around the table
Executive Director's Message
Dear Members,

Congratulations to all the newly elected public officials, as well as all those who were re-elected this year. As the Legislature begins the 191st General Court of the Commonwealth, the Roundtable and its member companies are ready to work with you during the new session to advance public policy solutions that strengthen our long-term economy and make Massachusetts a great place to live and grow a business.  

We look forward to continued productive collaboration in the year ahead!


Roundtable’s Annual Report Highlights the Power of Yes
With outstanding support and engagement from MBR member businesses, as well as strong partnerships with business and community-based organizations across the state, the Roundtable continued to deliver value to its members by providing access to public and private sector leaders and making a significant impact on public policy in 2018. Please review our new 2018 Annual Report.

While gridlock gripped the nation’s capital for most of the year, leaders in Massachusetts worked together to forge compromise and get to yes on issues of importance to our social and economic strength in the Commonwealth. This report highlights ways the Roundtable worked with public officials to say yes to protecting human rights, yes to creative public policy solutions and yes to partnerships that advance our shared goals of making Massachusetts a great place to live and work.

Thank you to the many leaders in both the public and private sectors for your collaboration, compromise and consensus-driven approach to public policy in 2018. Special thanks to the Roundtable’s members representing diverse industries across the state for sharing innovative ideas and expertise throughout the year. We look forward to working with you in the year ahead!

MBR Health Care Task Force Meets with Marylou Sudders, Secretary for Health & Human Services at Skadden Arps

Just hours before the public release of the Governor’s FY20 state budget, Health & Humans Services Secretary Marylou Sudders met with members of the Roundtable’s Health Care Task Force to discuss the Administration’s priorities and discuss continued collaboration with business leaders during the year ahead. Secretary Sudders highlighted the progress being made to control spending in the state’s Medicaid program, which provides health care coverage for more than 1.86 million people in Massachusetts and accounts for 40% of the entire state budget spending. She also announced that the Governor’s budget submission would include new cost savings strategies and allow an assessment on businesses through the Employer Medical Assistance Contribution to sunset this year. Secretary Sudders noted that Massachusetts is ranked as the second healthiest state in the nation behind only Hawaii.

The Secretary engaged Roundtable members in a discussion about health care cost, quality and access, all issues of importance to MBR’s members representing a variety of industry sectors. Roundtable members discussed health care coverage, prescription drug costs, behavioral health, telehealth and reducing the misuse of emergency departments for non-emergency care during a wide-ranging conversation. Members also highlighted the important roles that health care organizations and life sciences companies play in creating jobs and strengthening the state’s economy.

Roundtable Unveils #BusinessIsGood Report Highlighting Ways Business is a Force for Good in Massachusetts
More than 40 Roundtable members provided examples of philanthropic and community building activities that MBR compiled into a new report—#BusinessIsGood—released and promoted widely this month both online and through social media. Members of the Roundtable employ more than 250,000 people in the state, which has obvious economic benefits. What might be less obvious, however, is how employers are having a social impact by empowering employees to make change through volunteering and other community engagement activities, partnering with community organizations to better the lives of those in need, supporting thousands of non-profits seeking innovative solutions to social issues, and investing in local initiatives to build community in the regions where they are located.

The Roundtable will continue to add to this report, which highlights the wide variety of ways that businesses are investing in communities and supporting public policies that contribute to building a better Commonwealth. Roundtable members interested in providing information about their company as a force for good are encouraged to contact Chris Kealey at

Roundtable Shares Latest Information on New Paid Family & Medical Leave Law
MBR worked with community-based groups, business organizations and legislative leaders to develop the state’s new Paid Family & Medical Leave law that was adopted as part of the “Grand Bargain” that avoided several statewide ballot questions. The state Department of Revenue and the newly created Department of Family and Medical Leave recently provided some information for employers about the new law along with resources for additional guidance on its implementation. Please feel free to share the information below from the state with human resources professionals and others in your organization.

Note: On July 1, 2019, the Department of Family and Medical Leave will begin collecting contributions from employers for the new paid family and medical leave benefit pursuant to MGL c.175M. Employers will be required to remit contributions through the Department of Revenue’s MassTaxConnect online portal. 

