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

Dear Members,

I would like to extend my personal thanks to Congressman Joe Kennedy, State Senator Karen Spilka, as well as David Goulden and the EMC Team for helping to make MBR's Annual Meeting a success. The meeting was both informal and substantive, touching on state and federal issues that are impacting employers and the Massachusetts economy every day...issues such as the cost of energy, Big Data, the defense industry and workforce training. As Senator Spilka said, "It's important to continue this dialogue. I rely on your expertise. Your input is helping make a stronger Commonwealth." That is the essence of the Roundtable, it is our mission, and I thank the Roundtable members for their continued support and engagement.


Roundtable Annual Meeting Features Conversation with Congressman Kennedy & Senator Spilka, Big Data Presentation at EMC’s World Headquarters in Hopkinton
Roundtable Chairman Michael Hogan, CEO of the AD Makepeace Company, kicked off MBR”s annual meeting with its business leader members and guests representing diverse industries across the state hosted by EMC in Hopkinton. The meeting featured a conversation on competitiveness with Congressman Joseph Kennedy III and a state fiscal update from Senator Karen Spilka, as well as a presentation on the future of Big Data.

David Goulden, CEO, EMC Information Infrastructure, noted that EMC is a long-standing member of the Roundtable and welcomed members to its world headquarters. EMC is a the fifth largest software company in the world by revenues, employs 12,000 people in Massachusetts and 70,000 people in 86 countries. EMC is a leader in cloud computing, Big Data and cyber security.

Senator Karen Spilka, Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways & Means, called Massachusetts a hotbed of innovation that is adding jobs across industry sectors with an unemployment rate below the national average and a gross state product of $459 billion in 2014. She highlighted many of the state’s competitive advantages touching on the Senate’s funding for a Big Data initiative through the MassTech Collaborative, advanced manufacturing and work to support the long-term unemployed. She also thanked the Roundtable and discussed the importance of investing in STEM and computer science education.

Congressman Joseph Kennedy highlighted his work in Washington as a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, as well as his efforts with the delegation on issues including economic development, health care, NIH funding, manufacturing and STEM. He said that the most important advantage that enables Massachusetts to compete globally is the talent of its workforce. Members engaged in a discussion with Congressman Kennedy on ways to reduce the high cost of energy, prepare for possible closures of defense bases and investments in STEM education. Members thanked the Congressman for his commitment to bipartisanship and for his leadership to strengthen the state’s competitiveness.

EMC’s Director for Big Data Transformation closed out the annual meeting with a clear articulation of the importance of predictive analytics and data infrastructure to businesses of all types. He said, “Big Data is not just a tech conversation, it is a business conversation.” Businesses that figure out how to leverage new analytics, build new applications, products and business models will thrive. With more than 30 billion mobile devices by 2020, the emergence of cheap storage and the Internet of Things, businesses must adapt in real-time to what their customers want and need.

READ MBR Mid-Year Highlights

MBR, Brandeis IBS & NEEP Sponsor Energy Conference & Event Honoring Eric Spiegel, CEO, Siemens USA

Reducing electricity costs, modernizing the New England electric grid, conserving energy through increased energy efficiency measures and implementing new technologies, as well as expanding natural gas capacity and building a cleaner energy future were among the hot topics of discussion at an energy conference sponsored by MBR, Brandeis International Business School and NEEP this month at the Boston Federal Reserve Bank.

Massachusetts Energy & Environmental Affairs Secretary Matt Beaton expressed the Administration’s commitment to developing safe, reliable energy infrastructure and a commitment to a balanced approach on energy policy that protects ratepayer interests. Expert panelists from Roundtable members including Siemens, Eversource, Spectra Energy, General Dynamics Mission Systems, Kinder Morgan and Wilmer Hale addressed themes of competitiveness, innovation and sustainability discussing the region’s energy infrastructure needs and market-based approaches to meet those needs. Thanks also to members from AECOM, Verizon, Raytheon and MassTech Collaborative for participating.

