With 2017 off to a fast start both at the state and federal level, I want to highlight three ways the Roundtable and its members are collaborating with public leaders to impact public policy. First, we are convening a group of two dozen state roundtable leaders to meet with the national Business Roundtable in April to discuss strategies for moving federal tax reform and other major policy priorities forward. Second, we appreciate the opportunity to work with House Speaker DeLeo on the Business Advisory Council mapping out pathways to improve early education and care. Third, we are pleased to announce that Senate President Rosenberg will lead a discussion with members during the March 15th Board meeting in Boston.
As always, please contact us directly to share your ideas, expertise and any good news that your organization would like us to share with the greater business community.
“When taken at face value, early education and care may not seem like a business or labor issue. But make no mistake, it is.”
– House Speaker Robert DeLeo
During a major public event at the State House this month, House Speaker Robert DeLeo unveiled the findings of the Business Advisory Council on Early Education and Care in Massachusetts noting that the system is currently “in crisis” as it seeks to attract and retain high quality educators. The report highlights the business case for strengthening the early education system and makes a series of both short- and long-term recommendations to address the challenges.
Roundtable Executive Director JD Chesloff spoke during the event unveiling the report, which he helped draft as a member of the Council, and thanked the Speaker as well as other legislators for their leadership on this issue. The Council’s report concluded:
- High-quality Early Education and Care (EEC) is a business imperative.
- The early education system is in crisis and must be stabilized and strengthened.
- The Commonwealth needs a comprehensive workforce development system for supporting early educators.
- There is not a long-term plan to sustain the early education and care system in Massachusetts.
- Quality investments in the early education and care system must be designed to measure results.
The report highlighted numerous specific recommendations to stabilize the early education workforce, build quality programs and create a sustainable system that better meets the needs of children and families across the state. The Roundtable is grateful for Speaker DeLeo’s strong leadership on this issue.
Read Early Education Report
Read Berkshire Eagle Editorial
The Roundtable’s 2016 Annual Report was distributed this month to all our members and key partners across state government. The theme of this year’s report is “collaboration,” which was certainly a hallmark of our work with business leaders, public officials and other stakeholders. The report highlights our shared successes and underscores the importance of working together to sharpen our competitive edge in the global economy.
Looking ahead to 2017, the Roundtable will continue to advocate for our member-driven priorities and work collaboratively to develop sound public policy that will make Massachusetts a better place to live, work and raise a family. Below is a link to the online version of the report. Thank you for sharing your ideas and expertise with us throughout the year, and we look forward to continued collaboration in the year ahead!
Read Annual Report
As a statewide organization, regional equity is a key principle for the Roundtable. House Speaker Robert DeLeo has developed an important initiative to address it by connecting western Massachusetts businesses with opportunities in the eastern part of the state. The Roundtable has been supportive of the initiative, called the Bay State Business Link, with Roundtable Chair Marcy Reed, Massachusetts President of National Grid, participating on the panel announcing the initiative’s launch. The Bay State Business Link is already having an impact. For example, Speaker DeLeo announced that Greentown Labs Manufacturing Initiative will be opening an office in Springfield. The new site, funded in part by the Davis Foundation, will create a bridge between hardware startups in the Boston area and manufacturers and startups in Western Mass. These linkages will help ensure that before companies look out-of-state for a service, they are able to connect with Massachusetts businesses and potential employees.
The Roundtable will continue to engage in this effort and is grateful for the Speaker’s leadership, focus and action on regional equity.
Senate President Stan Rosenberg invited the Roundtable to an open caucus this month to discuss the state’s economy and ways for the business community to collaborate with the Senate during the 2017-18 legislative session. MBR was the first business group to be invited for a dialogue with the Senate Caucus, which is planning to hold additional meetings with other business organizations next month.
Roundtable Executive Committee Member, James Tierney, NE Market Director for JLL and MBR Executive Director JD Chesloff highlighted the major policy priorities—education, transportation, energy, health care and competitiveness—and engaged in a conversation with close to 30 members of the Senate at the State House. They also discussed major themes from Roundtable member companies including equity/diversity, global competition and the uncertainty in Washington, DC. They shared a series of overarching business principles developed to inform policy makers about the impact that policies have on the state’s business community.
