Council Hosts Governor Baker at 2015 Annual Meeting
On February 25, the Council hosted its 2015 Annual Meeting, featuring a keynote address from Governor Charlie Baker and the launch of the Massachusetts Technology, Talent and Economic Reporting System (MATTERS). Before one of the largest audiences of members and friends to attend a Council Annual Meeting, the Governor highlighted the critical role a thriving technology sector plays in the Commonwealth’s economic success. “If Mass. High Tech Council members are doing well, that’s good news for Massachusetts,” the Governor remarked. Baker reminisced about one of his earliest jobs, working at the Council nearly 40 years ago before Council President Christopher Anderson presented him with a Boston skyline snow globe as a memento of his first few months in his new job as Governor. Anderson and Governor Baker took time to acknowledge the contributions of outgoing Council Chairman Pete Nicholas, Co-Founder and Chairman of Boston Scientific, who was the driving force behind the development of MATTERS and the Council’s sponsorship of New England Tech Vets—a national employer solution launched in 2014 that connects area employers with the largest database of US Veterans available. “Pete’s vision and determination have been a catalyst for positive change for decades,” said Anderson. “During his two years as Council Chairman, Pete has reenergized the technology community in Massachusetts around the Council’s competitiveness mission.” View video highlights from the Annual Meeting HERE
Council Elects New Chairman, Officers and Board Members
Council members elected Bill Achtmeyer, Parthenon Founder and Senior Managing Director of Parthenon-EY as the new Chairman and Aron Ain, CEO of Kronos, as a Vice Chair. Achtmeyer and Ain join reelected Vice Chair Ellen Lord, President, Textron Systems; Chris Anderson, President, Mass. High Tech Council; Jim Boyer, Executive Professor, D’Amore-McKimm School of Business, Northeastern University; and Mike Kendall, Partner, Goodwin Procter as officers. Members also elected 8 new directors:
- Udit Batra, President & CEO, EMD Millipore Corp.
- John Corcoran, President, Trinity Partners LLC
- Ken Gabriel, President & CEO, The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc.
- Jonathan A. Kraft, President, The Kraft Group
- Gloria Larson, President, Bentley University
- Robert Maginn, Jr., Chairman & CEO, Jenzabar, Inc.
- Mark Stoever, Chief Operating Officer, Monster Worldwide
- Robert Ward, President & CEO, Radius Health Inc.
Competitiveness Data MATTERS
Annual Meeting attendees were introduced to MATTERS with a demonstration of the web-based data analytics tool designed to measure and evaluate Massachusetts’ talent and business competitiveness, while providing policy makers, advocates and technology leaders with dynamic, searchable data to inform public policy decisions. Developed in collaboration with data science faculty and students from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, MATTERS’ data analytics technology consolidates key cost, economic and talent metrics along with independent national rankings into a single source that is freely available to the public. MATTERS empowers users to measure the health of the technology environment in any state and allows easy and meaningful comparisons among a group of states, with a particular focus on Massachusetts’ 14 “peer” states whose economies are similarly “tech-centric.” A team of subject matter experts from Council members and partner organizations contributed to the selection and aggregation of relevant metrics and data and will play a lead role in ongoing efforts to refine and expand MATTERS’ scope and impact. A growing and critically important team of MATTERS’ sponsors is led by EMD Millipore, and the development team included important contributions from Bentley University, Ernst & Young, KPMG, The MITRE Corporation, Monster Government Solutions, The New England Board of Higher Education, and The U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center. Remarking on MATTERS, Governor Baker stated “Maintaining Massachusetts’ competitive position in the 21st century will require ongoing and incisive assessment of the health of our economic environment. Our administration is committed to using data to identify and advance pro-growth economic policies and we are excited about using MATTERS as a primary tool in those efforts.” The Council looks forward to working with Governor Baker, legislators and our members to leverage MATTERS as a “go to” tool to inform policy debates and decisions in Massachusetts and beyond.
Beacon Hill Update
Beacon Hill has been abuzz with activity in recent months with a new governor and new legislative leaders, and the Council is at the center of the developing state policy agenda. Council staff and members continue to engage with the Baker Administration cabinet and senior staff, and with key legislative leaders. Council staff have met with Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash and Secretary of Education Jim Peyser and are scheduled to meet with Secretary of Administration and Finance Kristen Lepore, Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Ronald Walker and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Francisico Urena later this month. We have identified a number of policy priorities shared by the Council, legislators and the Baker administration and are pleased to see the administration’s early commitment to data driven policy initiatives. Council staff have shared our Preliminary Public Policy Agenda with policymakers, reinforcing that our priority initiatives stem from MATTERS-based data and ongoing input from Council members.
