return to Around the Table archives   MARCH 2015
around the table
Executive Director's Message

Dear Members,

Transportation, energy and the state budget are a few of the hot policy conversations at the Roundtable. We appreciate all the input and ideas from members participating in MBR’s Energy Task Force, as well as through a recent meeting with Governor Baker’s special commission reviewing the MBTA. MBR also continues to share its member-driven framework for long-term economic prosperity with leaders on Beacon Hill, most recently in meetings with House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Attorney General Maura Healey. MBR is offering several opportunities for members to engage with public leaders in the weeks ahead including the Board meeting this month with Energy Secretary Matt Beaton and a conversation with A&F Secretary Kristen Lepore. Please watch for additional announcements about opportunities this spring.


MBR Board Meeting Features Conversation with Energy Secretary Matthew Beaton
The Roundtable convened a conversation with Energy & Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton and more than 30 business leaders to address the region’s energy costs, capacity constraints and opportunities to improve the state’s competitiveness. Roundtable members representing large commercial businesses, experts from the energy industry, as well as leading academic institutions recently participated in MBR’s Energy Task Force meeting Chaired by Joseph Basile at Foley Hoag. Mr. Basile provided a brief overview of MBR’s draft energy principles prior to the conversation with Secretary Beaton. In his remarks, Secretary Beaton commented that the priorities of the Baker-Polito Administration are very closely aligned with the energy priorities established by the Roundtable. He highlighted the need to reduce and stabilize energy costs, increase natural gas capacity, meet the state’s clean energy and energy efficiency goals, while strengthening the resiliency of the region’s electric grid and investing in critical infrastructure. He also emphasized the importance of regional partnerships, striking the proper balance with the state’s energy goals and focusing on the needs of ratepayers. Secretary Beaton engaged in a Q&A with members and informed them that he serves on the Governor’s Development Cabinet, which includes Secretary of Housing & Economic Development Jay Ash and Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack. MBR’s Energy Task Force is developing outreach strategies to provide important education and advocacy for policy makers and other key stakeholders to both support and augment the work of partner organizations such as AIM and the New England Council. MBR is also partnering with its member, Brandeis International Business School, and NEEP on an energy conference at the Federal Reserve bank of Boston in June 2015.

READ Draft Principles

READ Secretary Beaton Bio

Roundtable Discussion with A&F Secretary Kristen Lepore Hosted by PWC
Earlier this month, Governor Baker released his FY2016 State Budget Recommendations for the fiscal year beginning on July 1. MBR is bringing together members and key staff for a conversation with the architect of that budget and the Baker-Polito Administration’s point person on fiscal matters, Secretary of the Executive Office for Administration & Finance, Kristen Lepore. The meeting is scheduled on March 24th hosted by MBR Competitiveness Task Force Chairman Barry Nearhos at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Boston. Roundtable member companies will have an opportunity for an informal briefing and discussion with Secretary Lepore on the Baker-Polito Administration’s budget proposal, the state’s fiscal condition, and our shared priorities to make Massachusetts a better place to do business.

READ Secretary Lepore Bio


MBR Transportation Principles Highlighted in Commonwealth Magazine OP-ED
MBR Transportation & Infrastructure Task Force Chair and CEO of Cabot, Cabot & Forbes, Jay Doherty, teamed up with MBR Executive Director JD Chesloff on an op-ed that highlights the Roundtables key principles calling for improvements, reforms standards and investments in the state’s transportation infrastructure. The piece was published by Commonwealth Magazine and pushed out to readers via email and social media. MBR continues to advocate with public leaders and transportation officials for important management and governance reforms in the system that oversees investments in mass transit, as well as the states roads and bridges. Thanks to the members of the Transportation Task Force that developed MBR’s principles and continues to inform its advocacy.


