MassDevelopment Selects Thatcher Kezer as Devens VP

February 18, 2015 : Nashoba Publishing, by Jon Bishop

BOSTON – Thatcher Kezer III, 54, is MassDevelopment’s new senior vice president of Devens. He spoke with The Public Spirit by phone Tuesday.

Kezer, a former mayor of Amesbury, has extensive experience in government.

“Professionally, I’ve been involved in local government for over 25 years,” he said.

He has worked with the Massachusetts Municipal Association, the mayor’s office at the City of Beverly, and he helped create the MetroMayors coalition, which was part of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council.

He left office in Amesbury at the end of 2013. Around July of last year, he started working with Edward J. Collins, Jr. Center for Public Management at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he was a government management consultant and was involved with various projects around the state.

Kezer has also been with the Air National Guard for over 35 years.

He’ll bring all of this to Devens when he starts on March 2.

His time as mayor was very hands-on. And Amesbury, he said, because of its size, allowed him to develop relationships with key players in the city and in the region, which led to an environment where everyone helped each other out to solve problems.

And working in Devens means working with Ayer, Shirley, and Harvard – the three towns in which the former military base lies.

So his approach will stay the same.

But that doesn’t he’s not ready to learn, either.

“I never try to have any preconceived assumptions about anything when I come into a new organization,” he said. Once he starts, he’ll observe, listen to people, and try to get a sense of how things are done.

It’ll be a process of taking “it all in the first couple months I’m there,” he said.

And that means trying to get up to speed on the various issues facing Devens, like the proposed zoning changes.

In addition, MassDevelopment as a whole is a “well-run organization.” So he said he’ll make sure it stays that way, but if there are improvements needed, he’ll work with the team to do them.

Overall, though, he’s ready to go.

“I’m excited about it. It’s a role I’m familiar with,” he said, referring to his time in government. “I think I’m pretty good at it. I’ve always said that my job is to help other people to succeed at their jobs and their work,” adding that it’s something he enjoys doing as a profession.

So he’s going to make sure Devens and the region succeed, Kezer said.

He is also excited because he now has access to the Devens ice skating rink.

“I’m a big hockey fan,” he said.

Kezer is married and has an 11 year old son, Thatcher Kezer IV.

“Being a dad is one of my favorite jobs,” he said.

In Devens, he replaces George Ramirez, who left the post at the end of December to return to practicing law. Ramirez, a former Lowell city councilor, joined MassDevelopment in May of 2010.

While there, Ramirez held the title executive vice president of Devens operations. Kezer’s title came after MassDevelopment reassessed position titles agency-wide.

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