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

Dear Members,

On behalf of our member companies representing more than 250,000 employees across the state, I want to take a moment to thank the State Legislature and the Baker-Polito Administration for advancing several key policy priorities—transportation, tax policy, education and workforce development—through the state budget. The business community worked collaboratively with state leaders on significant management and governance reforms in transportation. Policy makers also made important investments in the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund, STEM and computer science education, priorities strongly supported by MBR.

There is still much work to be done this fall on issues including energy, health care, talent and transportation. We appreciate your continued engagement and support.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!


MBR’s Education Task Force Meets with State Education Secretary James Peyser at Blue Cross Blue Shield
MBR’s Education and Workforce Development Task Force welcomed Massachusetts’ Education Secretary, Jim Peyser, for a wide ranging conversation about the Baker Administration’s education priorities and issues of importance to employers. Hosted by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts at their new offices in Boston, and Chaired by Marcy Reed, Massachusetts President of National Grid, the Task Force also discussed the Board of Education’s upcoming decision regarding the PARCC exams as well as legislation to lift the cap on charter schools.

Secretary Peyser provided an overview of the Baker Administration’s primary areas of focus, which include: early literacy and bridging the gap between early education and the k-12 systems; college readiness with a goal of reducing the amount of remedial education required and increasing the number of charter schools; career pathways by including the entire spectrum of options, such as vocational technical education; college completion, with a goal of doubling on time complete rates; and workforce, with a focus on aligning with employer needs particularly in the STEM fields and coordination through the Workforce Skills Cabinet.

MBR Members then engaged with Secretary Peyser on a number of issues including: the STEM Council, which the Secretary sees an developing into “an effective instrument of public policy;” the PARCC exam, and the in-depth process the Administration is using to gather data; the use of technology and its primacy within the STEM disciplines; and business engagement with the Administration on key education and workforce development issues.

This was Secretary Peyser’s second meeting with the Task Force, and we are grateful for the collaboration and leadership he is showing in understanding the needs of the business community.

The Task Force then engaged in conversations about charter schools, led by Keith Mahoney from the Boston Foundation. MBR has historically supported charter schools and that position was confirmed by the Task Force. Linda Noonan, the Executive Director of MBAE, led a conversation on common core and PARCC, which will help inform the development of a position statement.

Special thanks to Mike Caljouw from Blue Cross Blue Shield for hosting, and to Marcy Reed for her continued leadership of the Task Force.

Roundtable Discussion with U.S. Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James on August 20th in Boston
The Roundtable is pleased to offer to its members and colleagues in the business community a unique opportunity to engage in a discussion with U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James on Thursday, August 20, 2015, 10:00-11:30 am, at the Hampshire House in Boston. MBR is partnering with the New England Council to convene a discussion on the importance of STEM education, partnerships with industry and higher education, as well as military bases and other assets in the Commonwealth.

There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. If you are interested in participating in this event, register online or please contact Chris Kealey.


State Budget Includes Key Roundtable Priorities—STEM, Computer Science, Workforce Training
Roundtable business leaders routinely cite the talent of the state’s workforce as a key competitive advantage in the Commonwealth. However, members have expressed concerns about ongoing challenges finding and retaining top talent in a highly competitive global marketplace. MBR successfully advocated for $2 million to recapitalize the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund in the FY16 state budget. This proven job training program managed by Commonwealth Corporation emphasizes regional partnerships with employers across the state to develop the talent pipeline. The Legislature provided funding to support a new round of competitive, regional, sector-based job training grants that will be available this fall. Roundtable members have participated in previous partnerships funded by the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund, which have leveraged $18 million in matching funds from businesses and other sources. The Legislature also included in the budget important funding to advance new opportunities for students across the state in both STEM and computer science education.

MBR Advocates for Greater Gender Diversity on Boards
Roundtable Executive Director JD Chesloff submitted testimony to the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development in support of S1007, A Resolution to Support Equitable and Diverse Gender Representation on the Boards of Companies in the Commonwealth. The resolution was reported favorable out of committee on July 21, 2015.

Mr. Chesloff’s testimony noted, “While this resolution is non-binding, it would be a landmark step to enhance the Commonwealth’s competitive position in the global economy by making clear the seriousness with which we take gender diversity in corporate leadership. In fact, only two other states in the nation have adopted such a resolution.

“Encouraging more women on boards isn’t just the right thing to do, or the fair thing to do—it could benefit the Massachusetts economy. In 2014 Credit Suisse studied 3000 companies, and found that gender diversity in a company’s leadership structure is a recipe for success, yielding ‘higher returns on equity, higher price/book valuations, and superior stock performance.’ Reports by Thomson Reuters in 2013, Credit Suisse in 2012, and McKinsey in 2007, 2010, and 2013 found similar results. There is unquestionably a connection between greater gender diversity at the top, and enhanced corporate performance—which means enhanced economic performance here in the Commonwealth.”

READ the resolution

Roundtable Welcomes Les Hiscoe, New Chief Executive Officer, Shawmut Design & Construction
The Roundtable is pleased to welcome Les Hiscoe, CEO, Shawmut Design & Construction and express our sincere thanks to retiring CEO Tom Goemaat for his long-standing support and engagement. MBR appreciates the ongoing partnership with Shawmut Design & Construction and looks forward to introducing Les to the Roundtable’s members.

