Friday, December 23, 2011

Paul Guzzi is On the Record talking about payroll tax cut extension deal

Last night, Chamber CEO Paul Guzzi went On the Record with NECN's Latoyia Edwards to discuss the payroll tax cut extension deal reached last night, new Fenway developments projects, and a Medicaid funding increase.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

2012 Chamber Events Now Available!

Several new events have recently been added to the Chamber's Calendar of Events for 2012!

Upcoming 2012 Events:

January 18:
GAF with Attorney General Martha Coakley
Location: InterContinental Boston
Register here

Thursday, January 26: Pinnacle Awards Luncheon
Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place
Register here

Wednesday, February 1: AJ Gerritson, Founding Partner, 451 Marketing
Location: Metro Meeting Centers
Register here

Please visit our Calendar of Events page, for more!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Get audio access to our recent events!

Did you miss our recent Government Affairs Forum with Mayor Thomas Menino or our Innovation Forum with Genzyme CEO Dr. David Meeker? You can listen to a complete broadcast below that was aired by WBUR 90.9FM.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Holiday shopping trends on This Week in Business

Today on This Week in Business, Jon Hurst, President of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, joined hosts Paul Guzzi and Mike Nikitas to discuss trends in holiday shopping.

In the Briefing Room, Jorge Moran, Chief Executive Officer of Sovereign Bank, joined to discuss the bank's merger with parent company Banco Santander and their rebranding in the region. He also discussed the impact of European turmoil on the bank.

On the Business Beat, NECN business reporter Peter Howe joined the Governor's gaming chief pick, the continued Foxboro casino debate, the state's job numbers for November, and job cuts at Sun Life Financial.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Executive Leadership Institute Participant Profile: Laura Ramanis

Laura Ramanis is Mercer's managing partner for the New England region and a member of Mercer's U.S. leadership team. Before joining Mercer 11 years ago, Laura spent several years with Towers Watson in Chicago and also led a division at an international executive search firm. Laura has served on several non-profit boards and is currently an Honorary Consul for the Republic of Latvia.

What do you like most about your job?
The diversity of the role, includingworking with clients, managing a large business, motivating people, and driving business results.

Who do you admire in the business world?
I really admire the scrappiness and resourcefulness of entrepreneurs. They are required to continually think creatively, while in the corporate world, we many times get stuck in a process barrier trying to innovate.

If you could have any job in Boston, other than your own, what would it be and why?
A leading role at the Kennedy School to influence global public policy.

What is the best piece of career advice you have ever received?
Focus on results, then find the right sponsors in the organization who will highlight your success with others and support your growth in the organization. Also, "be like a duck"...appear calm on the surface, while paddling hard to move ahead.

How do you like to unwind after a long day?
Walk the dog with my husband and talk about anything, then read a book with my kids.

What reading material is on your nightstand?
" Onward" by Howard Schultz.

Chamber's 2011 Advocacy Achievements

The Chamber has enjoyed success this year on a number of its top legislative and economic development issues and initiatives, including:

Department of Revenue Reform - Massachusetts’ FY’12 budget, signed into law in July, included several important business tax reforms proposed by the Chamber. The enactment of these proposals builds on the Chamber’s 2010 legislative accomplishments including increasing the state’s net operating loss (NOL) carry-forward period and creating a new “3 in 3” incentive to encourage investment in Massachusetts-based start-ups.

Summary of Business Tax Reforms
  1. Audit Cycle Length: Shortening the tax audit cycle by waiving certain penalties charged to businesses if the state takes more than 18 months to perform an audit – providing an incentive for the state to speed up the audit process which can be quite lengthy and costly for businesses.
  2. Statute of Limitation Parity: Establishing the same statute of limitations for assessments and refunds – addressing an unfair rule that currently exists in which businesses have a shorter period in which to amend a return than the state does to assess a return.
  3. Tax Policy Development: Requiring the state to post quarterly online reports on tax policies before it takes any action on them – giving taxpayers an opportunity to vet proposed tax policies and provide input before the policies are finalized.
Chamber Intern Connect - Last spring, the Chamber launched Chamber Intern Connect, the newest program in our leadership initiative. The goal of this initiative is to increase talent retention by connecting college students with Boston-area employers through high-value, experience-based internships. Chamber Intern Connect is now accepting postings for winter, spring and summer internships. For more information or to post internships for free, start here

