters in journalism from NYU. Since then, he has written for the New York Times, Times Union, Chronogram and other publications. He has also worked as communications coordinator for the Alliance for Quality Education and as a social media PR consultant. Now he splits his time between freelancing and the best job of all: raising his baby daughter, Olivia.
Paula Boyajian is RI’s advertising administrator. Before taking on that role, Paula was a contributing wellness writer for RI. She holds a B.S. in Photojournalism from Boston University and has written and done promotion for Larkin Publications, Burclan Productions and Exceptional Parent Magazine. Paula is also a certified yoga teacher, specializing in teaching people with special needs. She loves cooking for friends, gardening and playing with her puppy, Angus.
I’m Terry the webmaster and I just moved this site to Liquid Web.