Dear Roundtable Members,

Roundtable member companies, organizations, and individual executives addressed the twin challenges of 2020—the quest for racial justice and the fight against COVID-19—with a commitment that will last long into the future and deliver meaningful change. Thank you…I am inspired by your efforts and am grateful for your continued support.

Thanks also to our many partners, old and new, from the public and private sectors and our business association colleagues, whose collaboration, ideas and friendship have been invaluable during this strange and unique year.

Finally, I want to express my deepest gratitude to all the Roundtable members and others on the front lines of the pandemic, from the essential workers, to the vaccine manufacturers, as well as the health care heroes saving lives throughout the year.

Wishing everyone a safe holiday season and a happy new year.


Roundtable Board Meeting Features Conversation with BRT CEO Joshua Bolten on Federal Policy PrioritiesThe Roundtable convened its year-end Board of Directors meeting virtually this month featuring a conversation with Josh Bolten, President & CEO of the national Business Roundtable. With the federal government experiencing historic change, uncertainty and division, and the country grappling with racial, political and economic unrest, Mr. Bolten discussed the implications on all of this on the economy, the business community, and public policy as a new President and Congress are seated in January.

During a wide-ranging conversation with MBR members, Mr. Bolten highlighted policy priorities such as transportation infrastructure, expanding connectivity to broadband in rural areas of the country, international trade, climate change and immigration. Mr. Bolten thanked the Roundtable and its members for their continued partnership and collaboration working with policy makers on issues related to racial justice, federal stimulus legislation and addressing the public health crisis.

Roundtable Convenes Task Forces to Develop Top Public Policy Principles & Priorities

The Roundtable is convening its CEO and senior business leader members to develop a set of policy principles and priorities to guide MBR’s advocacy during the 2021-22 legislative session. MBR is a member-driven organization that engages its member companies, as well as subject-matter experts from members, to develop the organization’s policy agenda. MBR is convening virtual conversations with task forces and ad hoc committees featuring leading voices in key priority areas.

Dec. 7, 2020 Energy
Dec. 15, 2020 Caregiving
Dec. 18, 2020 & Jan. 15, 2021 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Jan. 8, 2021 Health Care
Jan. 14, 2021 Education & Workforce Development
Jan. 19, 2021 Transportation & Housing
Jan. 25, 2021 Competitiveness

If you or someone from your team is interested in participating in any of these Task Forces, please email Katelyn Hamilton.

Roundtable Welcomes New Member Dr. Kevin Churchwell, President, Children’s Hospital
The Roundtable is pleased to welcome as a new member, Dr. Kevin B. Churchwell, President and Chief Operating Officer of Boston Children’s Hospital. The top-rated children’s hospital in the nation, Boston Children’s is also home to the world’s largest pediatric research enterprise, serves as the primary pediatric teaching hospital for Harvard Medical School, and stands committed to improving health outcomes and addressing health disparities in our local community.

“For more than 150 years, Boston Children’s has been honored to bring comfort and confidence to families across the Commonwealth, who know that no matter what happens—from broken bones to dealing with a global pandemic—we are here for them,” says Dr. Churchwell. “Now, I’m excited to join with the Roundtable and collaborate with its members across all industries to do even more to make Massachusetts the best and the healthiest place to work, to live, to grow up, for all its residents.”

Dr. Churchwell is poised to take on a new challenge, as he becomes Boston Children’s next Chief Executive Officer in April 2021, leading a hospital that has become more than a clinical delivery leader, taking on the toughest challenges in medicine and claiming new high ground as the undisputed global leader in pediatric science and innovation.

Since joining Boston Children’s, Dr. Churchwell has been instrumental in leading the hospital’s work to become a High Reliability Organization, one where zero avoidable harm impacts any patient, family member, or employee. He has brought to Boston the same passion for enhancing the patient family experience that defined his tenure as CEO of both Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE, and Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital, part of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN.

A tireless advocate for equity, diversity and inclusivity, Dr. Churchwell is responsible for establishing three of the 11 Offices of Health Equity and Inclusion at hospitals across the U.S. and Canada, including the Office at Boston Children’s, which he founded in 2016. With the publication of Boston Children’s own Declaration for Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity earlier this summer, Dr. Churchwell is committed to the work required to make Boston Children’s—and Boston—a community that’s made stronger by our differences, and a leader in equity for all.

READ more

Roundtable Hosts Joint Open Forum Conversation with Key Partner Conexión to Advance Equity & Opportunity

“The criminalization of poverty continues today.”

–Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera

This month the Roundtable teamed up with Conexión to host an Open Forum for members featuring a presentation and discussion around the race and ethnicity-based inequality of economic opportunity. The conversation was led by Jeff Fuhrer, former Federal Reserve Economist and Chief Strategy Officer at MassDevelopment, as well as Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera. Attendees discussed both the sources of and solutions for unequal opportunities for wealth.