Municipal Health Insurance Reform - The FY'12 state budget included a Chamber-supported compromise agreed upon by the Legislature and the Administration on municipal health care reform. This provision of the budget achieves fair and meaningful reform by providing a framework for municipalities to make cost-saving changes to their health plans. The Chamber worked with other business groups to advance this important reform. This measure will result in significant savings to cities and towns while preserving local services, protecting municipal jobs, and maintaining municipal health benefits at least equal to state employee health benefits.

Unemployment Insurance - A much-needed 2011 unemployment insurance (UI) rate relief bill for Massachusetts employers was signed into law in February. The Chamber and other leading business groups worked for several months to secure such rate relief legislation in an effort to support Massachusetts’ economic recovery, mitigate an obstacle to new hiring, and improve the overall business climate.

Casino Gaming - Last month, Governor Patrick signed into law Chamber supported legislation to expand casino gaming in Massachusetts by permitting three casinos and one slots-only casino. The Chamber’s support is driven by the job creation, economic development, and capital investment opportunities that casino gaming brings to our state.

Mass unemployment down, Genzyme’s commitment to the region, and Congress’ elimination of per-country caps, "On the Record"

Last night, Chamber Vice President Jim Klocke went On the Record with NECN's Latoya Edwards to discuss the decline of Massachusetts’ unemployment rate from 7.3% to 7.0% in November which is helped by the promise of jobs by the new Genzyme President and CEO Dr. David Meeker who spoke to the Chamber emphasizing the biotech company’s commitment to this region, and the U.S. House of Representatives recent vote to eliminate the per-country caps for employment-based visas, which could benefit highly-skilled workers from countries like China and India that are seeking to stay in the country.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Chamber releases monthly Massachusetts Jobs Update

Highlights from this month's update:
  • State added 5,000 jobs last month, bringing the year-to-date job growth total to 51,600. State posted 1.7% job growth in the last 12 months, outpacing the U.S. rate of 1.2%.
  • State unemployment fell three-tenths of a point to 7.0%, posting its lowest monthly rate since December 2008 and remaining well below the U.S. rate of 8.6%.
  • Four of 12 regions added jobs last month, led by the addition of 5,800 jobs in the Greater Boston region. All 12 regions added jobs year-over-year with the strongest growth in the Greater Pittsfield and Worcester regions.
  • Leisure & Hospitality (+4,300) posted the largest monthly private sector job gain at the state level, followed by Trade, Transportation & Utilities (+3,000) and Education & Health Services (+900).

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New Genzyme CEO speaks to the Chamber

Earlier today, Dr. David Meeker, president & CEO of Genzyme Corporation, spoke to members of the Chamber at an Innovation Forum at the Boston Harbor Hotel. Dr. Meeker has been in his current position since October and he spoke about the integration of Genzyme and parent company Sanofi Aventis. He also emphasized the company's committment to this region.

View photos from today's event.

View media coverage:
Did you miss this event? You can catch an entire broadcast of this forum on WBUR 90.9FM this Sunday, December 18, at 8:00pm.

Thank you to Weber Shandwick for sponsoring this event.

Watch Mayor Menino's address to the Chamber on Comcast On Demand

Footage from Mayor Menino's recent address to the Chamber is now available on Comcast On Demand. View a highlight video above.

