NOVEMBER 2015
around the table
Executive Director's Message

Dear Members,

This year’s statewide STEM Summit drew more than 1,400 business leaders, educators, policy makers and others working to expand both interest in and access to STEM related opportunities. Supporting and investing in our talent pipeline through STEM continues to be a major priority for the Roundtable.

I want to thank all our members who contributed to the success of the Summit by participating on panels, in breakout sessions and attending the event in Worcester. Special thanks to all of our members who sponsored the event including National Grid, Vertex, EMC, General Dynamics, iRobot, Northeastern University, Raytheon, UMass, Verizon, Google, IBM, MassTech Collaborative, Museum of Science and Siemens.


12th Annual STEM Summit Draws 1,400 in Worcester Featuring Roundtable Business Leaders, Educators and Top Public Officials to Advance STEM
Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito, Congressman Kennedy, Members of the Workforce Skills Cabinet and STEM Advisory Council Join Summit

“Our commitment to STEM is not just about economic advancement, it is about economic opportunity,” said Congressman Joseph Kennedy III before an audience of more than 1,400 people at the 12th annual STEM Summit held in Worcester.

The Roundtable again joined with the STEM Advisory Council and UMass Donahue Institute to host the STEM Summit, which featured best practices from school districts as well as innovative and interactive exhibits of STEM education in action by some of the state’s leading companies.

Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, several Cabinet Secretaries, educators, policy makers, and business leaders from a wide variety of industry sectors across the state packed into the DCU Center to promote STEM education in Massachusetts. Governor Baker said that Massachusetts has “made a living off our wits” as he highlighted his Administration’s efforts to prepare communities for success educating students in STEM disciplines and promoting greater prosperity in every region of the Commonwealth.

The Hall at Patriot Place, presented by Roundtable member Raytheon, this year recognized Kerri Murphy of the Oliver Ames High School in Easton as the 2015 STEM Teacher of the Year.

The STEM Advisory Council, chaired by Lt. Governor Polito, Vertex CEO Jeff Leiden and Congressman Kennedy, held an official meeting immediately following the Summit to identify principles and priorities for the next phase of the state’s STEM Initiative.

Roundtable Members Working with Baker Administration on Regulatory Reforms
Roundtable members continue to cite the state’s burdensome regulatory environment as a competitive disadvantage in Massachusetts. While members support smart, fair regulations that protect consumers and the environment, there are too many areas in which Massachusetts is an outlier from the rest of the country.

Secretary for Administration & Finance Kristen Lepore is leading the Baker-Polito Administration’s regulatory review efforts. A&F launched a new website and tour of the state devoted to addressing meaningful regulatory reform that will provide relief to businesses while continuing to maintain high standards. Please visit the new centralized website for the Regulation Review Project, A Clearer Code: Regulatory Review:

Through the website, you are able to:

  • Submit written comments on specific regulations or on the existing regulatory climate in general
  • View public comments submitted to Secretariats and agencies
  • Find the schedule for all public listening sessions and  public hearings
  • Find the compiled Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR) as provided on the Court’s website

MBR To Establish Ad Hoc Early Education & Care Committee
Led by Roundtable member Jay Gonzalez, President & CEO of CeltiCare Health, MBR is establishing a special ad hoc committee on early education and care. In a letter to members, Jay expressed that his strong belief that “ improving access to quality early education and care is among the best investments the state can make to support working families our businesses depend on today, drive economic growth over the long-term and reduce demand on government support and corrections services over time.” 

Any Roundtable members interested in participating on the Early Education and Care Committee should contact MBR Executive Director JD Chesloff via email.

READ Letter

MBR Joins Coalition of States Supporting Reauthorization of Federal Perkins Act
As it has done in the past, the Roundtable signed a letter urging Congress to support the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins). With employers continuing to report a shortage of skilled workers to fill in-demand positions, career and technical education (CTE) programs, throughout the country, are central to overcoming this skills gap.

The letter states, “CTE is an effective tool for improving student outcomes and helps prepare both secondary and postsecondary students with the necessary academic, technical, and employability skills required for successful entry into the workforce. Indeed, CTE prepares students both for college and careers.”