James Tierney presented data on the state’s economy while also noting the major benefits and challenges to doing business in Massachusetts. Senators asked a series of questions about education, energy and working more effectively together. JD Chesloff told the Caucus that while we will not agree on everything, the Roundtable is committed to an open dialogue with the Senate and to achieving a better mutual understanding our positions on policy issues.
Read SHNS Story
The Roundtable runs on Dunkin’. MBR is pleased to welcome its newest member, Kate Jaspon, Vice President for Finance and Treasury of Dunkin’ Brands, Inc., parent company to Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin Robbins, which is headquartered in Canton, Massachusetts.
Kate has responsibility for global financial planning and analysis, business analytics, debt and cash management, loss prevention and insurance functions. She previously served as the Company’s Corporate Controller. Kate has lead Dunkin' through a number of transactions including the Company's IPO and follow-on equity offerings, two securitizations and numerous other debt transactions, the divestiture of a brand and several system implementations.
Prior to joining Dunkin' Brands, Kate was as a Senior Manager at Roundtable member KPMG LLP, where she spent eight years supporting both public and private companies as an auditor. Kate holds a BS from Roundtable member Babson College and is a CPA licensed in Massachusetts.
The Roundtable is pleased to welcome new member Mark Butler, who became president of Cigna Healthcare of New England in January 2015. He is responsible for new customer growth and client retention, management of all hospital and physician contracting relationships, and the expansion of the value-based Cigna Collaborative Care model across New England. During his 15 years with Cigna, Butler has served in various senior leadership positions in sales and client management.
“Cigna is recognized nationally as a leader that helps improve the health and well-being of the customers it serves. In New England and throughout the country, the company is committed to building strong collaborative partnerships with hospitals and physicians focused on improving health and delivering high-quality affordable care,” Butler said. “When we provide doctors and hospitals with actionable clinical data, and when we use incentives to promote healthy behavior, we can create the best path to improved health and productivity.”
Butler has more than 39 years of experience in the health care industry. Prior to joining Cigna he held leadership positions in sales, marketing and operations at UnitedHealthcare, Tufts Health Plan and The Travelers.
Butler holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Economics from Siena College. He is also a graduate of the Executive Leadership Development Program at the University of Virginia, Darden School of Management. Butler and his wife Millie reside in Westborough, Massachusetts. They have two children.
Special congratulations are in order for a great leader in Massachusetts and longtime friend of the Roundtable as Senator William “Mo” Cowan was recently appointed to join the GE Global Law & Policy team as Vice President, Litigation and Legal Policy, effective April 1, 2017. Most recently, Mo served at Roundtable Member Mintz Levin as the CEO for ML Strategies. In its announcement, General Electric noted that Mo will continue to help lead GE’s Boston team as the company advances with the construction of its new global headquarters in the Seaport Innovation District in Boston. Congratulations to Mo Cowan, and we look forward to working with you in your new role! Read Globe story
Cigna Health announced it is looking to hire a talented individual to become its Local Market Activation Leader, a newly created position with Cigna New England. This position is responsible for deepening key stakeholder relationships within the market primarily through the use of community engagement. Success of the position will be measured through a combination of business value (i.e., contribution to market growth) and social value (i.e., impact to the community). Additionally, this position will assist in raising the profile of Cigna as a thought leader, leader in prevention/wellness and leader in innovation. If you know anyone who may be interested in this opportunity, please share Cigna New England Position.
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.
Cyber security, digital health, high tech are key to economic growth in Mass. says @MassGovernor—Roundtable members leading the way #MASOTC
MBR believes in diversity, equity & fairness in the workplace. We embrace & support immigrants across Massachusetts.
“#STEM education is not just about economic advancement, it’s about economic opportunity.”@RepJoeKennedy #MBRAnnualReport
Our #MBRAnnualReport is out! Be sure to catch up on our highlights from 2016.
Great to join @SenStan @MarcRPacheco @SenatorMikeRush @joeboncore @ldforry & Sen. McGee for #maconvos on transportation
Proposed #MAMedicaidTax applies to employees already offered good coverage from employers, NOT just taxpayer supported plans #MABiz #MAPoli
Reward to #volunteers: member @CohenKinne given award for community volunteering. #IntheNews Berkshire
Thank you @JonMitchellNB for a great discussion about opptys in New Bedford w/Roundtable biz leaders @MarcyReedNG & @MakepeaceAD Mike Hogan