JUNE 2021

Dear Roundtable Members,

The Roundtable is filled with transitions this month and in the coming weeks. As you know, we introduced Claire Cooper and Rebecca Yemo at the Board Meeting and further introductions for both are featured in this edition of the newsletter. But with these changes also comes a farewell to Katelyn Hamilton who has been a major contributor to the MBR team from her time as an intern and over the past years as Vice President. We are excited to cheer for Katelyn in her next chapter as she heads to Washington, DC to pursue a Master in Public Policy at Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy.

As many of you know, Katelyn started with the Roundtable in the summer of 2016. We knew then that we had something special and her tenure at the Roundtable has proven that to be true. She is a consummate professional, a talented worker, and a thoughtful and passionate colleague who will be sorely missed by the Roundtable’s members, partners, and staff. I have no doubt that she will do great things at Georgetown and afterward, and we look forward to watching her career take off from here.

I welcome you to take a minute to join me in sharing thanks and wishing Katelyn well in her future endeavors.


MA Secretary of Labor & Workforce Development Joins for Quarterly Roundtable Board MeetingThe Roundtable hosted Massachusetts Secretary of Labor & Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta as a featured guest during its quarterly meeting of the Board of Directors. In her remarks, Secretary Acosta pointed to effective programs such as the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund or the new Rapid Reemployment Training Grant to train and place unemployed individuals as well as the Workforce Training Fund to upskill existing employees. MBR can be a resource to member companies looking to navigate available funds and opportunities to collaborate with training providers to access funding. Interested in learning more about resources? Contact Lauren Jones for next steps. You can also check out this short video with fast facts for Roundtable members to learn about the available Rapid Reemployment Grant Program.

MBR Members Continue to Discuss Future of WorkMBR members continued to learn implications of the ever-evolving changes in the future of work and shared best practices being considered by their peers at Open Forums hosted by the Roundtable in June. On June 2nd, the Roundtable’s Open Forum featured Natalie Mayslich, General Manager of Consumer & Enterprise at Care.com and focused on Care.com’s recently released Future of Benefits Report, which gathered responses from 500 C-suite and HR executives nationwide and details employers’ plans for transforming their benefits strategy to address the emerging needs and expectations of their employees. On June 16th, the Roundtable’s Open Forum featured Evan Metter, Principle in KPMG’s Human Capital Advisory Practice and focused on the new realities and ways to meet expectations within the workplace now and in the future.

MBR Attends New England Offshore Wind Coalition’s Business Briefing
The Roundtable together with other organizations, businesses, and interested persons participated in a business briefing by the New England Offshore Wind Coalition. The Roundtable was briefed on the benefits and challenges in developing offshore wind in New England as well as the opportunities for the business community to partner with the Coalition. Among economic and health benefits of offshore wind in New England includes job creation and workforce development, lower energy costs, reduction in toxic pollution, and improved air quality. The Coalition invited employers to join, previewing a specific business coalition that will be launched in the fall. Offshore wind continues to be a priority for the Roundtable, and more information regarding the new business coalition is forthcoming.

MBR Welcomes Claire Cooper as Vice President of Public Policy & Operations
The Roundtable welcomes Claire Cooper as Vice President of Public Policy & Operations. Claire joins the team with over 12 years of professional experience in external affairs, program development, operations, and project management within government and the non-profit sector. As Vice President of Public Policy & Operations, Claire will manage administrative operations, membership resources, and events while also supporting the Roundtable’s public policy agenda and priorities. Prior to joining the Roundtable, Claire worked in Governor Deval Patrick’s Office and at several prominent non-profit organizations, including HubWeek, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, and the Alliance for Business Leadership (ABL). Read the full press release as well as coverage in the Boston Business Journal.

In Her Words—Meet Rebecca Yemo, UMass Boston Doctoral Student and MBR’s Summer CAP FellowI am passionate about equity, equality, and enabling vulnerable populations to escape cycles that perpetuate their vulnerability. I, therefore, aspire to pursue a career that enables me to promote human rights compliance and social justice. I am excited about the opportunity to work with the Massachusetts Business Roundtable and I am certain that my experience with the organization will equip me with the requisite skills to conduct meaningful research that can advance policies in the human rights and social justice space. I am a determined young woman who is relentless in her pursuits and welcomes challenges as an opportunity to learn something new. This determination has enabled me to acquire an eclectic array of skills and expanded my knowledge base.