Roundtable Welcomes New Member James Tierney, Market Director, New England for JLL
The Roundtable is pleased to welcome its newest member, James Tierney, Market Director, New England for JLL (Jones Lang LaSalle), a financial and professional services firm that specializes in commercial real estate services and investment management. As Market Director for New England, Mr. Tierney is responsible for the performance, growth and strategic oversight of JLL’s regional operations. JLL New England prides itself on delivering exceptional service and thought leadership to those who own, occupy and invest in commercial real estate. The firm’s business lines include landlord and tenant representation, property management, project and development services, construction, and investment sales within the office, industrial and multi-family markets.

Prior to joining JLL in 2014, Mr. Tierney served as the Chief of Staff and Special Counsel at the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA). In that position he helped determine the economic development agenda for the City of Boston. During his tenure, Mr. Tierney played a leadership role in the approval of over 10 million square feet of new development representing over $10 billion of investment. Mr. Tierney negotiated community benefits packages and economic incentives that enabled development of the former Filene’s site and new corporate headquarters for Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Liberty Mutual and Converse. He was involved prominently in the approval of institutional master plans for Harvard University, Northeastern University and Boston University. Additionally, he was engaged in the creation of Boston’s Innovation District, including creating novel policies to address housing, public spaces, and growth in the emerging area and permitting multiple projects there. Mr. Tierney also supervised the agency’s operations and actively participated in the development of the BRA’s real estate holdings.

READ more

MBR, Biz Groups Survey Results on Winter Storms Costs
MBR partnered with the Retailer’s Association, AIM, NFIB and local chambers in promoting a survey to gauge the economic impact of the winter storms. “The results showed an average drop in sales of 24% during the period, with a 7% drop in payroll. When measuring only retail and restaurant employers, the sales losses surged to a 49% drop, with a 14% drop in payroll costs. Over 1600 businesses responded to the survey, with 77% of those companies having under $5 million in annual sales, and 61% employing 20 or fewer.”

Roundtable Members Team Up with State Senator Karen Spilka, Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante for Tech Hub Caucus at State House
MBR members Verizon, EMC, Google, MassTech Collaborative participated in a Tech Hub Caucus meeting at the State House that brought together industry leaders and policy makers to tackle top issues in the tech sector. Many of those issues—energy costs, talent pipeline, STEM and computer science education – are top policy priorities identified by Roundtable members in its Framework for Long-Term Economic Prosperity in the Commonwealth. Numerous legislators and top staff members joined the discussion about ways to support sector growth. There are currently 13,500 tech companies employing more than 209,000 workers across Massachusetts. Senator Spilka and Representative Ferrante have done an excellent job— with support from Roundtable members— educating fellow policy makers and elevating issues important to sustained economic growth in the state’s innovation economy.

Roundtable Companies Working with DOR to Improve Combined Reporting
MBR Deputy Director Chris Kealey serves on the DOR Advisory Group, which is working with the department to improve communications and customer service for taxpayers and businesses. DOR has convened a working group to explore ways to improve the combined reporting process and forms, which have a significant impact on companies operating in multiple states. Several Roundtable companies have designated tax experts to participate on the working group, which met in February to discuss updates to the forms and gather ideas from businesses to improve efficiencies at DOR.

MBR Members Donna Cupelo & Tony Benoit Named to Governor’s Task Force on Long-term Unemployment
Governor Baker signed an Executive Order targeting chronic unemployment and appointed a special task force to develop a strategic plan by November 2015 with action steps to address this challenge. Former Roundtable Chair and current Executive Committee Member Donna Cupelo, Region president for Verizon and member Anthony Benoit, President, Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology are serving on the task force. If you have suggestions or best practices to share with members, please contact Chris Kealey in the MBR office.

READ Release

National Business Roundtable CEO Survey Results
BRT Survey: CEOs Express Optimism, but Economy Still Not Reaching Full Potential
Business Roundtable recently released its Q1 2015 CEO Economic Outlook Survey, with CEOs projecting increased capital investment and sales and, to a lesser extent, hiring over the previous quarter. CEOs also estimated GDP growth at 2.8 percent in 2015, up from the last estimate of 2.4 percent. Responding to a special question added to this survey, 81 percent of the CEOs said that selling more goods and services to foreign markets would help their companies grow and be more globally competitive. “[We] need to give more businesses the confidence to increase investment to create more good-paying, middle-class jobs and boost U.S. economic growth,” said Randall Stephenson, BRT chairman and Chairman and CEO of AT&T Inc. He identified priorities for achieving that goal: passing Trade Promotion Authority, and acting on business tax reform, infrastructure investment and smart regulation. For news coverage, see BRT's Blog post.