Announcing the 2012 Pinnacle Award Honorees

The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce today announced the winners of its 2012 Pinnacle Awards. Honoring the accomplishments of eight women in Greater Boston who have achieved excellence in business and management, the Pinnacle Awards will take place on January 26, 2012 at the Boston Marriott Copley Place.
The following honorees will be recognized for their accomplishments in a range of categories, including an overall “Lifetime Achievement”:
  • Lifetime Achievement: Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Professor, Harvard Business School;
  • Achievement in Entrepreneurship: Suzanne Bates, Chief Executive Officer, Bates Communications, Inc.;
  • Achievement in Management, Private: Marcy L. Reed, President, Massachusetts, National Grid;
  • Achievement in Management, Government: Carmen M. Ortiz, United States Attorney, District of Massachusetts;
  • Achievement in Management, Non-Profit: Mary Jo Meisner, Vice President for Communications, Community Relations and Public Affairs, The Boston Foundation;
  • Achievement in the Professions: Joan W. Miller, M.D., Henry Willard Williams Professor of Ophthalmology & Chair, Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School; Chief of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Massachusetts General Hospital;
  • Excellence in Arts & Education: Helen G. Drinan, President, Simmons College; and
  • Emerging Executive: Michelle Shell, CFA, Vice President, Institutional Solutions, Fidelity Asset Management.
“This year’s honorees exemplify excellence in their respective fields as well as a strong commitment to the region’s civic community,” said Paul Guzzi, President and CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber. “Each recipient is an inspiration to women aspiring to lead in business, government, and academia, and the Chamber looks forward to honoring them in January.”
Learn more about our 2012 Pinnacle Award honorees.

Monday, December 12, 2011

LAST CHANCE to Register for our Innovation Forum with David Meeker

David Meeker, newly appointed chief executive officer of Genzyme Corporation, one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies, will be speaking at a Chamber Innovation Forum on Wednesday, December 14th.


Where: Boston Harbor Hotel
When: Wednesday, Dec. 14th
7:45am Registration & Networking
8:10-9:15am Program

To see photos from the most recent Innovation Forum, click here!

Thanks to our sponsors, Weber Shandwick!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Business Editors reflect on the top business stories of 2011 on This Week in Business

On today's This Week in Business, the Boston Business Editors Roundtable with Shirley Leung of the Boston Globe, Frank Quaratiello of the Boston Herald, and George Donnelly of the Boston Business Journal, joined hosts Paul Guzzi and Mike Nikitas to discuss a pitch for a Foxboro casino and the impact of US Postal Service cutbacks on businesses.

In the Briefing Room, the editors are back to reflect on their favorite business stories from 2011 and make predictions of what's to come in 2012.

On the Business Beat, NECN business reporter Peter Howe weighs in on Occupy Boston developments, Governor Patrick's trade trip to Brazil, developments in the Euro debt crisis, and a job swap for Terry Francona and Bobby Valentine.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Occupy eviction, casinos & health care shake-ups 'On the Record'

Last night, Chamber CEO Paul Guzzi went On the Record with NECN's Mike Nikitas to discuss the planned eviction of Occupy Boston protesters from Dewey Square, Mayor Menino's focus on jump starting East Boston waterfront development, Suffolk Downs & Foxboro casino bids, and some changes in the state's health care industry.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Chamber's Annual Holiday Reception: Success!

With over 500 guests in attendance last night, the Chamber's Annual Holiday Reception at the State Room Boston was a great success! We are so happy you could all join us to celebrate the holiday season.

To view pictures of the event, please click HERE!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mayor Menino speaks to the Chamber

This morning, Mayor Tom Menino spoke to more than 500 Chamber members at a Government Affairs Forum at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel. During his address, Menino touted achievements in development, education, and economic growth from his fifth term and unveiled an initiative aimed at jumpstarting development on the East Boston waterfront.

View images from today's event.

View media coverage of today's event below:
This forum will be broadcast in its entirety on WBUR 90.9FM this Sunday, December 11, at 8pm and will soon appear on Comcast's local On Demand channel.
Thank you to Bank of America for sponsoring this event!

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Our Annual Holiday Reception is almost here! We hope you are planning to join us tomorrow night for the business community's signature holiday gathering. If not, there's still time to register! Simply click here.