I am a 2021 Civic Action Project (CAP) Fellow and I am currently earning a Ph.D. in Global Governance and Human Security at the University of Massachusetts Boston. My primary research interests include human rights compliance mechanisms and human security. I hold a Master of International Studies (MIS) from North Carolina State University and obtained a BA in Linguistics and Spanish from the University of Ghana. Prior to pursuing a PhD, I worked with Africa Digital Rights’ Hub as the Project Development and Implementation Manager.


MBR Members Celebrate Juneteenth
Following George Floyd’s murder, many employers—including MBR members—observed Juneteenth as a holiday in 2020. One year later, President Biden signed into law Juneteenth as a federal holiday and marked the Friday before June 19, 2021 as the first federally recognized Juneteenth holiday in American history. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts featured a blog by Dr. Philomena Asante, describing Juneteenth as “a day for all Americans to focus on our communities and our families, to reflect, and to look for ways to promote racial and social justice in our daily lives.” Dr. Asante also noted health inequities and social determinants of health, noting several policy implications including “access to housing is health care… access to healthy food is health care… being able to afford medications is health care.” Read the full blog post.
iRobot Promotes Equity in STEM
Building on its dedication to promoting STEM education, iRobot released a blog post and white paper on how iRobot is promoting equity in STEM education and inviting the business community to join in similar efforts. In the blog, iRobot shares: “Despite living in a world infused with STEM, minority communities are being excluded. But with the right amount of STEM outreach and inspiration, we can keep improving access to STEM education pathways. We can repair those gaps in opportunity and empower diverse students to enter, remain in and pursue careers in STEM.” Read the blog and access the white paper.
MBR Partners with Conexión to Introduce Latino Equity Fund to Members
In a joint Roundtable session, MBR partnered with Conexión to host leaders from the Latino Equity Fund (LEF). The Open Forum included a briefing on the history and mission of LEF and framing for focus areas led by Evelyn Barahona, the Director of the LEF as well as Aixa Beauchamp, Co-Founder and Co-Chair of LEF and Juan Lopera, Co-Chair of LEF and Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer at Beth Israel Lahey Health.
EY’s Neuro-Diverse Centers of Excellence Continue to Expand Inclusion in Hiring
Ernst & Young’s recently launched Neuro-Diverse Centers of Excellence in Boston is among EY centers breaking barriers for job placement opportunities for people with Autism. EY has implemented procedures to help overcome difficulties that can be a challenge for integration in work environments for people with developmental disorders. Read the latest coverage on EY’s model.

Kevin McGovern of Deloitte Pens Op-Ed on “An All-Inclusive Dream for Boston”
Kevin McGovern, New England Managing Partner of Deloitte and Roundtable member co-authored an Op-Ed with Imari Paris Jeffries, Executive Director of King Boston urging corporations to act on the vision of an all-inclusive Boston community and the contemporary Reconstruction needed to realize equity in the city. In the Op-Ed, Kevin and Imari shared: “Business should become a key driver for a more equitable future. Social transformation should be linked to economic change, but the game won’t change if the rules don’t change.” Read the Op-Ed featured in the Boston Business Journal.


Suffolk Construction CEO Featured in #MoveTheNeedle Campaign
John Fish, CEO of Suffolk Construction, was featured in the #MoveTheNeedle campaign. As part of a series of videos, the national Business Roundtable’s campaign is challenging one CEO to the next to “Move the Needle” to raise awareness to get vaccinated and Fish’s video made a local splash. View John Fish’s video.


Takeda Unveils Newly Renovated Building in Kendall Square
Massachusetts is the hub for life sciences and the unveiling of Takeda’s new building in Kendall Square demonstrates another promising example of the growth of this industry in the Commonwealth. Located at 500 Kendall Street in Cambridge, the new building for the state’s largest life sciences company will now serve as the centerpiece in Takeda’s interconnected network of buildings across its three main campuses in Massachusetts including urban campuses in Kendall Square and Central Square and a suburban campus in Lexington. The building will feature state of the art facilities, services, and amenities for Takeda employees. Read full coverage of the new building.

“See you Tuesday: Mass companies expect empty offices on Mondays, Fridays.” Boston Business Journal (June 22, 2021). References MBR’s Future of Work Competitiveness Study.

“Almost 40 percent of remote workers in Mass won’t be back in the office until January, at the earliest.” Boston Globe (June 22, 2021). References MBR’s Future of Work Competitiveness Study.

Op-Ed “Talent remains the core of the future of work.” Boston Business Journal (June 1, 2021). Op-Ed by JD Chesloff.

Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index Signals U.S. Economy Back on Track, Reveals Record Hiring Plans