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SEPTEMBER 2020



Dear Roundtable Members,

During this tumultuous year, the Roundtable is more grateful than ever for the strong support and engagement of its members and leadership to make this a safer, healthier, more inclusive and a better place for employees and employers throughout the Commonwealth. This year has brought into clear focus how the business community is acting and must continue to serve as a major force for positive change.

A major partner in state government is House Speaker Bob DeLeo, who served as the keynote speaker during the Roundtable’s Annual Meeting this month. As the state continues to address the COVID-19 health crisis, tackle significant budget shortfalls and answer the call-to-action on racial justice, the Roundtable is proud to work collaboratively with Speaker DeLeo and leaders in the Legislature toward innovative solutions.

Best,
JD

Roundtable Annual Meeting Features Conversation with House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Election of Officers & Executive Committee Members
“Massachusetts is America’s laboratory of ideas.” Speaker Bob DeLeo

The Roundtable convened its virtual Annual Meeting this month featuring keynote remarks and a conversation with House Speaker DeLeo, as well as the election of officers and executive committee members and a discussion with members about key public policy issues.

Speaker DeLeo thanked the Roundtable and its members for their leadership on early childhood education, as the state continues to address major challenges with the early education business model, a key enabler of economic activity in the Commonwealth. Speaker DeLeo also highlighted transportation, education, housing, healthcare and other issues related to getting people back into the workforce and strengthening communities. He addressed fiscal challenges the state is facing and the importance of federal aid to help close massive budget gaps in FY21 and FY22. He noted that Massachusetts has been through difficult challenges before, and the state will get through this set of challenges. Members of the Roundtable engaged in conversation with Speaker DeLeo on policy priorities of the business community and pledged their support to work together to meet the challenges facing the state.

Roundtable Executive Director JD Chesloff outlined steps MBR has taken to pivot its advocacy and operations to serve the needs of its member companies during the dual crises of COVID-19 and striving to achieve racial justice. MBR met with more than 50 Roundtable members this summer to gather valuable information and feedback that will guide the organization’s advocacy and agenda into the fall and next legislation session.

The Roundtable’s members voted unanimously to approve a proposed slate of officers, task force chairs and executive committee members that bring increased diversity and expertise to MBR’s leadership. The Board voted to extend Roundtable Chair Bob Rivers’ term for one year and established two new Vice Chair positions to ensure a smooth transition of MBR’s leadership in 2021. MBR Vice Chairs are Cathy Minehan, Robert Johnson and Jane Steinmetz. The Board also expanded opportunities to serve on the executive committee and elected new chairs to lead Task Forces on MBR policy priorities.

Roundtable Welcomes New Task Force Chairs
At this month’s Annual Meeting, Roundtable members welcomed four new Task Force Chairs to the MBR leadership. The Roundtable’s policy agenda is entirely member driven and as newly appointed task force chairs, these members will join our current task force chairs to establish the organization’s priorities within key policy areas and guide Roundtable involvement on certain issues. Thank you to these members for agreeing to serve as newly appointed Task Force Chairs.

Jaime Paris Boisvert ENERGY
Jaime Paris BoisvertGeneral Manager, Boston Region
Siemens
  Karan Dyson DIVERSITY, EQUITY,
& INCLUSION
Karan DysonGlobal Grooming Process & Engineering Director
Procter & Gamble
         
Howard Elias COMPETITIVENESS
Howard EliasPresident—Dell Services, Digital and IT
Dell Technologies
  Mary Anne Heino HEALTH CARE
Mary Anne HeinoPresident and Chief Executive Officer
Lantheus Medical Imaging
         
Colleen Richards Powell EDUCATION & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
Colleen Richards PowellVice President, Senior Director, Corporate Citizenship and Diversity
MFS Investment Management
     

Register for the Virtual Statewide Jobs Summit October 21st
The Roundtable invites you to please join us for the 11th Annual Jobs & Workforce Summit on Wednesday, October 21st, 10:00-11:30 AM, via Zoom. The Summit is free to attend, but registration is required. Register for the Summit and share this opportunity with members of your team.

The Roundtable partners with the Workforce Solutions Group—a statewide advocacy coalition comprised of labor, community-based groups and business—to develop the annual Jobs & Workforce Summit, which brings together leaders from industry, government, higher education, and the workforce system. This year’s theme, “Opportunities for Action Now,” will shine a spotlight on strategies to increase racial and economic equity, upskilling in the time of COVID-19, and how to help dislocated workers in a time of high unemployment.