Wednesday, December 7
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
State Room Boston
60 State Street, 33rd Floor

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Find out why what's happening in Europe matters to businesses in the US on This Week in Business

Today on This Week in Business, Jim Lowell, Chief Investment Adviser at Adviser Investments and Editor of Fidelity Investor, joined hosts Paul Guzzi and Mike Nikitas to discuss US job numbers for November. Lowell also weighed in on what's happening in Europe and how it impacts the US.

In the Briefing Room, Jon Sorenson, Managing Partner of Competitive Energy Services, joined to discuss the United States' recent status as a "net exporter" of fuel. He also talked about other important energy issues.

On the Business Beat, NECN business reporter Peter Howe weighed in on American Airlines' bankruptcy filing, US Representative Barney Frank's announcement that he will not seek reelection, a tentative NBA deal, and new Red Sox management.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Chamber survey shows nearly half of companies expect job growth

Twice a year, the Chamber administers a survey to ascertain its members’ opinions on Chamber programs, services, and public policy work. The survey also includes corporate outlook questions designed to track the anticipated growth of member companies. The most recent survey completed this fall yielded the following forward-looking results regarding job growth:

Job Outlook: Nearly half of companies expect job growth
49% of respondents expected moderate or substantial job growth for their own companies over the next six months, while a nearly equal number (48%) expected no change in jobs, and only 3% expected moderate or substantial job loss. This is in sharp contrast to 2009 survey results in which the percentage of respondents expecting job loss outweighed those expecting job gains by a margin of 36% to 20%.

The Chamber is very encouraged by the steadily improving outlook that many member companies have for their companies’ anticipated job growth. This improvement has tracked closely with the overall regional economic recovery and we hope will bode well for sustaining this recovery in the months to come. On behalf of its members, the Chamber continues to work for policies and legislation designed to improve Massachusetts’ economic competitiveness and spur hiring, investment, and expansion across industries.

Boston's Future Leaders Profile: George Atanasov

George K. Atanasov
Vice President of Government Relations and Counsel, ML Strategies, LLC
Associate, Mintz Levin

George is admitted to practice in Massachusetts. He received his B.A. in Political Science and Communications, cum laude, from Boston College and his J.D., cum laude, as a Trustee Merit Scholar from Suffolk University Law School’s Evening Division.

Brief Bio
George is Vice President of Government Relations and Counsel at ML Strategies, and an associate at Mintz Levin. As a Massachusetts lobbyist, George closely monitors legislative, policy, and political issues at the state and local levels, and he helps clients develop and implement advocacy plans. George also focuses his practice on the Massachusetts laws related to lobbying, ethics and campaign finance, particularly as they apply to state government affairs activity.

What do you like most about your job?
I like the fact that no two days are ever the same. I get to help clients from a broad spectrum of industries navigate government and politics, which is a landscape that is always changing.

Who do you admire in the business world?
The late Mr. Richard Mintz. He worked tirelessly on behalf of his clients but his most admirable quality to me was that he took the time to connect with people on a very personal level.

If you could have any job in Boston, besides your own, what would it be and why?
Tom Brady can never have too many Wide Receiver options, right?

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Still in the government relations and lobbying industry—with a big foot in compliance. Isolated incidents of political corruption and changes to lobbying laws will challenge the industry to make positive changes, and I think that government relations compliance officers will lead the effort in the years ahead.

Favorite place or way to unwind after a long day?I’m a runner and I find it to be a great way to unwind. I sometimes escape from the office for a run to Castle Island.

What reading material is on your nightstand right now?
Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis. The Big Short was my first Lewis book. I loved it and have been trying to catch up on all his works since.

Download an application for our 2012 Boston's Future Leaders class.

Valentine, the Beige Book, and Gov. Patrick's Trade Mission, "On the Record"

Last night, Chamber CEO Paul Guzzi went On the Record with NECN's Latoya Edwards to discuss the newly announced Red Sox GM: Valentine, the Fed's Beige Book survey released Wednesday, and Governor Patrick's trade mission.