Important Data Change: MBR Annual Meeting Moved to June 22nd
The Roundtable's 2015 Annual Meeting originally scheduled on June 11th, is being rescheduled to Monday, June 22nd, 8:00-10:00 a.m. Please remove June 11th from your calendars. Roundtable member EMC will host the Annual Meeting at the company's headquarters located in Hopkinton, MA. The meeting will include keynote remarks and a discussion with Congressman Joseph Kennedy III. Special thanks to EMC for hosting the Annual Meeting. Please plan to join the Roundtable on June 22nd.

TwitterWhat's News on Twitter

CW Magazine @CommonWealthMag
A roadmap to investing in #transportation from @MABizRoundtable

Congrats to our members @LibertyMutual, @Deloitte & @McGladreyBoston on being inducted into @JAofNNE "Business Hall of Fame"

Great example of what works RT @StateStreet We’re proud of our partnership with @YearUp. And so is @MassGovernor.

@MassTLC report shows Mass is global Tech Hub but must focus on #talent to continue growth via @BostonGlobe

Terrific discussion w/@SpeakerDeLeo on improving state's competitiveness & bldg #talent pipeline - #STEM, computer sci. & early ed.


The Roundtable is pleased to welcome several new followers on Twitter. Please consider following them.

Deborah Goldberg @MASSTreasury

Karen Polito @MassLtGov

MassEcon @MassEcon 

Social In Boston @SocialInBoston 

Junior Achievement @JAofNNE

The Key to Creating Tomorrow’s STEM Professionals: Start Early
Neil Gordon, CEO, The Discovery Museums

We’ve all heard Andreas Schleicher’s somewhat unsettling assessment that “schools have to prepare students for jobs that have not yet been created, technologies that have not yet been invented and problems that we don’t know will arise.” More locally, the 2013 Massachusetts’ Plan for Excellence in STEM Education cites a “STEM interest-preparation gap,” in which those students who are best prepared for STEM careers don’t seek them, while those that do are unprepared for STEM demands. So what are we to do, in an environment in which traditional (and often cash-strapped and curriculum-constrained) learning environments offer children little that cultivates the critically important “21st century skills” of curiosity, creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking?

This fact, in particular, troubles us: The Torrance creativity index scores of some 300,000 children, recently analyzed, shed light on another threat to childhood. Rising for decades, scores started a decline in 1990 that continues today, with the most startling decreases over time marked by children in Kindergarten through sixth grade. We are teaching and training the natural creativity and curiosity out of our children, and the ramifications for their futures in an innovation economy are dire.

At The Discovery Museums, we believe in investing in kids—as early as infancy, so that every kid in our reach has learning experiences that are both fun and impactful, particularly in science. This means catching them when their minds are open to the wonders of the world around them, including the natural world, and their place in it. We are serious about the powerful opportunity before us to change lives by fostering the indelible intellectual connections that the come from experimentation and exploration—the scientific process. It’s all about trying and failing, grit and resolve, having big ideas but also small ones, identifying needs and addressing them. For some kids, this means building the better backyard fort today, then one day devising a stunningly simple solution to a complex social problem. These kids, the innovators, are the ones we’d all like to have on our side.

But even the solutions we offer, in hands-on, play-based science experiences, are not easily accessible to those who most need them. Track the least-funded, most racially and culturally diverse school systems and within them you will find families for whom museum attendance is not on the radar. And so, The Discovery Museums has for years set a goal annually for what we call Open Door Connections, our program offering free or highly-subsidized experiences for families who need them. Last year, 25% of the 172,000 people we served were part of Open Door. We engage in targeted partnerships in Lowell and Lawrence, provide programming for homeless children in Bedford, offer free memberships to families nominated by eleven social service agencies, and provide subsidized in-school programs through our 22-year-old Traveling Science Workshops (the second largest museum school outreach program in the state). And many of the donors supporting these efforts are Commonwealth businesses, who appreciate that we are moving these kids one step closer to a productive and successful future.

