MAY 2018
around the table
Executive Director's Message

Dear Members,

As we prepare for our Annual Meeting June 13th, I want to express my deepest gratitude to Marcy Reed, whose outstanding leadership has helped the Roundtable make a meaningful impact on policy and reach new heights of member engagement during the past two years. Marcy is one of the most committed business leaders in the state, and I am grateful for all she has done for this organization serving as Chair. Thanks also to our officers, executive committee members, task force leaders and members from across the state for your continued support. We look forward to a smooth transition of leadership to incoming Chair Bob Rivers and a terrific celebration during our meeting next month.  


Roundtable Members Join Attorney General Healey, Mayor Walsh to End Human TraffickingRoundtable members representing AECOM, Blue Cross, Deloitte, Delta Dental, Dunkin Brands, Eastern Bank, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Hillcrest Educational Centers, IBM, Korn Ferry, MITRE, and Tufts Health Plan offered their support to Attorney General Maura Healey and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh in their efforts to end human trafficking. Roundtable business leaders from a variety of industry sectors across the state provided support for the Employers Against Sex Trafficking (EAST) initiative participating in a discussion and press conference with Attorney General Healey and Mayor Walsh about best practices and ways to promote zero tolerance policies in the workplace.

“This is a landmark partnership between the business community and government to end sex buying in Massachusetts,” said AG Healey. Mayor Walsh added, “We cannot end sex trafficking until we reduce demand for it, and the leadership of the business community is a fundamental part of that process.”

MBR Vice Chairman Robert Rivers, Chairman and CEO of Eastern Bank, said, “I commend Attorney General Healey and Mayor Walsh for their leadership on this important work. As startling as it is, this is a 2018 issue.” Roundtable member IBM also spoke out in support of the new initiative. “Through both our public advocacy and the application of our technical expertise, IBM is fully committed to the eradication of sex trafficking,” said Julia Abramovich, IBM’s Senior Location Executive for Greater Boston.

The Roundtable has been working with Mayor Walsh and Attorney General Healey, as well as the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and the Alliance for Business Leadership, to identify employers who agree to a zero tolerance policy in their workplace and support the EAST initiative. If you are interested in learning more about how your business can support this initiative, please contact MBR Executive Director JD Chesloff.

READ press release | READ BBJ article

“Right Care, Right Place, Right Time”—MBR Joins Coalition to Reduce Health Care Costs and Save $100 Million in Health Care SpendingSubmitted by Hailey Reed, MBR Intern

Twenty business organizations from across Massachusetts have come together to give the employers they represent a more direct role in the health and health care of their employees. Led by Richard C. Lord, President and CEO of the Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM), and Eileen McAnneny, President of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation (MTF), the new Massachusetts Employer-Led Coalition to Reduce Health Care Costs is working with employers, doctors, hospitals, and health insurers to address the rising health care costs in Massachusetts affecting all our members. Although our state is a national leader in access to health care, it is also one of the most expensive and ranks second overall in health care costs. Research provided by AIM has shown that a significant contributor to these costs is the unnecessary use of Emergency Departments (EDs). It is estimated that 40% of ED visits are avoidable and cost $300-$350 million annually for commercially insured members alone. Working with multiple stakeholders, the Coalition aims to reduce unnecessary ED visits by 20% in two years through four tactics:

1. Educating employees on the appropriate uses of EDs, primary care practices, retail clinics, and urgent care centers.
2. Tracking unnecessary visits to EDs and making that data public to show the scope of the issue.
3. Working with all stakeholders to incentivize appropriate usage of EDs and share information.
4. Advocating for policy that advances new systems of care delivery and payment models.

Along with reducing health care costs and providing rate relief for small businesses and patients, the work of the Coalition will also allow emergency care resources to be optimized for those in need. As David Seltz, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission, put it, “this new Coalition represents an exciting commitment by employers to work collaboratively to address one of the underlying drivers of health care costs.”

This initiative is also consistent with the work of MBR’s Health Care Task Force, specifically the principle of consumerism, “activating consumers to become more accountable for selecting higher-value health care.” Through the Coalition, members will be able to play a more direct role in ensuring that their employees and beneficiaries receive the right care at the right place at the right time.

READ Report | READ Press Release

Roundtable Advocates for Funding in the Senate Budget for Innovation Workforce Training GrantsTeaming up with the Workforce Solutions Group, a statewide advocacy coalition that includes representatives from labor, business, workforce professionals and community-based groups, the Roundtable continued its advocacy this legislative session for state funding for the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund. This competitive fund is managed by Commonwealth Corporation to provide grants through a competitive process for workforce training partnerships in every region of the Commonwealth. MBR staff met with members of the State Senate to highlight the importance of growing the talent pipeline to help employers attract skilled workers to fill open positions. The Senate Ways & Means Committee budget includes $5 million in funding for the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund and $1 million for the Learn-To-Earn Initiative. Workforce training and talent development remain top public policy priorities for Roundtable member companies.

MBR Partners with Baker-Polito Administration on statewide “STEM Week”
The Baker-Polito Administration recently announced that October 22-26, 2018 will be the state’s inaugural STEM Week aimed at sparking student interest and knowledge in science, technology, engineering and math among students throughout Massachusetts. The Administration is asking educators at all grade levels to plan lesson, events and activities focused on advancing STEM.

From its release, the Administration noted that “Students from pre-kindergarten through high school and postsecondary institutions will be encouraged to take part in hands-on learning that aligns topics across STEM subjects and connects to other curricula. While STEM Week will be directed toward all students, there will be a particular emphasis on middle and high school students, who are on the verge of thinking about college and careers. High school and middle school students could also take part in internships or informational tours at local companies.”

