SEPTEMBER 2015
around the table
Executive Director's Message

Dear Members,

Chris and I met with 50 Roundtable members individually this summer to discuss priorities, trends and ways we can continue to improve the value proposition for your membership. We are incorporating the specific feedback we received to make adjustments to the Roundtable’s mission statement, and to focus our policy agenda on the core priorities identified by our members. We appreciate your continued support and engagement as we look ahead to a busy fall on Beacon Hill.

I would also like to extend my personal congratulations and thanks to Bud LaCava, the retiring Managing Partner of KPMG. Bud has been a longtime member of MBR and an important and effective voice at our table. Thanks to Bud for his great leadership at the Roundtable and for KPMG’s in our community.


Roundtable Board Discusses Competitiveness, Economic Opportunity with Secretary Jay Ash

Secretary of Housing & Economic Development Jay Ash joined the Roundtable’s Board of Directors for a conversation on economic competitiveness with business leaders from across the state, addressing ideas to strengthen the talent pipeline and sharpen the state’s competitive edge in the global economy. He discussed the Baker-Polito Administration’s work to develop a statewide economic development strategy for the Commonwealth and highlighted his collaboration with Education Secretary James Peyser and Labor & Workforce Development Secretary Ron Walker as part of the Workforce Skills Cabinet.

MBR Members and Secretary Ash discussed issues such as streamlining and modernizing state regulations, developing career pathways for people across the state in high demand professions, and creating additional workforce housing that is affordable. The Secretary emphasized the importance of creating deep partnerships between businesses and higher education to meet the talent needs of a wide range of industry sectors, specifically emphasizing the significant growth and career opportunities that exist in advanced manufacturing. Members expressed support for Secretary Ash’s work to expand economic opportunity to regions across the state, particularly the Gateway Cities.

Special thanks to Secretary Ash and the Baker-Polito Administration for their continued collaboration with the Roundtable, and to Karen Kaplan, Chairman & CEO of Hill Holliday for hosting the meeting.

Talent, Transportation Infrastructure, Workforce Housing Top Priorities for Roundtable Members

MBR Staff met individually with 50 Roundtable members this summer in our annual effort to update MBR’s mission, value proposition and agenda. One key takeaway: While there are still challenges related to cost of doing business and the state’s regulatory regime, as well as some global considerations such as China and the EU, business is good. Increased M&A activity, acknowledgment of the importance of middle market companies, and concern for statewide regional inequities additionally were cited as consistent themes.

MBR members confirmed the Roundtable’s policy agenda, citing education and workforce development, transportation infrastructure, and workforce housing as key issues for economic competitiveness. The “triangulation” of all three emerged as an important issue, with one member saying “If the workforce moves further out of the core because it’s too expensive, and workers then can’t get here, you don’t have a workforce.” Cost of energy was also cited as a priority issue. These items will continue to be the focal points of MBR’s policy agenda.

Some new issues and themes emerged as well. Employers from many different industries are concerned about cyber threats and cybersecurity. There was more acknowledgment of the Massachusetts economy operating in a global environment, with global best practices being incorporated into business models, increased foreign investment, and an influx of “global people” who are influencing business practices here and abroad. There seemed to be a heightened awareness and commitment to promoting gender and racial equity.  And we heard many examples of how technology and innovation are disrupting traditional business practice.  We will be working with members to incorporate these new themes of cybersecurity, globalization, equity and diversity, and technology disruption into MBR’s work.

MBR is a member-driven organization. As such, these meetings are critical to ensuring the organization reflects the thinking, ideas and priorities of the members. MBR thanks its members for their support and engagement.

US Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James Meets with Business Leaders in Boston
U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James touched down in Boston for a series of meetings and tours that included a discussion with 100 business leaders on STEM education, cyber security and future readiness of the Air Force. This special opportunity was convened jointly with our friends and colleagues at the New England Council.