As CEO, Les Hiscoe provides the leadership and vision required to maintain the continued growth and success of Shawmut Design and Construction, a $1.2 billion national construction management firm. His focus is on creating the most differentiated customer experience in our industry by driving exceptional levels of client service, developing teams of remarkably talented people, and embracing the latest technologies and implementing them across every aspect of the business.

As a hands-on leader, Hiscoe works closely with his senior management team to create and maintain mutually beneficial, long-standing relationships with clients such as Harvard University, Legal Sea Foods, TD Garden, Boston Medical Center, and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Hiscoe has over 25 years of experience in the construction industry, including 17 years at Shawmut. He has been instrumental in the expansion and growth of the company’s New York, Los Angeles, and Miami offices. He is a four-year Pan-Mass Challenge rider and currently sits on the advisory board for VMSD and on the Board of Directors for Rebuilding Together NYC, where he was recently named Board Member of the Year.

Hiscoe graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, is also a graduate of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Leadership Institute at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and is a Registered Professional Engineer.

Roundtable Board Meeting September 17th Features Conversation with Secretary Jay Ash in Boston
Roundtable members are encouraged to please save the date for the next full Board of Directors meeting on Thursday, September 17, 2015, Noon-1:30 pm, in Boston. The meeting will feature a discussion with Governor Baker’s top economic development advisor, Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing & Economic Development. It will also include a presentation on the major themes and priorities identified by more than 50 Roundtable members this summer to inform MBR’s fall agenda. Additional details will be emailed to members well in advance of the meeting.




TwitterWhat's News on Twitter

State Street  @StateStreet
Together w/ @BostonPIC we connect Boston youth to education & employment opps. #STTBostonWINs 

Tremendous commitment to workforce development by our member @StateStreet #STTBostonWINs


Agree RT @masstaxpayersfd: Landmark day for MBTA with first meeting of new control board #fixourt #mapoli @fixourt

Congratulations to new @UMass President Martin Meehan! We look forward to working with you.

Great story about our mbr @KarenKaplanHH, CEO @hillholliday
READ the story

Great story on our member Becker College @BeckerNews @BeckerPrez in today's @telegramdotcom

Great discussions today with our mbrs at @CeltiCare @BFITinvolved @CabotCorp @NatixisGlobalAM — all helping to strengthen #MABiz

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

Comcast New England @ComcastNewEng 

Dan Cullinane @DannyCullinane 
State Representative—12th Suffolk District

Neighborhood Health @NHPHealth

Denterlein @Denterlein 

Mike Caljouw @MCalj 

Atrius Health @AtriusHealth 

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

Roundtable Member Brandeis International Business School Dean Bruce Magid Op-Ed in BBJ

Op-ed: Unlocking the full potential of our international students
By Bruce Magid, Dean of Brandeis International Business School

It’s a familiar sight on campuses every spring: Talented and dynamic business school students from every corner of the world don caps and gowns and take the stage at commencements around the U.S. These graduates are brimming with pride and optimism about the impact they will make as newly minted MBAs.

Among them is Stella Ng’oma from Malawi, who studied the business implications of the sustainable use of natural resources to combat global climate change over the long term. Stella aspires to work in the U.S. as a business analyst or consultant. Next year, Tomer Goldstein from Tel Aviv, Israel, will graduate. He dreams of building his own firm to support alternative energy investments. In addition to their promising futures, Stella and Tomer share one other thing in common: They will both be competing with thousands of other top international graduates of U.S. universities to obtain one of the precious few visas that will allow them to become successful and contributing members of the U.S. economy. READ more

Roundtable Member State Street Publishes Report from Center for Applied Research
Addressing Gender Folklore
Diversity in Investing or Investing in Diversity

“Women represent about half of the US workforce and college graduates with a business degree. Yet the percentage of women across the investment industry doesn’t come close to being proportional. The picture is roughly the same in Europe and Asia-Pacific.” READ report


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
MBR’s Education Task Force Meets with State Education Secretary James Peyser at Blue Cross Blue Shield
Roundtable Discussion with U.S. Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James on August 20th in Boston
State Budget Includes Key Roundtable Priorities—STEM, Computer Science, Workforce Training
MBR Advocates for Greater Gender Diversity on Boards
Roundtable Welcomes Les Hiscoe, New Chief Executive Officer, Shawmut Design & Construction
Roundtable Board Meeting September 17th Features Conversation with Secretary Jay Ash in Boston
What's News on Twitter
Going Around the Table
Upcoming events

AUGUST 20, 2015
Special Roundtable Discussion: Featuring Secretary of the U.S. Air Force Deborah Lee James
10:00–11:30 a.m.
Hampshire House, Boston
For members and representatives of member companies

SEPTEMBER 15, 2015

Northeastern University CEO Breakfast
Featuring Raytheon Chairman & CEO Thomas Kennedy
7:30–9:00 a.m.
Four Seasons Boston
For members and representatives of member companies

SEPTEMBER 17, 2015
MBR Board Meeting
Noon–1:30 p.m.
Location: Boston
For members only

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

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

Hot links
FAS-109 Compromise Reached
MBR Energy Principles
Framework for Long-Term Economic Prosperity
Roundtable Member List 2015
Follow us Follow US
National Business Roundtable
BRT on Tax Extenders
BRT on Every Child Achieves Act
BRT on Health Care Excise Tax
Biz & Politics
List of Members on BRT and MBR

About Us  |  Competitiveness Agenda  |  Focus  Areas  |  Task Forces  |  Membership  |  Home
©Massachusetts Business Roundtable. All rights reserved.