“While we know that STEM education happens all year long at schools across the Commonwealth, we look forward to the hands-on projects and lessons that will be on display during STEM week next fall,” said Governor Baker. “Creating opportunities for more students to pursue STEM fields after high school will continue to improve our education system, workforce and economy.”

The Roundtable is proud to join Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito’s effort as a Partner Organization to demonstrate our broad support for STEM education across the Commonwealth.

READ more  |  READ about STEM Week

MBR Teams with Mass. Coalition for Sustainable Energy to Highlight the Region’s Energy Needs, Solutions
A new report released this month by the Massachusetts Coalition for Sustainable Energy highlights the region’s energy infrastructure needs and steps to ensure that the electric grid continues to operate in a safe, reliable manner. The Roundtable continues to advocate for a balanced approach to meeting regional energy supply needs and promoting long-term economic development that includes growth in renewable energy sources; increased supply of natural gas; continued focus on energy efficiency; and promoting new technologies.

Read Report  |  READ Press Release

MBR Welcomes New Member Robert Kump, CEO, AVANGRID Networks, to the Roundtable Board of DirectorsThe Roundtable is pleased to welcome its newest member of the MBR Board of Directors, Robert Kump, Chief Executive Officer, Avangrid Networks. Avangrid Networks is a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. AVANRGID is a diversified energy and utility company with more than $32 billion in assets and operations in 27 states. The company operates regulated utilities and electricity generation through two primary lines of business, Avangrid Networks and Avangrid Renewables. AVANGRID employs approximately 6,600 people. As CEO, Mr. Kump oversees eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving 3.2 million customers in New York and New England.

The Avangrid Networks utilities include Berkshire Gas in western Massachusetts as well as Central Maine Power, Connecticut Natural Gas, Maine Natural Gas, New York State Electric & Gas Corporation, Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation, Southern Connecticut Gas, and United Illuminating. Central Maine Power’s New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) project was selected as the solution for Governor Baker’s Massachusetts Clean Energy Initiative to reduce energy costs, enhance reliability and contribute to the state’s greenhouse gas reduction requirements.

“We are pleased to be able to contribute to the Commonwealth’s clean energy initiatives, and we look forward to connecting with our colleagues in the business community on issues of electrification and decarbonization of the regional economy to drive the state forward,” said Mr. Kump.

With thirty years of experience in the utility industry, Mr. Kump has held senior executive positions in finance and management with AVANGRID and predecessor companies Iberdrola USA, Energy East, and New York State Electric and Gas.

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

Roundtable Member Comcast Hosts 17th Annual “Comcast Cares Day” in 11 Cities across the Country
Roundtable member Comcast continued its long tradition of giving back and volunteer work during the year in communities across the country culminating in its 17th Annual “Comcast Cares” Day. New England Cable News ran a story highlighting the volunteer efforts.

NECN: Comcast NBC Universal employees and volunteers are at several locations today as part of the nation's largest single-day corporate volunteer effort, Comcast Cares Day. READ more 


MBR Helps Promote STEM Forum and Expo in Philadelphia July 11-13th
The 7th annual National Science Teachers Association STEM Forum and Expo is taking place in Philadelphia July 11-13th. This Forum is exclusively focused STEM educators tools, resources, curricula, and partnership information for successful STEM ed implementation. Pre-K to high school educators will find strands focused on their unique teaching and learning needs. Administrators and business partners will find new ways to build STEM education and career pathways. Learn more about this event. Once there, you can register, look at our offerings of workshops, sessions, panels, and educator sharing events, and find a justification letter for your administration. Questions? Please email Kerri Murphy.


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

Jay Ash @JayAshEOHED
Epic photo-bomb reported by @JDChesloff & @Kealey4 @ today's #MAecodev Summit. Let's blow up the picture of @MassGovernor & @TweetWorcester Mgr Augustus w backs to the crowd & check it out. Yup: a confirmed photo-bomb! (In related news, new biz assn sanctions on state docket!)


Important issue highlighted by @leung, and great leadership by @BobCoughlin and our friends at @MassBio READ more

#IntheNews: @MassLtGov addresses graduating students of Roundtable member @BeckerCollege. READ more

Spot on. “Developing public policies takes hours of analysis, research, and work. To get things right, it cannot be a winner-take-all design.” @bostonchamber @Boston_Rooney READ more

#IntheNews: Roundtable member @Consigli1905 partners with @Working4Woo for #BuildDay2018 READ more

“A shortage of natural-gas capacity during the December/January cold snap added $1.7 billion to the electric bills of business and residential customers in New England while erasing all the environmental benefits from solar energy in Massachusetts during 2017." @massforenergy READ more

The Roundtable is pleased to welcome several new followers on Twitter. Please consider following them.
Offshore Wind Economics Project @OSW_Economics
Association of Massachusetts Landlords @LandlordsMass
City of Lowell Economic Development Office @DoBizInLowell

In this issue
Roundtable Members Join Attorney General Healey, Mayor Walsh to End Human Trafficking
“Right Care, Right Place, Right Time”—MBR Joins Coalition to Reduce Health Care Costs and Save $100 Million in Health Care Spending
Roundtable Advocates for Funding in the Senate Budget for Innovation Workforce Training Grants
MBR Partners with Baker-Polito Administration on statewide “STEM Week”
MBR Teams with Mass. Coalition for Sustainable Energy to Highlight the Region’s Energy Needs, Solutions
MBR Welcomes New Member Robert Kump, CEO, AVANGRID Networks, to the Roundtable Board of Directors
Going Around the Table
What's News on Twitter
Upcoming events

JUNE 13, 2018
Annual Meeting
8:00–10:00 a.m.
Location: Foley Hoag
Seaport West,155 Seaport Blvd.
Boston, MA
For members only

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