READ Letter

Roundtable Welcomes Tracy Pitcher, Senior Vice President for Greater Boston Region at Comcast as New Member
Tracy Pitcher serves as Senior Vice President of the Comcast Greater Boston Region.  In this role, Tracy is the company’s top executive responsible for the customer experience for more than 1.8 million Comcast customers in more than 300 communities in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.  She oversees all of Comcast’s operations in the region, including sales, customer service, network engineering, programming, technical operations and community investment.
In her former role as Senior Vice President of SMB Operations for Comcast Business Services, Tracy oversaw the strategic direction and organizational effectiveness of Service Delivery, Technical Operations and Care across all Divisions for all customer segments.

Tracy joined Comcast in September 2009. Prior to Comcast, she held the role of Vice President, Customer Operations for Charter Communications and positions of increasing leadership and responsibility with AT&T Broadband, Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Thomson Consumer Electronics.

READ Pitcher's Biography

Converse CEO Jim Calhoun Keynotes Northeastern University CEO Breakfast Series
Thanks to Roundtable member and President of Northeastern University Joseph Aoun for another highly successful CEO Breakfast series featuring a keynote address by Converse CEO Jim Calhoun. The Roundtable is proud to team up with Northeastern, with support from Santander, Deloitte, and Wilmer Hale on the CEO series.

Just prior to the CEO Breakfast event, President Aoun sported his new Chuck Taylor sneakers from Converse. Photo provided by MBR Vice Chair Marcy Reed.


Roundtable Member Martin Meehan Becomes 27th President of the University of Massachusetts

The Roundtable congratulates Martin T. Meehan on his inauguration as the 27th President of the University of Massachusetts.

“Business is Good, Competition is Global”
Op-ed by MBR Executive Director JD Chesloff in Boston Business Journal

VIEWPOINT—By JD Chesloff, Executive Director, Mass. Business Roundtable
November 6, 2015

Business is good. That was a key takeaway from conversations this past summer with more than 50 members of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, a public policy organization comprising CEOs and senior leaders from some of the state’s largest employers. In fact, surveys of Roundtable members over the past three quarters indicate that more than 65 percent say the economy is improving and they plan to increase hiring.

However, the story that emerged is that the Massachusetts economy is thriving in pockets and struggling in others. Businesses are mindful of their place in a global economy, yet concerned about investments here at home. And they are responding in forceful and creative ways to new demands being placed on them by technology and a new generation of workers insisting on issues of equity, diversity and corporate social responsibility.

Not surprisingly, business leaders see investments in education, workforce development, and transportation infrastructure as the chief priorities to increase the state’s competitiveness. A supply of highly skilled and talented workers remains our greatest competitive advantage and is the most frequently cited reason why businesses locate here. Yet with the increasing cost of workforce housing driving workers farther away from their place of employment, it is essential to have a transportation system that can get them to work and home again. The failure of the system to deliver on its most basic responsibility, particularly this past winter, threatens our competitiveness from the Berkshires to Boston.

While issues like these, as well as the cost of energy and a difficult regulatory environment, continue to be public-policy priorities for business leaders, new issues emerged as well. For example, employers across industries are concerned about cybersecurity. There is a heightened awareness of the state’s economy operating in a global environment and of the impact of increased foreign investment. There was a palpable commitment to promoting gender and racial equity. And there are many examples of how innovation is disrupting traditional business practice.

Massachusetts employers are approached routinely by other states and countries, trying to lure them with the promise of a more cost competitive business environment. The competition is fierce. In order to continue to compete and excel in a global economy, Massachusetts must focus on its strengths and attend to its weaknesses, while being mindful of how the workplace, and indeed the world, is changing.

The summer conversations with Roundtable members reflect that. The issues raised and priorities identified begin to provide a framework for a public policy agenda. The business community stands ready to be creative and constructive partners in meeting our shared goal of lowering costs and keeping Massachusetts a highly desirable place to do business.
JD Chesloff is executive director of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, an organization of CEOs and senior executives from the state’s largest employers.

