DECEMBER 2015
around the table
Executive Director's Message

Dear Members,

Thanks to the outstanding support from our members across the state, the Roundtable had a tremendous year. Membership is at an all-time high. Member engagement reached new heights. And, together with our partners in the business community and state government, the Roundtable made a significant impact on public policy. I want to thank you all for your leadership, partnership and support during 2015.

Wishing you a very Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!


Roundtable Year-End Board Meeting Features Conversation with House Speaker Robert DeLeo

MBR was pleased to welcome House Speaker Robert DeLeo for an engaging conversation with 40 Roundtable business leaders during the year-end Board meeting. Hosted by KPMG Managing Partner Darren Donovan, the meeting provided members an opportunity to discuss policy priorities including energy costs, transportation reforms, workforce development, computer science and STEM education, as well as topics like regional equity and diversity.

Speaker DeLeo shared his “pride and passion for Massachusetts” noting the state has made significant investments in education and will continue to support public colleges and universities, as well as vocational technical education in communities across the state. He lauded Roundtable members Steve Vinter from Google and Pamela Goldberg from MassTech for their work on computer science education through the Mass Computing Attainment Network. He also pointed to success in the STEM Starter Academy, which has benefitted more than 15,000 students and is working to align curriculum at community colleges to meet employers’ needs.

While there are numerous success stories, Speaker DeLeo noted that not all regions of the state are experiencing economic gains. He noted the continuing headwinds caused by high housing costs and high energy costs that hurt the state’s competitiveness. Speaker DeLeo signaled his desire to address some of these issues and concerns through economic development legislation and by spurring more advanced manufacturing, tourism and other opportunities in regions across Massachusetts.

Speaker DeLeo answered questions and listened to concerns raised by members. Roundtable Chairman Michael Hogan noted the excellent work on housing by House Chairman Kevin Honan and thanked Speaker DeLeo for his continued leadership on transportation, energy and attracting and retaining a workforce with 21st century skills.

Roundtable Advocates for Sustainability, Competition & Reduced Costs for Employers in Energy Legislation
The Baker-Polito Administration, Senate and House have each offered legislation impacting the state’s energy future. Massachusetts has among the highest electricity costs in the country, which is a major competitive disadvantage and a barrier to companies considering expanding operations in the state.

The Roundtable supports efforts to promote energy efficiency and cost competitive renewable energy alternatives including the continued development of solar power in Massachusetts. MBR is guided by the principles established by its Energy Task Force, which include:

  • Public policy solutions must prioritize steps that reduce the cost of energy;
  • Ensure a transparent, competitive marketplace across all energy sources and maximize the impact of competitive forces to ensure the most cost effective outcomes for businesses and consumers;
  • Balance costs to ratepayers and environmental goals to support a diverse portfolio of energy resources.

During the Roundtable Board meeting in December, House Speaker Robert DeLeo noted that the House will continue to work toward a comprehensive legislative approach on energy during this session. This broader discussion of omnibus energy legislation will include energy efficiency, natural gas pipeline capacity, hydroelectric power, as well as on and offshore wind.  

MBR joined with numerous business associations to outline support for an approach that strikes the right balance between promoting renewable energy while also managing costs to ratepayers. MBR looks forward to working with the Administration and the Legislature to achieve these goals in 2016.

READ letter

Roundtable Welcomes New Member for 2016 Margaret McKenna, President, Suffolk University
The Roundtable is pleased to welcome its newest member, Margaret McKenna, President of Suffolk University in Boston. President McKenna is an educator and lawyer who has spent her career advocating for social justice. She was appointed the University’s 10th president in 2015. McKenna began her career as a civil rights attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice. Later in her career, she served as the deputy counsel in the White House, as undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Education, and led the education transition team for President Clinton.

President McKenna’s experience in higher education includes serving as vice president of Radcliffe College and as president of Lesley University for 22 years. She also served as a fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University. During her tenure at Lesley, the college grew from 2,000 to more than 10,000 students, from a college to a university, and from a small regional college to a nationally recognized leader in teacher education. While leading the Walmart Foundation from 2007 - 2011, McKenna created a strategy that emphasized hunger relief, education, and the economic empowerment of women. During her term, the foundation provided more than $900 million in grants annually. McKenna is an author, speaker, and expert on issues of educational access, women’s economic empowerment, hunger, and social change leadership. She has served on five corporate boards and dozens of non-profit boards and is the recipient of 10 Honorary Degrees. She serves as the vice chair of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Board and sits on the commonwealth's Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Roundtable Member McGladrey Transitions to Global Brand RSM
Roundtable member McGladrey recently changed names to RSM. The name change helps unite RSM under one global brand across 110 countries. “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

New State Tax System Goes Live for Business Filers
Commissioner Mark Nunnelly announced that the Massachusetts Department of Revenue has launched its new MassTaxConnect filing system for business filers. He thanked the Roundtable and other business organizations for helping to raise awareness about MassTaxConnect, which he said will “replace the Department’s multiple legacy systems with one integrated, well-tested, state-of-the-art system.”