Roundtable members and executives from General Dynamics, MITRE, Tufts Health Plan, State Street, Northeastern University, Becker College, Kinder Morgan, MassDevelopment and others participated in the conversation with Secretary James. She noted that the Air Force is at its smallest size since 1947, has significant needs to modernize aircraft and force readiness challenges. She highlighted three key priorities:

  1. Taking Care of People: investing in professional development, recruiting and retaining talent, diversity and pay raises for Air Force personnel;

  2. Balancing Readiness Today with Modernizing the Air Force for the Future: budget constraints, aging infrastructure and assets and a one-year budget cycle are significant challenges;

  3. Making Every Dollar Count: instilling in every department the need to maximize the impact of and the accountability and transparency for every dollar the Air Force receives from taxpayers.

While the region continues to prepare for a potential round of federal Base Realignment and Closures (BRAC), this visit represented an extremely important opportunity to showcase the critical assets, highly skilled workforce, commitment from the business community and elected officials, as well as the value generated by Hanscom AFB, MIT Lincoln Laboratory and Systems Center in Natick. 

MBR Joins New England Coalition for Affordable Energy
Continuing its work to advocate for reduced energy costs, encourage efficiency, support competitive renewable energy alternatives and increase natural gas capacity, the Roundtable joined the Coalition for Affordable Energy. The MBR Energy Task Force developed a set of principles and directed the staff to communicate with a wide variety of stakeholders about the need for action to address the region’s energy needs. MBR co-sponsored an energy conference with Brandeis International Business School and NEEP this spring.  

The Roundtable will work as part of the coalition that currently includes AIM, the Associated Industries of Vermont, Business & Industry Association of New Hampshire; Brotherhood of Utility Workers Council, UWUA 369; Connecticut Business & Industry Association; Independent Oil Marketers Association of New England; NAIOP Massachusetts; National Federation of Independent Business (CT, MA, ME, RI, VT Chapters); Maine State Chamber of Commerce; and the Retailers Association of Massachusetts. While it is sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute and America's Natural Gas Alliance, the Coalition’s recent report supports renewable energy.

The Coalition’s mission is “to factually communicate and promote the economic imperative for energy infrastructure development in New England.” The Coalition will not take positions on individual infrastructure projects, however, it will provide information, including credible research and analyses underscoring the need for investments in our energy infrastructure.


Roundtable Welcomes Darren Donovan, Managing Principal, KPMG
MBR is pleased to welcome new Managing Principal for KPMG, Darren Donovan to the Roundtable and offer our sincere thanks and best wishes to Bud LaCava for his many contributions to the group over the years.

As new Managing Principal for KPMG’s Boston office, Darren Donovan is responsible for the strategic direction and growth of the Boston office and in making KPMG a great place to work and build a career. Most recently, he served as advisory office leader and as a principal heading forensics for the firm’s New England/Upstate New York region. Donovan serves as the lead relationship partner for some of the firm’s largest accounts.

A certified fraud examiner, Donovan has spent more than 30 years delivering regulatory, compliance and forensic services to financial institutions and corporations. He joined KPMG’s Boston office in 2001 and was admitted to the partnership in 2004. Active in the community, Donovan currently serves on the Board of Directors for Boston Partners in Education. Additionally, he is an ambassador for the Steppingstone Foundation and is a member of Suffolk University’s College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Board.

READ Darren's Bio

State Talent Pipeline Training Grants Available Soon from Commonwealth Corporation
Employers report they are having difficulty finding the talent needed to spur economic growth in Massachusetts. Workers report having trouble finding the right job that matches their skills and experience. It is a vexing challenge that Governor Charlie Baker highlighted during his discussion with Roundtable members and one that is being addressed by the Workforce Skills Cabinet he appointed earlier this year.

The Roundtable strongly advocated this year with support from its members and partners for the recapitalization of the state’s Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund, managed by Commonwealth Corporation. The Legislature included $2 million in the current fiscal year’s state budget to fund competitive, regional, sector-based training initiatives that produce the talented workers employers need to fill jobs. This program requires employer participation to ensure that the training leads to jobs.

Later this month, Commonwealth Corporation will unveil its request for proposals from employers, non-profits and others to fund regional job training partnerships. If you are interested in learning more about this program, please visit online or contact Chris Kealey.