Every child deserves a lifelong passion to learn, create, and solve problems, and the Massachusetts economy deserves a workforce full of inspired, curious, and creative professionals. We at The Discovery Museums feel our mandate is clear.

Going Around the Table
News, links and information about members of the Roundtable

UMass Recruiting Next Group of Emerging Leaders
The UMass Boston Center for Collaborative Leadership is recruiting for the 2016 cohort of the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP). The Program selects a diverse group of high potential rising leaders from the corporate, nonprofit and public sectors to participate in a 9-month long leadership development program consisting of 90 hours of “in class” sessions.

The Emerging Leaders Program has four major components:

  • Leadership skill sessions facilitated by subject matter experts from the UMass Boston College of Management and other leading institutions
  • Dialogue with Greater Boston’s current leaders on leadership lessons
  • Reflection on one’s personal leadership style
  • Teamwork— teams working collaboratively on real projects affecting the Greater Boston region

To nominate an emerging leader, please use this on-line form. The nomination deadline is April 8, 2015. The Program starts in September 2015 with a week-long leadership immersion seminar. More information about the Center for Collaborative Leadership can be found at


Massachusetts STEM Summit 2015: November 10, 2015
The organizers of the Massachusetts STEM Summit are pleased to announce the launch of the 2015 Call for Sessions & Exhibits. Building on the success of last year's pilot, we are expanding the scope of the Call for the 2015 Summit, with the goal of building the majority of the program of Breakout Sessions with content proposed by Summit attendees. In addition, we are further expanding the scope of the Call to include proposals for Resource Exhibits to be showcased in the Exhibit Hall throughout the day. VIEW guidelines for the preparation and submission of proposals.

In this issue
MBR Board Meeting Features Conversation with Energy Secretary Matthew Beaton
Roundtable Discussion with A&F Secretary Kristen Lepore Hosted by PWC
MBR Transportation Principles Highlighted in Commonwealth Magazine Op-Ed
Roundtable Welcomes New Member James Tierney, Market Director, New England for JLL
MBR, Biz Groups Survey Results on Winter Storms Costs
Roundtable Members Team Up with State Senator Karen Spilka, Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante for Tech Hub Caucus at State House
Companies Working with DOR to Improve Combined Reporting
MBR Members Donna Cupelo & Tony Benoit Named to Governor's Task Force on Long-term Unemployment
National Business Roundtable CEO Survey Results
Important Data Change: MBR Annual Meeting Moved to June 22nd
What's News on Twitter
The Key to Creating Tomorrow’s STEM Professionals: Start Early
Going Around the Table
Upcoming events

MARCH 24, 2015MBR Policy Makers Series:
Conversation with A&F Secretary Kristen Lepore
Noon–1:00 p.m.
Location: PricewaterhouseCoopers
125 High Street, 11th Floor, Boston
For members and representatives of member companies .

APRIL 1, 2015Northeastern University CEO Breakfast
Featuring Suffolk Construction CEO John Fish
7:30–9:00 a.m.
Location: Four Seasons Boston
For members and representatives of member companies.

APRIL 8, 2015MBR Olympics Briefing
Featuring Boston 2024 President Rich Davey
Noon–1:30 p.m.
Location: TD Garden Legends Club Boston
For members and representatives of member companies.

JUNE 22, 2015Annual Meeting
Keynote remarks and a discussion with Congressman Joseph Kennedy III
8:00–10:00 a.m.
Location: EMC
For members and representatives of member companies.

Hot links
MBR Annual Report
Framework for Long-Term Economic Prosperity
Roundtable Member List 2015
Follow us Follow US
National Business Roundtable
BRT CEO Economic Outlook
BRT on Achieving America’s Full Potential
BRT on Balancing the Budget
Biz & Politics
List of Members on BRT and MBR

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