This year’s Summit will feature remarks from Roundtable member and CEO of the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology Aisha Francis, as well as Malia Lazu, Lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and Founder of The Urban Labs. Roundtable members continue to prioritize public policy solutions that support talent development and workforce training. The Summit will highlight cutting-edge education and training efforts that help build pipelines of talented workers to fill high demand positions.

Opportunity to Join Massachusetts Business Coalition for Early Childhood Education
A major policy priority for the Roundtable—early childhood education—is an essential economic enabler, workforce support, and a highly successful strategy to address academic opportunity and achievement gaps. The current public health crisis is exposing both the necessity and fragility of the Commonwealth’s early childhood education system— and the business community’s significant interest in helping shape solutions that would improve access, affordability, stability, and quality for Massachusetts families.  

A group of Massachusetts business leaders, including a number of Roundtable member executives, have established a Business Coalition for Early Child Education to educate and engage business leaders as part of a sustained effort on behalf of early childhood education at a consequential moment for the Massachusetts children, communities, and the economy.  

Together, Coalition Members will have an opportunity to positively impact the future of the Massachusetts economy and transform the lives of millions of children and families. To learn more about this effort, please contact Tom Weber of the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation at t.weber@easternbank.com.  


Roundtable Hosts Open Forum Discussions in September with Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, A&F Secretary Michael Heffernan
During MBR’s Open Forum discussions in September, Roundtable members engaged in timely conversations with with Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Administration & Finance Secretary Michael Heffernan on matters of importance to business leaders throughout the state.

Lt. Governor Polito highlighted the Commonwealth’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and thanked the Roundtable and its employers for working collaboratively with the Administration throughout the public health crisis. She emphasized the importance of rapid testing and deploying state’s assets where they are most needed through the “Stop the Spread” program and continuing close partnerships with cities and towns.

Roundtable members talked with Lt. Governor Polito and Secretary Heffernan about safely reopening businesses, schools and child care centers, as well as other topics including transportation infrastructure, housing and balancing the state budget. MBR leaders emphasized opportunities for upskilling and workforce training to fill in-demand jobs and help people transition from industries hard hit by the pandemic.

National Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index Up in Q3, Indicating Plans Are Improving but Remain Fragile as COVID-19 Pandemic ContinuesThe National Business Roundtable just released its CEO Economic Outlook Survey results, “a composite index of CEO plans for capital spending and employment and expectations for sales over the next six months. This quarter the overall Index was 64.0, an increase of 29.7 points compared to Q2 2020. While this is the first quarterly increase in the headline index after nine consecutive quarters of decline, it remains below the historical average of 81.7.

In a special question asking when business conditions for their company will recover to pre-COVID levels, 24 percent of CEOs said that business conditions never declined, have recovered, or will likely recover by the end of the year. Forty percent said they expect business conditions to recover in 2021, and 36 percent said they expect business conditions to recover in 2022 or later.

The new headline index value of 64.0 signals an improvement in the economy since the severe contraction at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is consistent with gradual recovery in the labor market, consumer spending, industrial production and other economic indicators. But the index remaining far below its 18-year historical average indicates that CEO plans remain fragile and recovery requires more support to be sustained and accelerated. CEOs remain especially concerned about implications for small businesses.”

READ Release

Roundtable Joins Mass. Competitive Partnership on Survey of More than 100 Businesses on Remote Work
A recent survey of Massachusetts employers found that nearly 50% of employees may continue to work remotely, post-COVID, a significant increase from the 18% who were working remotely pre-COVID, which could have remarkable implications on public policy. This survey of over 100 employers from diverse industries, representing more than 125,000 employees throughout Massachusetts was conducted by the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership in partnership with the Roundtable and other business groups, to inform policy makers and give companies a frame of reference as they go into the fall.

Key factors that employers reported impacting their return to workplace decisions included availability of childcare and schools open (63%) and vaccine or treatment availability (44%). Other drivers included employee sentiment and access to public transportation.

The survey also found that 60% of companies are considering moving out of Massachusetts or allowing remote work to be performed out of state, which could impact the state’s revenue and competitiveness.
Additional findings included a vast majority of employers reported being supportive of the state’s reopening efforts and guidelines.

READ News Article

Roundtable Teams Up with MassTech on Innovation in Caregiving Webinar Series
You are invited to join the MassTech Collaborative and the Massachusetts Caregiver Coalition on Thursday, October 8th, from 1:00-2:30 p.m. for the first in a series of discussions about innovation in family caregiving. As the COVID-19 pandemic has stretched on, the strain on family caregivers across the United States has become more acute. Roundtable members are engaged in the Caregiver Coalition to explore opportunities to support, honor and recognize family caregivers in companies across the state. Register today for the latest webinar.