Roundtable member Bruce Magid, Dean of the Brandeis International Business School presented the 2015 Perlmutter Award for Excellence in Global Business Leadership to Siemens USA President & CEO Eric Spiegel during an event in the evening. Mr. Spiegel accepted the honor on behalf of the more than 1,500 Siemens employees in the Boston area and highlighted the commitment to sustainability, creativity and innovation throughout Siemens. He discussed the successful apprenticeship model Siemens is using to help bridge the skills gap and build its talented workforce. He noted the need for increasing the number of schools teaching computer science—a Roundtable policy priority—stating that only 15% of high schools in the US teach these course compared with 75% in Germany.

MBR’s Energy Task Force directed staff to conduct outreach and education efforts to support the development of strategic, balanced energy policies to enhance the competitiveness of the region. The partnership with Brandeis IBS and NEEP on this conference will lead to the development of a white paper and resource materials that will be provided to policy makers and strengthen the business community’s advocacy.

READ MBR Energy Principles

VIEW Event Photos

Photos courtesy of Brandeis International Business School

MBR Executive Director JD Chesloff Testifies on Transportation Reforms

Roundtable Executive Director JD Chesloff testified before the Joint Committee on Transportation in favor of H.3347—An Act for a Reliable, Sustainable, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authorit —as part of MBR’s continuing efforts to support major transportation reforms. He testified on MBR’s member-driven transportation principles and briefly communicated three key messages: urgency from employers about the importance of fixing the MBTA; principles for reforms in governance and management; and expressing gratitude for the very productive work of the Legislature to date on this issue.

While progress is being made, the important work continues in the Legislature to provide the proper management, governance and other tools needed to deliver reliable transportation services critical to the state’s economy. A group of 35 business organizations formed a coalition to speak with a powerful voice on behalf of employers across the state that employ more than 1.4 million people. To learn more or to sign the petition to support a world-class public transportation system, visit online at

READ Coalition Statement

Roundtable Supports Coalition for Vocational Education
The Roundtable is working as a member of the Coalition for Vocational Technical Education, a group that includes the Mass. Competitive Partnership, Worcester Chamber of Commerce, Northeastern University, SkillWorks, as well as numerous community and educational leaders. The Coalition is advocating to strengthen vocational technical education programs to more effectively meet the needs of employers and students. The Coalition teamed up with the Dukakis Center at Northeastern to conduct surveys of employers, school administrators, community leaders, parents and students. The results will be made available next month along with program and policy recommendations that will be shared with policymakers and public officials representing school districts across the state.

Roundtable Members Invited to Help Shape Statewide Economic Development Strategy
The Baker-Polito Administration is conducting a series of regional roundtable discussions and reaching out to the business community as it develops its statewide economic development strategy for the Commonwealth. Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash is leading the Administration’s efforts to formalize its economic development strategy and will include input from business, legislative, civic, and municipal leaders to help inform their policies. If you have suggestions to strengthen the state’s economic competitiveness that you would like to see included in the strategic planning discussions, please email MBR Executive Director JD Chesloff.

TwitterWhat's News on Twitter

Speaker Bob DeLeo  ‏@SpeakerDeLeo Ty to wonderful biz community for supporting MassCan, coding ed @MassTLC @EDCtweets @MABizRoundtable

@StateStreet CEO Jay Hooley announces Boston Workforce Investment Network (WINs) to hire 1,000 youth in the city, $20m over 4 yrs

Great day all around with @NHLBruins @delawarenorth in western Massachusetts!

Jenn Smith @JennSmith_Ink
#CheshireMA Elementary's rallying w/ @NHLBruins today. The team donated gym equipment to the school.


SiemensUSA @SiemensUSA MT @MABizRoundtable Siemens' @ericspiegel highlights apprenticeship model to put young people to work, help bridge #skillsgap @BrandeisIBS

Congrats mbrs @VertexPharma @SuffolkBuilds @comcast @HarvardPilgrim @Deloitte on #BBJBestPlaces @BosBizJournal Work! READ article

Stan Rosenberg@SenStan On @MBTA "Everyone agrees that management problems are job #1...the other issues are still alive & are in their committee" @BosPublicRadio

Treasurer Goldberg @MASSTreasury — more diverse companies are more successful companies #gbccgaf



General Dynamics @GDMS, with @EversourceMA, saved 3M kWh/yr by replacing trad'l cooling methods with cold NE air-Kevin Ramsdell #NEnergyconf

Massachusetts energy prices are higher than the US average, 40% higher for electricity, says Alan Clayton-Matthews #NEnergyConf

