Message from the CEO & President

First and foremost, thank you to our members for extending time to meet one-on-one with Roundtable staff over the summer. The more than 60 conversations that Lauren, Claire, and I had illustrated a clearer perspective among members—and the Massachusetts business community—as we all continue to navigate a complex world and evolving work environments. Despite these changing times, employers are innovating to address challenges with a lens toward renewed opportunity in how we do business, greater equity to support employees, clients, and consumers, and competitiveness to help business as well as the Commonwealth thrive. We continue to learn a lot from our members and we are grateful for those insights.

Among key takeaways we heard is the call for talent—there is a war to attract and retain talent, a need to develop talent, and an opportunity to promote diverse talent. Building on this feedback and previous findings in surveying our members, the Roundtable is pleased to release: A Talent Agenda to Drive Massachusetts’ Competitiveness. There’s more work to be done, but we hope you find this agenda to be a useful framework as we dive deeper into getting things done together.




PS: We moved to a quarterly newsletter, updated our logo, and refreshed our website. Hope you enjoy!

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The Massachusetts Business Roundtable is pleased to announce Jane Steinmetz, Boston Office Managing Principal at Ernst & Young, LLP as Chair of the Roundtable's Board of Directors. Chair Steinmetz was officially voted as the new chair during the Roundtable’s Annual Meeting in late September. During the meeting, the Roundtable also shared its appreciation and thanks to Bob Rivers, Chairman & CEO of Eastern Bank and our former Chair, who’s term came to an end. Read the press release announcement on Jane Steinmetz and JD’s “thank you” to Bob Rivers


Roundtable Releases Talent Agenda

The Roundtable released: “A Talent Agenda to Drive Massachusetts’ Competitiveness” in the fall 2021 to recommend strategies the Massachusetts Legislature should prioritize to effectively attract, retain, develop, and diversify talent across the Commonwealth. As the future of work continues to evolve, the need to invest in our talent and future talent will only expand. In addition to submitting this Talent Agenda to the Joint Committee on Ways & Means and House Committee on Federal Stimulus and Census Oversight, the Roundtable also submitted written testimony on workforce development recommendations to the Joint Committee in July 2021.

Roundtable Advocates for Early Childhood Education Investments

Building on the Roundtable’s continued advocacy for sustainable, long-term changes to the early education and care system, the Roundtable collaborated with the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Early Childhood Education to submit written testimony to the Joint Committee on Ways & Means and House Committee on Federal Stimulus and Census Oversight. Specifically, the collaborative testimony recommends federal stimulus dollars invest in early childhood education and an improved system to sustain and scale access and affordability. In doing so, the Commonwealth can provide needed relief to children and their families, child care providers, and workers looking to return to the workplace. 


Quarterly Policy Roundup: Q3 2021

Advancing workforce development and early childhood education are among the Roundtable’s seven priorities for the 2021–22 Legislative Session. There’s lots of progress underway and more to come, and we look forward to further engagement among members, policy makers, and the broader business community to support these priorities. Read more.

Welcome Our New Members


Cain Hayes




Malia Lazu

CEO & Founder

The Lazu Group


Nitin Mhatre


Berkshire Bank


Dana Rasmussen

General Manager



Seidu Sumani

Senior Vice President and Head of Internal Audit

MFS Investment Management


Updated Plans for Back-to-Office Health & Safety Measures

September 8, 2021 featuring Dr. Tom Koutsavlis, the Head of US Medical Office, Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Read the Open Forum Roundup

Evolving Worker Preferences for the Office

July 28, 2021 featuring Jim Tierney, Market Director–New England of JLL; and Julia Georgules, Senior DirectorResearch & Strategy of JLL

Read the Open Forum Roundup

Creating Pathways to College & Career

July 14, 2021 featuring Katherine Craven, Chair of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education; Chris Gabrieli, Chair of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education; Kristin Hunt, Director of Early College Programs, DESE

Read the Open Forum Roundup

Going Around the Table

Sharing a few highlights from member companies!