  • Businesses that employ one or more individuals in Massachusetts are subject to the Paid Family and Medical Leave law and must submit contributions on behalf of workers and covered individuals.
  • Employees, self-employed individuals that choose to opt-in, certain independent contractors and some unemployed persons will be eligible for benefits beginning in 2021.
  • Contribution rates for employers and other businesses with covered individuals are determined by size of workforce. Contribution rates for employees and other covered individuals are determined by amount of compensation.

MORE information | LISTEN sessions

Take the Roundtable Member Education Policy Survey
The Roundtable is partnering with business associations across the Commonwealth and the MassINC Polling Group to survey employers about the state’s public education system. This is the third in a series of surveys that have occurred every other year since 2014. The results have informed the business community’s policy and advocacy work on education and workforce development issues, and will continue to provide guidance in the coming legislative session. We encourage all Roundtable member organizations to take this ten-minute survey.

If you have questions or comments about the survey, please contact Chris Kealey at the Roundtable or Rich Parr at The MassINC Polling Group.

TAKE the survey

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

Roundtable Partner ReadyNation Releases Report
Roundtable partner ReadyNation released a new report this month on the growing child care crisis in the United States. The national report—"Want to Grow the Economy? Fix the Child Care Crisis”—demonstrates the child care crisis has a far-reaching impact, touching families with infants and toddlers, employers, and even taxpayers.

The report finds the total economic loss generated by a lack of affordable, quality child care for infants and toddlers alone is $57 billion per year. This lost output is hindering our economy and should spur policymakers to enact meaningful child care legislation. ReadyNation is a member organization of Council for a Strong America. READ report

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.

TwitterTweets you may have missed

The Roundtable developed its #BusinessIsGood report to showcase the positive role businesses are playing to advance social and economic prosperity across Massachusetts. READ report

Congratulations to the public leaders being sworn-in today. The Roundtable looks forward to working with @SpeakerDeLeo @KarenSpilka @MassGovernor, as well as members of the Legislature and Cabinet, to make Massachusetts a great place to live, work and do business. #mabiz

Great selection by our friends @bostonchamber! @LatimerAmy @tdgarden is a powerhouse in the business community and has made a difference in countless lives through her philanthropic work. Congrats Amy! #mabiz  READ more

#InTheNews: Roundtable member @HarvardPilgrim awarded a $5,000 grant to the New London Education Foundation to allow the city's food service director to coordinate with local farmers to get more fresh food on the school’s lunch menu. READ more

#InTheNews: Roundtable member @SouthcoastHlth will use virtual technology donated by the Thomas H. and Catherine D. O’Neil Charitable Foundation. The technology will help mitigate patient pain and anxiety leading up to and during medical procedures. READ more

#InTheNews: Roundtable member @BerkshireBank joined the Mass. Coalition for the Homeless & the Berkshire Community Action Council to bring the “Build a Bed” program to Berkshire County, in which corporate sponsors build free beds for children. READ more

“Offshore wind is a bipartisan, bi-cameral issue…Massachusetts will continue to serve as a national model for how the U.S. can reap the environmental, economic, and jobs benefits this vibrant new industry will provide.” @SpeakerDeLeo @tomtipagolden  READ more

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

Hanscom AFB   @Hanscom_AFB ‏ 
Rich Jeanneret EY  @RichJeanneret ‏ 
MACP  @MassCompetes 
Neal Martin  @NealMartinDC ‏ 
Keenen G  @kgrooms42 ‏ 
Mike Greeley / Newmark   @mgreeleyNGKF ‏ 

In this issue
Roundtable’s Annual Report Highlights the Power of Yes
MBR Health Care Task Force Meets with Marylou Sudders, Secretary for Health & Human Services at Skadden Arps
Roundtable Unveils #BusinessIsGood Report Highlighting Ways Business is a Force for Good in Massachusetts
Roundtable Shares Latest Information on New Paid Family & Medical Leave Law
Take the Roundtable Member Education Policy Survey
Going Around the Table
What's News on Twitter
Upcoming events

Board Meeting
Thursday, March 21, 2019
Noon-1:30 pm
Location: TBD
For members only

Hot links
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Roundtable Member List 2019
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