High energy costs in NE stem from capacity constraints, not resource constraints, says Lindemer at #NEnergyConf


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

SiemensUSA  @SiemensUSA

Delta Dental of Mass  @DeltaDentalofMA 

Abiomed  @abiomedimpella

Hannah Kane  @HannahEKaneMA

Jay Livingstone  @jaylivingstone 

Shawn Dooley  @RepDooley

Comcast New England  @ComcastNewEng

Framingham Town Mgr  @FramTownManager


MassTaxpayersFdn  @masstaxpayersfd 

Patriot Energy Group  @Patriot_Energy 

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

State Street Launches Boston WINs to Improve College & Career Pathways for Youth
State Street Chairman and CEO Jay Hooley joined Governor Charlie Baker and Mayor Marty Walsh to launch the Boston Workforce Investment Network (Boston WINs) on June 16, 2015. The mission is to strengthen Boston’s future workforce by advancing job readiness for local youth today. “It starts with a multi-year $20-million commitment from the State Street Foundation to five high-performing nonprofits focused on education and career development. Through this financial support and a collaborative approach, Boston WINs creates career pathways for Boston youth. We also create an emerging market of sustainable talent that will benefit the entire Boston community.” READ more

Comcast Awards Scholarships to High School Seniors with Speaker Robert DeLeo at State House
Roundtable member Steve Hackley of Comcast joined House Speaker Robert DeLeo at the State House this month to celebrate the company’s Leaders and Achievers scholarship ceremony for high school seniors. Students who demonstrated commitment to community and civic leadership were awarded scholarships by the Comcast Foundation to help offset the cost of college tuition. Comcast has awarded close to $23 million in scholarships and awards to high school students through the program.

"In order to build a brighter future, we must celebrate and support students who strive to improve their communities, reach their full potential and give back in a unique and personal way," said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. "The Comcast Foundation recognizes that through civic involvement and generosity, businesses can help exceptional students become exceptional leaders. Congratulations to all of the recipients and best of luck." READ more

Roundtable Members Harvard Pilgrim, Eastern Bank and Google Partner to Secure Nondiscrimination Protections
News Release“Some of the region’s and nation’s biggest businesses are supporting a new campaign aimed at updating Massachusetts’ nondiscrimination law to include public accommodations protections for transgender residents and visitors. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Google and Eastern Bank are among the corporations voicing their support today as part of the Freedom Massachusetts launch. The campaign is aimed at passing S.B. 735 and H.B. 1577, An Act Relative To Transgender Anti-Discrimination, through the state legislature in the coming months. The bill’s cosponsors are Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz and Representatives Denise Provost and Byron Rushing.” READ more


Does your company have news about industry trends, key milestones or other materials you are sharing with the public? We want to include good news from our member organizations in this space, so please send any story ideas or links to MBR Deputy Director Chris Kealey.

In this issue
Roundtable Annual Meeting Features Conversation with Congressman Kennedy & Senator Spilka, Big Data Presentation at EMC’s World Headquarters in Hopkinton
MBR, Brandeis IBS & NEEP Sponsor Energy Conference & Event Honoring Eric Spiegel, CEO, Siemens USA
MBR Executive Director JD Chesloff Testifies on Transportation Reforms
Roundtable Supports Coalition for Vocational Education
Roundtable Members Invited to Help Shape Statewide Economic Development Strategy
What's News on Twitter
Going Around the Table
Upcoming events

JULY 16, 2015
MBR Education Task Force Meeting
9:00 –10:30 a.m.
Location: Blue Cross Blue Shield
101 Huntington Avenue
For members and representatives of member companies

SEPTEMBER 17, 2015

MBR Board Meeting
Noon–1:30 p.m.
Location: TBD
For members only

OCTOBER 14, 2015
Statewide Jobs & Workforce Summit
8 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Location: Devens

NOVEMBER 10, 2015
Statewide STEM Summit
8 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Location: Worcester

Hot links
MBR & Boston Bruins in the Berkshires
MBR Energy Principles
BBJ Energy Op-Ed
Framework for Long-Term Economic Prosperity
Roundtable Member List 2015
Follow us Follow US
National Business Roundtable
BRT CEO Survey
BRT on Modernizing Federal Permitting
BRT on Benefits of Trade
Biz & Politics
List of Members on BRT and MBR

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