Commissioner Mark Nunnelly Appoints MBR Deputy Director Chris Kealey to DOR Advisory Council
Mark Nunnelly, Commissioner for the state’s Department of Revenue, convened a meeting this month of the new DOR Advisory Council to provide feedback and ideas to inform policy development and implementation. He appointed MBR Deputy Director Chris Kealey, who has experience on the prior council, as well as working on tax administration at DOR during the 1990s, to serve as a member of the Council.

Commissioner Nunnelly and members of the DOR senior staff discussed ways the Council can help improve communications between DOR and the business community, as well as to spur innovation at the Department. The Council discussed important initiatives at DOR including the implementation of MassTaxConnect, audit practices, dispute resolution and customer service. DOR will launch MassTaxConnect’s e-filing system for business taxpayers in November 2015.

Commissioner Nunnelly, who was most recently a Managing Director for Bain Capital, also serves as Special Advisor to Governor Baker on Technology and Innovation Competitiveness.


READ Mark's Bio

TwitterWhat's News on Twitter

Shire @Shireplc
Shire is the newest member of the @MABizRoundtable! Looking forward to working with a great group of business leaders. #MABiz

Raytheon @Raytheon
RT @MABizRoundtable: @Raytheon's Kennedy highlights importance of encrypting data, training all employees to be cyber secure #NUCEO Forum

@masstaxpayersfd latest report on the cost of doing business in MA #stalledprogressMA #mapoli

Congrats! MT @BeckerPrez Honored to be part of today's #MA Board of #Higher #Education swearing in ceremony. @MassGovernor @MassEducation

As Labor Day approaches, check out “Faces Behind the Blades” @Gillette

Deborah Lee James @SecAF23
I met today wtih @MABizRoundtable. Great discussions and enormous talent in the room! Thank you! #partnerships

New report reinforces BRT's on impact of 40% excise tax on health care benefits. Letter

RT @Tim_BuckleyMA "We all operate on a single grid (NE Guvs) so we must all work together when it comes to energy" -@MassGovernor #NEGECP

Congrats to @VertexPharma for Bottom Line send-off for first-generation college students BizJournal via @BostonGlobe

RETWEET: An effort to have computer science taught in more Mass. public schools will move forward.  @BostonGlobe

EMC Corporation @EMCcorp
How a 78% growth in mobile device use changed the way we think about staying connected 

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

Boston College's Chief Executives Club @BCCEOClub 

South Shore Chamber @sschamber 

Katie Joyce @Katiecjoyce

Cathy Wissink @cathywissink

Downtown Boston BID @DTownBostonBID

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

POWER BREAKFAST: Winning the Talent Race
Boston Business Journal Event Highlights Talent, Workforce Development, Education

Roundtable members continue to identify talent and workforce development as a key public policy priority for the state to compete effectively in the global economy.

Join the College of Management at UMass Boston and the Boston Business Journal on October 6 for a discussion on the intersection of workforce development, education, employers, and government/policy as a means to create a talent pipeline & close the skills gap.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015,
University of Massachusetts–Boston
100 Morrissey Boulevard Boston MA 02125
For MBR Members: Use Promo Code: MBROUNDTABLE to save $25 off the registration fee.

Making It in Massachusetts
Earlier this month, the Boston Globe ran a terrific story on Gillette’s World Shaving Headquarters in South Boston, which is making razor blades right here in Massachusetts. Congratulations to long-time Roundtable member Procter & Gamble for launching a highly successful campaign, “Faces Behind the Blades,” timed around Labor Day to celebrate the pride and passion of workers at the company.

VIEW the video   |   READ Boston Globe story


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 Board Discusses Competitiveness, Economic Opportunity with Secretary Jay Ash
Talent, Transportation Infrastructure, Workforce Housing Top Priorities for Roundtable Members
U.S. Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James Meets with Business Leaders in Boston
MBR Joins New England Coalition for Affordable Energy
Roundtable Welcomes Darren Donovan, Managing Principal, KPMG
State Talent Pipeline Training Grants Available Soon from Commonwealth Corporation
Commissioner Mark Nunnelly Appoints MBR Deputy Director Chris Kealey to DOR Advisory Council
What's News on Twitter
Going Around the Table
Upcoming events

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

DECEMBER 10, 2015
Roundtable Board Meeting
8:00–10:00 a.m.
KPMG, Two Financial Center
60 South Street, Boston
For Members Only

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