Job Fair at the Lawn on D: The Roundtable in collaboration with Citizens Bank and other partners hosted a job fair at the Lawn on D, attracting over 1,100 registered attendees and 40 participating companies. In addition to Citizens Bank, other Roundtable members joined to connect directly with talent including Amazon, AT&T, Beth Israel Lahey Health, Deloitte, Procter & Gamble, and Raytheon. Looking for ways to connect with jobseekers? Email Lauren Jones to learn of available resources.

Launch of UMass Global: The University of Massachusetts launched UMass Global in early September following the transfer of control of Brandman University to UMass. This newly established affiliation expands online educational opportunities for working adult learners to pursue a college degree and strengthens talent pipelines for US employers including Massachusetts companies with a presence locally and nationally. In case you missed the news, check out the UMass Global press release and follow @UMassGlobal1 on Twitter for updates!

Mental Health: the Return to School & Future of Work: In an interview with the Boston Business Journal, Dr. Robert Johnson of Western New England University (WNEU) underscored the emerging importance of supporting the mental well-being for both students and staff as part of return to work plans and shared how WNEU is creating infrastructure to support mental health on campus. Dr. Johnson also discussed the impact of the pandemic on the future of work and how WNEU is preparing students for the changing needs of today’s workforce. Read the full interview in the Boston Business Journal.

Expanding the Table

Roundtable member companies promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace

Congratulations to Roundtable members Lisa Murray of Citizens Bank and Dr. Aisha Francis of Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology for recent leadership promotions.

We're thrilled for you and the Roundtable is excited to continue our partnership with both of you in each of these amazing roles.

Re-imagining How to Find Talent: Vertex’s new CEO and President, Dr. Reshma Kewalramani, recently shared in a LinkedIn blog how they are teaming up with Year Up to address a talent shortage among Quality Assurance and Supply Chain Management talent and Year Up’s commitment to collaborate with corporate partners to hire untapped students of color, especially often overlooked Black and Latinx students. As companies may consider best practices across the business community, this is just one of the many examples underway and worth a read!

Targeting ESG Goals: Berkshire Bank CEO Nitin Mhatre rolled out a three-year, $5 billion environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiative in September. Most of the planned investment will be in the form of loans including $1.5 billion in small-business lending and $2.5 billion in mortgage lending over that same time span to low-income neighborhoods. Roundtable members, stay tuned for an Open Forum on ESG in partnership with the Harvard Business School Association of Boston in November!


PTech: From Classroom to Career to a Stronger Economy

Tuesday, October 12, 2021 | 10:00 AM (virtual)

Register Online

Kara Miller, Editor and Host of Innovation Hub from WGBH and PRX, will lead a discussion about P-TECH, a pioneering high school model that stands out as an effective strategy to better prepare students for workforce opportunities in STEM and to build a diverse, highly skilled workforce pipeline. The Roundtable is proud to co-sponsor this event, building on our July 14 Open Forum on Early College and ongoing exploration to connect academia and industry in support of college and career pathways.

Essential Today, Essential for the Future: Latinos and an Equitable Labor Market Recovery

Friday, October 15, 2021 | 12:00 PM (virtual)

Register Online

This forum will convene thought leaders to learn and understand the contributions made during the height of the pandemic by Latino workers—many of whom were deemed essential and kept vital services running. Through this lens, featured speakers will also examine how and why an equitable labor market recovery for Latinos in Massachusetts is essential, now and in the future. The Roundtable is pleased to partner with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Conexion, Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor & Workforce Development, and IBA Boston as a co-sponsor for this event.

12th Annual Massachusetts Jobs & Workforce Summit

Wednesday, October 27, 2021 | 10:00 AM–12:00 PM (virtual)

Register Online

Join a lineup of featured speakers to discuss strategies for addressing reemployment and focus on those who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Among speakers include: U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, Congresswoman Katherine Clark, and Massachusetts Labor & Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta. As part of the Workforce Solutions Group, the Roundtable is a key organizer for this annual event.

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