READ Online

TwitterWhat's News on Twitter

@MassLWD Secretary Walker highlights importance of apprenticeships, says @BFITinvolved graduates get jobs, meet critical needs of biz

MA energy costs are among highest in the nation. We must balance ratepayer costs & env. goals to support diverse energy portfolio #MABiz

@RepJoeKennedy says commitment to #STEM is not just about economic advancement, it's about economic opportunity #MASTEMSummit

@RepJoeKennedy lauds #STEM Advisory Council, highlights work of @MassLtGov Polito, @VertexPharma CEO Jeff Leiden #MASTEMSummit

Talent, education, workforce development, especially in #stem fields, critical to economic growth says @MassGovernor #MASTEMSummit

We need to deepen the pipeline of highly qualified, well trained educators in #STEM, says @JimPeyser @MassEducation #MASTEMSummit

MA ranks 13th in @BizRoundtable #JobsReport with close to 1 million trade jobs #mabiz

Business Roundtable @BizRoundtable
Trade supports jobs in all 50 states. Find out how many in your state:   #JobsReport

BrandeisIBS ‏@BrandeisIBS  
Essence of #Brandeis—doing well by doing good, making money by making a difference:  @Entrepreneur

Congrats to MA students and thanks to @SpeakerDeLeo for continued leadership to expand computer science ed.

Speaker Bob Deleo @SpeakerDeLeo
Congrats to MA students featured in @codegirlmovie Exciting to see that our investments in #cse are paying off.

Great to join our mbr @PwC_LLP & Boston Mayor @marty_walsh at opening of its LEED platinum offices in Seaport Innovation District #mabiz

Great op-ed in @telegramdotcom from Roundtable mbr @MarcyReedNG on the need for additional natural gas capacity

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

MA Dept. of Revenue @MassRevenue 

Imagine Boston @ImagineBos 

GlobalSTEMClassroom @GlobalSTEMClass 

NE Coalition @NEaffordenergy 

Christopher Anderson @chrisMHTC 

Microsoft Enterprise @MSFTenterprise 

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

Roundtable Member Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (BFIT) Receives Five-Year Grant from U.S. Department of Education

Congratulations to Roundtable member BFIT, which recently won a five-year $2.2 million Title III competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Education to enhance the college’s student services system to boost student learning, retention and graduation. This ranks among the largest grants awarded to the college in its 107-year history.

The project, entitled Systems for Student Success: A Pathway to Retention and Completion, is designed to improve outcomes for over 1,500 first-year students, helping them to achieve their academic and career goals.

“This project brings together advising, instruction, peer-to-peer learning, and digital teaching tools in an integrated system,” said BFIT President and Roundtable member Anthony Benoit. READ Release


Roundtable Member McGladrey Transitions to Global Brand RSM
Roundtable member McGladrey recently transitioned to global brand RSM. “RSM US LLP is the leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market, with more than 8,000 people in 80 offices nationwide. It is a licensed CPA firm and the U.S. member of RSM International, a global network of independent audit, tax and consulting firms with more than 37,000 people in over 110 countries. RSM uses its deep understanding of the needs and aspirations of clients to help them succeed.” For more information, visit


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

In this issue
12th Annual STEM Summit Draws 1,400 in Worcester Featuring Roundtable Business Leaders, Educators and Top Public Officials to Advance STEM
Roundtable Members Working with Baker Administration on Regulatory Reforms
MBR To Establish Ad Hoc Early Education & Care Committee
Roundtable Welcomes Tracy Pitcher, Senior Vice President for Greater Boston Region at Comcast as New Member
Converse CEO Jim Calhoun Keynotes Northeastern University CEO Breakfast Series
Roundtable Member Martin Meehan Becomes 27th President of the University of Massachusetts
“Business is Good, Competition is Global” Op-ed by MBR Executive Director JD Chesloff in Boston Business Journal
What's News on Twitter
Going Around the Table
Upcoming events

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

MARCH 17, 2016
Roundtable Board Meeting
Noon–1:30 p.m.
Location: TBD
For Members Only

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