Roundtable leaders including Bob Rivers, Eastern Bank Chair & CEO and MBR Chair, as well as Karan Dyson, Global Grooming Process & Engineering Director for Procter & Gamble and Chair of MBR’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force discussed ways to increase opportunity across the board and reaffirmed the Roundtable’s commitment to address institutional racism.

Special thanks to Phyllis Barajas and the members of Conexión for their continued partnership on these convenings with the goal of building relationships between our organizations.

Boston Business Journal Op-Ed by MBR Executive Director Highlights Themes from Roundtable Members
The Boston Business Journal published an op-ed this month from MBR Executive Director JD Chesloff summarizing the Roundtable staff’s conversations with members during the summer and fall. The five key takeaways from those meetings—more than 50 in all—inform our advocacy as we develop our policy agenda for the next legislative session, a process now underway through MBR’s Task Forces. An excerpt from the piece:

“Anti-racism efforts and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion continue to be an urgent priority. The long-overdue reckoning after George Floyd’s murder led to broad self-reflection, a commitment to listen to employees and communities of color, and now to sustained action promoting, encouraging and advocating for social and economic opportunity for people of color and rejecting policies and practices that are obstacles to that opportunity.”

READ Full Op-Ed


Roundtable Teams Up with Boston Chamber and Member Companies to Support Pacesetters
In case you missed it, last month the Chamber announced the statewide expansion of our Pacesetters program in order to draw on the collective power of our business community and intensify its efforts to address systemic inequities and racism.

READ full announcement | WATCH video

BECMA’s Greenwood Challenge Surpasses Fundraising Goal
Six months after launching a philanthropic fund to help close the racial wealth gap in Greater Boston, the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (BECMA) has raised $1.5 million, surpassing its initial goal by half a million dollars. The majority of funds raised will be put towards a technical assistance program for Black-owned businesses and will also support the advocacy work at BECMA’s core, opening up contract opportunities for Black-owned businesses, holding city and state governments to equity standards in contracting, and providing more state and city support to Black businesses. READ more


Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy Urges Employers to Protect & Support Employees & Customers
Earlier this month, Economic Development & Housing Secretary Mike Kennealy, sent a letter to all Massachusetts employers expressing his gratitude for their commitment to public health and thanking them for all their efforts during the pandemic. Secretary Kennealy’s office asked the Roundtable to share this letter with its members to highlight our shared work to help prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19. Excerpt from the letter:

We find ourselves in the anticipated second surge of the COVID-19 pandemic. From a public health perspective, we must remain vigilant, while also showing compassion. With community spread and transmission risk on the rise, it is critical that employers continue to protect and support your employees and customers. This means reminding your workers about their obligation to report potential exposure to the virus or a positive test and their need to quarantine or isolate in accordance with Department of Public Health guidelines. We are asking all employers to continue to accommodate employees who need to isolate or quarantine.

If you have an employee that tests positive for the coronavirus, you are required to report this to and cooperate with your local board of health. Furthermore, the participation of your employees in the COVID-19 Community Tracing program is essential. The ability of contact tracers to act quickly and stop the spread depends on prompt disclosure. By supporting employees during quarantine or isolation and cooperating with contact tracers, you can continue to do your part to flatten the curve in Massachusetts. The business community has met the challenge posed by COVID-19 in so many ways. We are grateful for your continued efforts and partnership. READ full letter


Citizens Bank Launches 2021 Financial Literacy Initiative
Roundtable member Citizens Bank is currently accepting applications from nonprofits seeking funding for financial empowerment programs that teach good financial practices. This latest initiative, 2021 Citizens Helping Citizens Manage Money will help neighborhoods and communities reach their potential by supporting programs that give people confidence and tools they need to budget, save, invest, be financially healthy and ultimately inspire them to pursue new and greater goals. The deadline for applications is January 7. APPLY or learn more


McKinsey Global Institute
What’s next for remote work: An analysis of 2,000 tasks, 800 jobs, and nine countries. READ article


BRT on Purpose of a Corporation
BRT on Covid-19 Relief
BRT on Workforce & Talent

We're excited to share that we've signed up to be a business association partner of the  @bostonchamber's #Pacesetters program! Join us as we help close the racial wealth gap & eliminate systemic barriers to wealth building opportunities READ more

Congratulations to Roundtable member @SeniorlinkInc on this well-deserved nomination!

 Incredible support from the MA Legislature in the FY21 budget for #early #childhood #education. Thank you for your commitment to young children, families, providers & our economy  @SpeakerDeLeo, @KarenSpilka, @SenRodrigues, @RepMichlewitz, @SenJasonLewis, @RepAlicePeisch #mapoli

 Details of a Covid-19 relief bill are already negotiated. It’s time for Washington to act, writes MassGovernor READ more via @WSJ


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