Governor’s Budget Proposal Kicks-Off Revenue and Spending Debates
On March 4, Governor Baker filed his proposed state budget, kicking off a multi-month process to develop a spending and revenue plan for FY 2016 which will commence on July 1. The Governor’s plan is based on his administration’s estimate that the cost of maintaining state spending levels from FY 2015 will outstrip anticipated revenues by $1.8 billion dollars, a gap that significantly exceeds prior estimates of the budget deficit. Notably, the Governor elected not to fund the Mass. Life Sciences Center in the proposed budget. Administration officials have acknowledged they are considering merging the MLSC with other quasi-public agencies, a concept the Council has supported as a way to better coordinate economic development strategies for the state’s technology sectors. As House and Senate leaders construct and propose their budget recommendations over the next four months, significant changes to state spending, borrowing and tax policy are sure to be part of the discussion. The Council looks forward to impacting the debate on budget deficit responses that could impact our economic competitiveness and is committed to keeping our members informed of any relevant developments.
Education Secretary Peyser Discusses Skills Gap with Council Members
State Secretary of Education Jim Peyser met with Council members in a CEO Roundtable on March 4. Peyser shared his insights on funding K-12 education, assessing student performance and ensuring access to quality and innovative schools. Peyser highlighted the administration’s commitment to identify the most impactful local practices and programs and facilitate their adoption as best practices across the state. Much of the Roundtable discussion focused on efforts to assess and fill gaps between the state’s existing and anticipated workforce and the needs of key employers and industries, including the Baker administration’s newly-announced “Workforce Skills Cabinet” which will be comprised of Secretary Peyser, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Ash and Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ron Walker. Council staff presented data from MATTERS, including talent supply and demand metrics, and has committed to partnering with Secretary Peyser and the Workforce Skills Cabinet to share additional data from MATTERS and leverage the expertise of Council members.
Bentley President Larson Speaks to Council
In January, Bentley University President, and new Council board member, Gloria Larson joined Council members for a discussion of women’s leaders in business and technology. Through Larson’s leadership, Bentley has spearheaded the Corporate Challenge initiative which aims to increase the number of women in senior management and corporate governance roles at public companies and other business organizations. Since the initiative’s October 2013 launch, more than 100 companies and organizations have joined. Betsy Myers, founder of Bentley’s Center for Women and Business, spoke about the cultural, organizational and demographic challenges that contribute to the underrepresentation of women in leadership roles. Larson reinforced the critical role that a CEO-level commitment plays for organizations that are successful in developing women leaders. The Council is proud to participate in the Corporate Challenge and applauds the many Council members who are also doing so. We look forward to working with Bentley University and President Larson to advance this important initiative.
Council Sponsors Bio-IT World Conference and Expo
MHTC is a Sponsoring Organization of the Bio-IT World Conference and Expo which supports high level interaction and collaboration of global Biotech leaders, promoting Massachusetts as the hub for this important industry sector. Building on the success and popularity of last year’s event, the 2015 Bio-IT World Conference & Expo plans to convene more than 3,000 life sciences, pharmaceutical, clinical, healthcare, and IT professionals from more than 30 countries. The Expo provides the perfect venue to share information and discuss enabling technologies that are driving biomedical research and the drug development process. Spanning three days, the meeting includes 12 parallel conference tracks and 17 pre-conference workshops. See the Council Events section of our website for more information.
Upcoming Council Events
2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
New England TechVets WebEx
Location: Online Session The Council and its program partner, Monster Worldwide, Inc. will be hosting periodic WebEx training sessions for interested members and their recruiting staff to provide an overview of the features and functionality of NewEnglandTechvets.org. To register and receive WebEx instructions for the March 24th session, please click here. Contact Ron Trznadel for more information about the New England Tech Vets program and how to become a New England Tech Vets “Charter Employer.”
8:00a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Council Board of Directors Meeting (Special Guest: Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development)
Location: Council Offices Secretary Ash, will join us for the first hour of the meeting. Council Directors should RSVP to Julie Champion at their earliest convenience. Non-directors wishing to attend may contact Julie Champion as well. Space permitting, we will confirm by April 1 non-directors’ ability to attend.
2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
New England TechVets WebEx
Location: Online Session The Council and its program partner, Monster Worldwide, Inc. will be hosting periodic WebEx training sessions for interested members and their recruiting staff to provide an overview of the features and functionality of NewEnglandTechvets.org. To register and receive WebEx instructions for the April 23rd session, please click here. Contact Ron Trznadel for more information about the New England Tech Vets program and how to become a New England Tech Vets “Charter Employer.”
8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Council Board of Directors Meeting
Location: Council Offices
2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
New England TechVets WebEx
Location: Online session The Council and its program partner, Monster Worldwide, Inc. will be hosting periodic WebEx training sessions like this for interested members and their recruiting staff to provide an overview of the features and functionality of NewEnglandTechvets.org. To register and receive WebEx instructions for the February 24 WebEx, please click here. Please contact Ron Trznadel for more information about the New England Tech Vets Program and how to become a New England Tech Vets “Charter Employer.”
Board of Directors
View our Board of Directors.