MARCH 2018
around the table
Executive Director's Message

Dear Members,

At the March quarterly Board of Directors meeting, we had strong attendance and engagement from our members discussing the “Future of Work.” Business leaders from different industry sectors highlighted the impact of artificial intelligence, robotics and automation on the workforce, workplace and the work being performed across the state. It was clear that while technology will continue to significantly alter the way we work, employers do not view this as technology versus people. On the contrary, new technology is opening new job opportunities, and requiring the development of new skills.

I want to thank our host for the meeting, Kevin McGovern, Managing Partner at Deloitte, all our members for participating in this timely discussion and special thanks to Massachusetts Education Secretary James Peyser for engaging with business leaders. We will be developing specific policy interventions to further strengthen the state’s talent pipeline.


Roundtable Board Meeting Addresses “Future of Work” with Education Secretary James PeyserWill automation, robotics and artificial intelligence replace our talented workers? The conclusion from Roundtable business leaders was a resounding “No!” While the rapid pace of technological change is causing disruption throughout our economy, it is not a simple case of people versus machines. New jobs and new opportunities are emerging. Technology is augmenting productivity and changing the way people work. Education, workforce training and public policy must move faster to keep up with the needs of employers in this new paradigm. Deeper partnerships between businesses and the state’s education system are needed. And, although Massachusetts’ education system is ranked number one in the country, there needs to be much more urgency on driving improvements in areas including STEM and computational thinking.

Roundtable members from different industries led a robust conversation with Education Secretary James Peyser about the “Future of Work” during the March Board of Directors meeting hosted by Deloitte in Boston. Deloitte Managing Partner Kevin McGovern set the table with a brief presentation on major disruptors, highlighting a continuum of talent options and posing a series of questions that companies are considering as they develop digital strategies. Roundtable members Tracy Pitcher from Comcast, James Ducey from UBS and Jim Tierney from JLL provided examples of ways their organizations are addressing the changing dimensions in the future of work related to how the work is being augmented by technology, how companies are recruiting and retaining talent and physical changes in the workplace that are resulting from automation.

Secretary Peyser noted the continuing importance of the education systems leadership on preparing students with foundational skills to read, write and communicate effectively while also boosting problem solving and critical thinking. He also noted the state’s new science standards and innovation pathways, as well as the important work to expand access to computer science and STEM in schools across the state. Roundtable members discussed specific ways to improve school-to-career connecting activities, paid internships, reaching diverse new talent pools, emphasizing an agile mindset and career/workforce training opportunities for students and teachers.  

Roundtable Supports H.4290, Advocates for Increased Housing Choice as Economic Development Imperative

Roundtable members from AD Makepeace, KPMG and Rockland Trust participated in a discussion with Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito and joined them for a press conference to support the Housing Choice Initiative.

MBR sent a letter to legislative leaders supporting H.4290, An Act to Promote Housing Choices to provide incentives for communities that speed the development of new housing starts. Here is an excerpt from the letter:

Partnering with the University of Massachusetts Boston Center for Collaborative Leadership, the Roundtable conducted a report looking at the intersection of housing, transportation and workforce. One of the key findings of that report was increasing collaboration with local and municipal government to “provide the interconnected growth strategy necessary for economic growth and job creation.”  In fact, one of the recommendations was to “continue enhancing existing housing policies to provide incentives to cities and towns” and “keeping pressure on the state and its local communities to ensure sufficient housing at an affordable price.”  H.4290 does just that, and is a key component of Governor Baker’s Housing Choice Initiative, which seeks to increase housing stock to meet the overwhelming demand of a growing economy. 

READ letter | READ Release

MBR Welcomes New Member Howard Elias, Dell Technologies, to the Roundtable Board of Directors
The Roundtable is pleased to welcome its newest member of the MBR Board of Directors, Howard Elias, President, Dell Services, Digital and IT. In this role, Mr. Elias is responsible for supporting customers across the Client Solutions and Infrastructure Solutions Groups. He oversees technology and deployment services, consulting services, global support services, education services, global Centers of Excellence, the Digital and IT organization, and Virtustream.

Previously, Mr. Elias was President and Chief Operating Officer, EMC Global Enterprise Services, responsible for setting the strategy, driving execution, and creating best practices for services that enabled customers' digital transformation and data center modernization.

He led EMC's consulting and technology professional services, operational services, and global customer support organizations, as well as Centers of Excellence, global business services, IT, manufacturing and supply chain operations. Mr. Elias also served as EMC’s lead for the Dell EMC integration, overseeing the value creation and combination of Dell and EMC, and the cross-functional teams that drove all facets of integration planning. Previously, Mr. Elias was EMC’s Executive Vice President, Global Marketing and Corporate Development, responsible for all marketing, sales enablement, technology alliances, corporate development, and new ventures. Mr. Elias was a co-founder and served on the board of managers for the Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) Company.

Mr. Elias joined EMC in 2003 from Hewlett-Packard, where he was Senior Vice President of Business Management and Operations for the Enterprise Systems Group. He previously held executive positions at Compaq, Digital, AST Research and Tandy Corporation.

Mr. Elias is a director of TEGNA, Inc., formerly Gannett Co., Inc., a media and digital business company. He attended Wayne State University and Lawrence Technological University.

