MAY 2019
around the table
Executive Director's Message
Dear Members,

I want to take a moment to acknowledge and thank Roundtable members for stepping up to share your expertise with us on a variety of public policy issues including paid family leave, housing choice and state revenues. The Roundtable is a member-driven organization, and we appreciate the continued input and guidance you and experts from your companies are providing on these and many other issues that are important to Massachusetts employers.

We look forward to seeing many of you at the MBR Annual Meeting on June 5th at Deloitte. Thank you for your continued support and engagement!


MBR Joins with Business Community and RaiseUp MA to Advocate for Paid Family Leave Changes
As part of MBR’s continuing advocacy on the state’s new paid family & medical leave law, the Roundtable collaborated with fellow business organizations and members of the RaiseUp Coalition to develop a consensus letter calling for several legislative amendments and a three-month extension in the start date for collections to October 1, 2019.

The new Department of Family & Medical Leave recently issued its application process for companies offering equal to or greater paid leave benefits to request an exemption from the state program. The Roundtable is hearing strong feedback from employers that the compressed implementation timeframe in the law, lack of detailed information on the “opt out” process and scarcity of insurance products to meet the requirements of the new law are important factors leading MBR to join its partners in requesting an extension for the start of collections.  

There are six amendments detailed in the letter that the group believes are necessary to ensure greater clarity for employers, insurance providers (endeavoring to develop and provide products to employers), employees applying for the leaves covered by the new law, and health care providers certifying the need for leave. These clarifying amendments align core principles of the Massachusetts paid family and medical leave law with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a key principle cited by Roundtable members to aid in the smooth implementation of the new statute.

VIEW more Information

Former Roundtable Chairman Michael Hogan Testifies in Support of Housing Choice Legislation
Former Roundtable Chairman Michael Hogan, CEO of A.D. Makepeace Company, testified on behalf of the Roundtable at a hearing in support of H. 3507, an Act to Promote Housing Choices.

On a panel with Jay Ash of the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership and Mark Gallagher of the Massachusetts High Technology Council, Michael Hogan stressed the importance of housing choice as an integral component of a comprehensive economic development strategy for the state.

Through his testimony Mr. Hogan highlighted the links between housing choice, transportation and the environment. As people are forced to live further away from their employment centers due to high housing costs, there are significant impacts on the transportation networks and the environment.

Mr. Hogan also acknowledged that the passage of H.3507 is not the full solution to the Commonwealth’s housing crisis but rather an important step in the right direction of making Massachusetts more affordable for all.

READ MBR Testimony Supporting Housing Choice

Roundtable Briefs Governor’s Council to Address Aging in Massachusetts on Caregiving Coalition
The Governor’s Council to Address Aging in Massachusetts invited MBR staff to provide an update on the Roundtable’s work to support caregivers in the workplace. MBR is engaging with and highlighting the innovative practices that member companies are deploying to acknowledge and support caregivers through human resources programs, employee resource groups (ERGs) and other creative efforts.

Roundtable member Cigna Health New England is leading a group of members and partners from industry, higher education, non-profits and state government to develop an action agenda aimed at addressing some of the challenges facing caregivers in the workplace. Data from Roundtable member MassTech Collaborative show that more than 800,000 workers in Massachusetts are providing some form of care to a family member and those numbers will only increase based on changing demographics. Data show that by 2035, 23% of the Massachusetts population will be over age 65 and that 1 in 4 caregivers are millennials.

The Roundtable thanked Health & Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders, Elder Affairs Undersecretary Robin Lipson and the members of the Governor’s Council for their partnership and support. MBR is convening a roundtable discussion on the next steps in caregiving support on June 17th hosted by Cigna New England in Newton.

Roundtable Annual Meeting Features Discussion with Senator Adam Hinds, Chair of the Joint Committee on Revenue

Roundtable Members please RSVP: Katelyn Hamilton, 617.728.0881 or

Roundtable Partners with Apprenti on Talent Development
The Roundtable will host a Lunch & Learn on June 12th featuring the Massachusetts Director of Apprenti, Lauren Jones. MBR continues to hear from members that talent acquisition and retention remains a top issue for employers and that workforce pipeline programs may be helpful in the hiring process. There remains a persistent skills gap, and employers are having a hard time recruiting qualified candidates to fill the open positions.

Apprenti serves as an intermediary between employers, training providers, talent and government. It is also currently the only registered apprenticeship program that provides both technical and on-the-job training to help fill diverse tech related jobs in the state. If you are interested in learning more about this luncheon or having someone from your company attend, please contact Katelyn Hamilton or 617-728-0881.

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

Roundtable Member iRobot Leading 3rd Annual STEM Career Fair Sept. 26th at Fenway Park


Roundtable Vice Chair Cathy Minehan Participates in 2nd Annual TCI Discussion
Join The Commonwealth Institute as it reveals the results of the 2nd annual Women's Leadership Development in MA Impact Study to better understand employers’ actions to develop, retain, and advance women employees in Massachusetts—and learn what your organization needs to do to help move women through the leadership pipeline! REGISTER online.


Roundtable Member Cigna Leads Day of Community Service
More than 100 Cigna employees volunteered on April 9 to give back to nine different non-profit organizations across Greater Boston. They built beds for kids living in poverty, packed food for kids who might otherwise go hungry over the weekends, arranged flower bouquets for individuals in hospice and much more.


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

Thanks to great friend, partner and Roundtable member Bill Kennedy @NutterLaw for hosting a timely discussion with @MassLtGov Karyn Polito on public policy solutions and ways to strengthen the MA economy across the state

Congratulations to Roundtable member @SouthcoastHlth on making @Newsweek list of the World's Best Hospitals!

#InTheNews #ICYMI Great news for Boston! Roundtable member @Verizon announced last week that #5GUltraWideband is coming to Boston by the end of 2019. Thank you for keeping #Massachusetts a leader in #innovation  #mabiz

Thank you to Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs @MassEEA Matthew Beaton for your partnership with the business community throughout your tenure. Congratulations to incoming Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. We look forward to working with you!

#InTheNews Great profile in the @BosBizJournal on Roundtable member @CitizensBank and their move to better serve mid-corporate business clients. Be sure to check it out here!  #mabiz

The Roundtable is grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Working Group and looks forward to working with @karenspilka @adamghinds @WBrownsberger @RyanFattman and our fellow appointees

The Roundtable is pleased to welcome new followers on Twitter:

Representative Tram T. Nguyen  @TeamTram 
Joe McGonagle  @McGonagle4Rep 
Southcoast Health  @SouthcoastHlth 
MassRobotics  @MassRobotics 
Get Konnected! Cross-Cultural Business Networking  @_GetKonnected ‏ 
Greentown Learn  @greentownlearn ‏ 

In this issue
MBR Joins with Business Community and RaiseUp MA to Advocate for Paid Family Leave Changes
Former Roundtable Chairman Michael Hogan Testifies in Support of Housing Choice Legislation
Roundtable Briefs Governor’s Council to Address Aging in Massachusetts on Caregiving Coalition
Roundtable Annual Meeting Features Discussion with Senator Adam Hinds, Chair of the Joint Committee on Revenue
Roundtable Partners with Apprenti on Talent Development
Going Around the Table
What's News on Twitter
Upcoming events

Annual Meeting
8:00–10:00 a.m.
Deloitte, Boston
200 Berkeley Street, 10th Floor
Boston, Massachusetts
For members only

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