“The Innovation Ecosystem: Solutions for Family Caregivers”

Thursday, October 8th, 2020
1:00-2:30 p.m.
Zoom Webinar Registration

 

 

NAACP Hosts 111th National Convention
The NAACP National Convention was held virtually from September 13–26 and featured social activist, industry leaders, and public servants discussing the actions and solutions necessary to improve, protect, and change in our communities.

The Boston Branch of the NAACP hosted a CEO Perspectives Roundtable discussing the role of the private sector in combating systemic racism both in the workplace and in society. This Roundtable featured Boston area CEOs and business leaders including Marianne Harrison, President & CEO of John Hancock, Corey Thomas, Chairman & CEO of Rapid7, Tulaine Montgomery, Managing Partner at New Profit, and Roy Weathers, Vice Chair, Societal Engagement and Policy Solutions at PwC. WATCH Full Recording

 
You’re Invited: Roundtable Members to host Open Forum in Partnership with Conexión
On Wednesday, September 30, The Roundtable and Conexión are partnering on an Open Forum presentation from David Paleologos, Director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. David will be discussing recent polling of the 2020 Elections and will focus on voter turnout, shifting demographic trends and the increasing polarization of the US electorate with a particular emphasis on the impact of Latino/Latinx voters. Given this inflection point in the country’s history and the importance of the upcoming election, this is certain to be a timely and fascinating conversation. Roundtable members who would like to attend can email Katelyn Hamilton.

 


New Survey from Roundtable Member Siemens Highlights Need for Investment in Infrastructure
Facing an unprecedented health, economic and societal crisis, due to COVID-19, mayors across the country are adapting, redefining, and reimagining how local governments serve their residents. To better understand city and local infrastructure priorities, Siemens USA partnered with the United States Conference of Mayors and The Harris Poll to survey America’s mayors. The survey revealed many mayors’ priorities, current work underway, and the infrastructure improvements necessary to help support a strong recovery and more resilient future. READ Survey



Roundtable Member & Global Innovation Leader Raytheon Technologies—A Snapshot
New member of the Roundtable Board of Directors, Steve Murphy from Raytheon Technologies, provided members a snapshot of the company during an Open Forum call earlier this month. Raytheon Technologies is a major employer in the innovation ecosystem in Massachusetts and a global leader with key capabilities in cybersecurity, aerospace, systems integration & sensors as well as defense.

 

 

Roundtable Members & Business Groups Support ‘A Day for Democracy
The Roundtable is supporting A Day for Democracy, “a non-partisan initiative, founded by CEOs, to encourage leaders across the U.S. to pledge to increase voter registration and participation of their employees.” Many Roundtable members are involved, as are other Massachusetts business associations, in this campaign, which was started in Boston. According to its organizers, “This exciting initiative asks employers to commit to take action to give employees time off to vote and/or to help workers register and access their right to vote in local, state and national elections.” Additional information is included in a Boston Globe piece.

To date, more than 200 companies have pledged participation, employing nearly 880,000 people. A full list of companies, as well as a variety of options for employer engagement, are included on the website, adayfordemocracy.com.

 

Roundtable Member MITRE Corporation Launches Public Policy Institute
MITRE has established the Center for Data-Driven Policy to bring evidence-based, objective, nonpartisan insights to government policymaking.

Through public-private partnerships and the operation of federally funded R&D centers, MITRE tackles challenges to the safety, stability, and well-being of our nation. The Center for Data-Driven Policy will draw upon MITRE's deep technical expertise, and our own labs and independent research programs, to provide innovative, tangible, and measurable ideas to inform public policy. READ press release.

 

 
BRT on Addressing Climate Change
BRT on the Purpose of a Corporation
BRT on Covid-19

Fascinating discussion tonight as a part of the #NAACPConvention between @NAACP President & CEO @DerrickNAACP and Roundtable member @ATT CEO John Stankey.

Huge congratulations on a well-deserved honor to Roundtable Treasurer & Executive Committee member, Katherine Craven @KatherineCraven of @babson , a 2020 CFO of the Year Award winner announced by @BosBizJournal  READ more

Thank you to @MassLtGov for the insightful conversation with Roundtable members during today's Open Forum Call! MBR is grateful to you and the entire Administration for your leadership during this Pandemic.

Congratulations to a great friend and outstanding leader, Sandi Fenwick, CEO of @BostonChildrens Hospital, on an impactful career and outstanding work helping children and families both in Massachusetts and all over the world. READ more

Thank you to @RappaportCenter for hosting such a timely & important conversation. Great to hear from Roundtable member Mike Caljouw @BCBSMA , State Senator @CindyFriedmanMA and MA Commissioner of Insurance Gary Anderson on how the #Commonwealth has been responding to #COVID19

 

 

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