Roundtable Member UMass Convenes Symposium on Strengthening the “Blue Economy”
Robert Johnson Inaugurated as Chancellor for UMass Dartmouth  
Roundtable members and key staff are invited to attend a special symposium entitled, Building the Blue Economy through Innovation and Collaboration, on Thursday, April 19th, 8:00 am–1:00 pm, at UMass Dartmouth, 285 Old Westport Road, in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. This special event represents an opportunity to build on the Roundtable’s work with New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell and Roundtable business leaders from the SouthCoast to strengthen economic development in the region. The symposium will convene leaders from business, government, labor, and higher education to consider the innovations and entrepreneurial ventures that will shape a Blue Economy—offshore wind, marine science and technology, commercial fishing and fish processing, tourism, and other industries. For more information on the symposium, please contact Chris Kealey or (617) 728-0881. The Roundtable congratulates member Dr. Robert Johnson on his Inauguration as Chancellor, UMass Dartmouth!

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

Batter Up for STEM Education
The Boston Red Sox teamed up with Roundtable member iRobot last season to advance STEM education opportunities across the state. This year, the Red Sox are planning two events in May to recruit businesses that are interested in supporting STEM education opportunities that are fun and informative for students.


Roundtable Member UMass Accepting Nominations for Emerging Leaders Program
Achieve Better Business Results Through Collaborative and Inclusive Leadership
The Roundtable has worked with the UMass Center for Collaborative Leadership on projects to improve public policy for many years. The UMass Boston Emerging Leaders Program provides a transformational leadership development experience through the collaborative leadership model—a process built on teamwork, trust, and respect for diversity of thought. Collaboration is the key to learning from diverse perspectives, for breaking down silos, and for achieving better business results. Each year the program brings together 45–50 rising leaders from the corporate, nonprofit, and government sectors. With 90+ hours of interactive and experiential skill sessions, path to leadership speakers, and team projects, fellows learn to become collaborative and inclusive leaders. Fellows must be nominated by a leader within their organization. The nomination deadline is April 11, so nominate someone now to help prepare for your organization's future.

MBR Teams Up with National Association of Corporate Directors for Spring Events
As part of MBR’s continuing partnership with the National Association of Corporate Directors, we are pleased to make members aware of several daylong director education programs that may be of interest. The first event, The Aspiring Public Company Director Daylong Program, is scheduled for May 17th at the offices of Deloitte in the Back Bay.  This program is designed for folks who are serving on nonprofit or private company boards, and who are interested in securing a seat on a public company board. The second event, the Director Exchange: For Experienced Public Company Directors, is scheduled for June 7 at the offices of EY in the Back Bay. It provides a deeper dive into governance issues facing seasoned public company directors.  Visit


Roundtable Member Shire Highlights Rare Disease Day
On Rare Disease Day 2018, Roundtable member Shire joined the global community to raise awareness in support of those impacted by rare disease, including patients, families, and caregivers. Shire also announced its participation in the newly established Global Commission to End the Diagnostic Odyssey for Children with a Rare Disease, a multi-disciplinary group of experts with the creativity, technological expertise and commitment required to address the diagnostic challenge for patients living with a rare disease. Approximately 7,000 rare diseases have been identified, affecting 350 million people worldwide. Although each rare disease affects a relatively small number of patients, together they are one of the largest under-served patient populations in the world. Rare diseases also have a significant impact on children, with approximately 50 percent of all rare disease cases affecting children. Shire also launched Rare Count, a personalized campaign to capture the real magnitude of rare disease and help people better understand how rare diseases can impact us.


MBR Advances Innovation, Inspiration and Impact in Early Education with ReadyNation
Registration is now open for the ReadyNation Global Business Summit on Early Childhood, November 1-2 in New York City. This event convenes business people, policymakers, funders and other leaders to learn how to strengthen the economy and workforce through investments in early childhood. This is the only business-to-business gathering that inspires and equips executives from companies of all sizes and industries to promote solutions that prepare young children to succeed. In addition, special pre- and post-conference sessions for non-U.S. participants will help them start developing networks of business champions in a variety of countries. The Roundtable’s Executive Director, JD Chesloff, will be presenting on MBR’s work with Speaker DeLeo’s Early Childhood Business Advisory Group. #RNGlobal2018   

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

An important economic development milestone in Berkshire County. Thanks to the state and local leaders for making the BIC a reality. View story

“Massachusetts needs more clean energy. It also needs to limit the damage from its fossil fuel use, through investments that should include pipelines to finish the work of displacing dirtier fossil fuel sources like oil, coal, and imported LNG.” View story

#IntheNews Roundtable member @BeckerCollege has created a new video game for the college’s softball and baseball team’s mascot.

Congratulations to Roundtable member @OrstedNA serving as sustainability partner with the Boston @RedSox.

Congrats to @SpfldRegChamber President Nancy Creed for a packed house Outlook event in Springfield. Great remarks and leadership from @MassGovernor @RepRichardNeal @EricRosengren @SpfldMACityHall Mayor Sarno

The Roundtable is pleased to welcome several new followers on Twitter. Please consider following them.
MITREhealth  @MITREhealth 
Evandro C. Carvalho  @EvandroForDA
Cordi O’Hara  @CordiOHara_NG
massforenergy @massforenergy
Worcester Chamber  @chamberworc
Michelle Consalvo  @MichelleConsalv
Lauren Fowler  @fowler_la
Robert Rio  @RobertRioAIM

In this issue
Roundtable Board Meeting Addresses “Future of Work” with Education Secretary James Peyser
Roundtable Supports H.4290, Advocates for Increased Housing Choice as Economic Development Imperative
MBR Welcomes New Member Howard Elias, Dell Technologies, to the Roundtable Board of Directors
Roundtable Member UMass Convenes Symposium on Strengthening the “Blue Economy”
Going Around the Table
What's News on Twitter
Upcoming events

JUNE 13, 2018
Annual Meeting
8:00–10:00 a.m.
Location: TBD
For members only

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