The recent rollout impacts more than 250,000 taxpayers. The Department has established a web page and has customer service representatives ready to help filers with any questions or problems that may arise. The MassTaxConnect information page has information about the new system and how best to navigate it.

Roundtable Member Verizon Announces $6 Million in Awards to Innovative Start-Ups
Former Roundtable Chair Donna Cupelo, President, Verizon New England, recently announced the results of the 2015 Verizon Powerful Answers Award contest that will provide $6 million in funding for 12 start-up companies across the country including two with roots in Massachusetts. The award winners competed in a year-long global challenge to help bring to market technologies that address some of the world’s greatest challenges in emergency response, transportation and the Internet of Things (IoT). The local prize winners include:

Bounce Imaging—Boston, MA, which won the top $1 million prize in the emergency response category. Bounce Imaging provides first responders with cutting-edge technologies that allow them to see what lies ahead in those dangerous environments so they can make decisions that are safer for them and for the civilians they seek to serve and protect.

CityTaps—Île-de-France, a MassChallenge alumni, received $500,000 for first runner-up in the IoT category. CityTaps has developed water metering service that enables the urban poor to micro-pay for water from their local utility, at any time with any mobile phone.

READ story

Roundtable Member Natixis Helps Employees Pay Student Loans
Roundtable member Natixis Global Asset Management this month launched a program offering employees help paying off up to $10,000 of their student loan debt. Natixis and fellow Roundtable member PricewaterhouseCoopers were highlighted this month in a Boston Business Journal story about these new benefits to assist employees with student debt.

READ story

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

Roundtable Member CeltiCare Health Recognized for Its Work to Combat Opioid Crisis
In a recent Boston Globe story, Roundtable member CeltiCare Health was recognized for its efforts to help people battling with addition to opiates. The story noted that “CeltiCare Health Plan, is one of many insurers taking new and unusual steps to combat the state’s growing opioid crisis, an epidemic that has claimed nearly 700 lives in Massachusetts in the first six months of the year, wreaked havoc on thousands of others, and pushed up health care costs.” READ story

Roundtable Member Vertex Pharmaceuticals Wins Forbes Breakthrough Drug Award
Congratulations to Roundtable member Vertex Pharmaceuticals for winning the 1st Annual Forbes Breakthrough Drug Award! Vertex won the award during a recent health care summit in New York for Kalydeco, a new treatment for cystic fibrosis. READ story

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.

TwitterWhat's News on Twitter

Speaker Bob DeLeo ‏@SpeakerDeLeo 
Proud to share "passion & pride for MA" w/ @MABizRoundtable. TY for your contributions to the state & for sharing your insights w/ me today.

Eastern Labs ‏@EasternLabs
We don't think it should be uncommon. 'Banking and Fintech: An Uncommon Partnership' via @FinancialBrand @JimMarous

Business Roundtable @BizRoundtable
News Roundup: CEO's Release Q4 2015 #CEOSurvey

Fidelity Investments @Fidelity
We can help you plan for that!  #BecauseSomeday

MassDevelopment ‏@MassDev
Our CEO Marty Jones & @WPI Prof. Walter Towner write in @telegramdotcom how innovation ctrs help MA #manufacturers 

@SuffolkBuilds workers spray paint 24 names of young cancer patients on beam outside @BrighamWomens to show support

Congratulations to our mbr @VertexPharma for winning the @Forbes 1st Annual Breakthrough Drug Award!  #innovation

Thanks to Congressman @mikecapuano for his leadership on #highwaybill supporting economic growth

#FF some great Roundtable members @Raytheon @PartnersNews @Shawmut_Builds @CeltiCare @RSMUSLLP @delawarenorth @LibertyMutual @Medtronic

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

Marty Meehan @martymeehan 

Eastern Labs @EasternLabs

Bay State Wind @BayStateWind

MA Staffing Assn. @MSAstaffing 

Finegold Alexander @faainc 

Urban Edge Boston @UrbanEdgeBoston

In this issue
Roundtable Year-End Board Meeting Features Conversation with House Speaker Robert DeLeo
Roundtable Advocates for Sustainability, Competition & Reduced Costs for Employers in Energy Legislation
Roundtable Welcomes New Member for 2016 Margaret McKenna, President, Suffolk University
Roundtable Member McGladrey Transitions to Global Brand RSM
New State Tax System Goes Live for Business Filers
Roundtable Member Verizon Announces $6 Million in Awards to Innovative Start-Ups
Roundtable Member Natixis Helps Employees Pay Student Loans
Going Around the Table
What's News on Twitter
Upcoming events

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

JUNE 16, 2016Annual Meeting
8:00–10:00 a.m.
Location: TBD

Hot links
MBR Energy Principles
Framework for Long-Term Economic Prosperity
Roundtable Member List 2015
Follow us Follow US
National Business Roundtable
BRT Announces New Chairman
BRT on Highway Bill
BRT on Closing the Skills Gap
Biz & Politics

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