The Chamber's Katy O'Neil Interviewed on the Chamber's Role with Small Businesses

Katy O'Neil, Executive VP of Member Services here at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, was interviewed for an article published today on the role of Chambers of Commerce in the small business community. The article, by Jason Keith, asked some vital questions about the state of chambers of commerce, the focuses of chambers of commerce, and what our Chamber does specifically to help the small business community in our area. Some key questions can be seen below, or to read the full article, please click HERE!

"Q. What is the most important role that the Chamber serves today, in your view?

A. The Chamber has made a top priority of developing and connecting the next generation of leaders. Strong leadership is vital to drive economic growth, build a more inclusive community, and ultimately make Greater Boston a better place to live and work. Through the Chamber Leadership Initiative, the Chamber has embraced the mission of developing leadership in the Greater Boston region, instituting leadership programs designed to provide our members with the skills needed to be effective leaders in the 21st century.

Q. How specifically is the Chamber helping to represent or further the interests of small businesses in the Boston area?

A. We recognize the importance of small business and provide the following opportunities to the Chamber’s small business members:

  • Public policy advocacy focused on health care reform, business tax reform, and energy efficiency tax credits – issues that impact all businesses but are particularly significant for small business

  • Free programs and events – each month the Chamber offers one free program for our budget-conscience members

  • Business Showcase – this annual event provides the opportunity for our small business members to showcase their products or services

  • Small Business of the Year Awards –this annual program highlights and honors the innovative small businesses of our region"

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Martha Acworth named new chair of Chamber's Women's Network

The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce today announced the selection of Martha Acworth as the new Chair of its Women’s Network Advisory Board. Acworth, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Salem Five Bank, will succeed Penni Conner, Vice President of Customer Care at NSTAR, when her term expires in 2012.

As Chair of the Women’s Network Advisory Board, Acworth will lead a diverse body of senior women from the Chamber’s board of directors and membership, who shape the direction and development of the Women’s Network programs and serve as ambassadors for the program to the community.

The Chamber’s Women’s Network was created in 1994 to connect women of all career levels, strengthen their professional networks, and engage them in the Greater Boston business community. It has sought to achieve this mission through a broad range of activities including prominent speaker programs, receptions and roundtables that focus on current issues impacting women, and its annual Pinnacle awards honoring excellence among business and professional women (the 2012 Pinnacle Awards will take place on January 26 – click here for more information).

Acworth, a longtime supporter of the Women’s Network, has been with Salem Five since 2008 and has overseen a comprehensive brand repositioning campaign for the bank. She also oversees the Salem Five Charitable Foundation, and has been the driver for a strong strategic focus on supporting financial literacy, workforce development and economic self-sufficiency in the communities the bank serves. Prior to joining Salem Five, Acworth was with KeyCorp, a $90 billion financial services firm out of Cleveland Ohio, from 1999 through 2008.

“We are delighted to have someone of Martha’s talents and caliber leading our Women’s Network Advisory Board,” said Paul Guzzi, President and CEO of the Chamber. “She will bring energy, experience, and passion to this important group of leaders. We are also deeply appreciative of Penni Conner’s outstanding service as chair and look forward to her continued engagement with the Women’s Network.”

Sheriff Cabral speaks at Chamber forum

This morning, Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral spoke to members of the Women's Network at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel. Sheriff Cabral shared her leadership lessons with the group.

View photography from today's event.

The Chamber would like to thank PwC for sponsoring this forum.

Transportation Committee meets to discuss key infrastructure issues

On Wednesday, Senator Thomas McGee, Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Transportation, spoke to members of the Chamber's Transportation Committee.  Senator McGee discussed his role as Co-Chair and he talked about key transportation issues that the Committee is looking at.

REGISTER NOW for next week's GAF with Mayor Thomas Menino

REGISTER NOW for the Chamber's upcoming Government Affairs Forum with Mayor Thomas Menino of the City of Boston.

Thomas M. Menino is serving his fifth term as Mayor of the City of Boston, and has worked hard to improve the quality of life for all of Boston's 620,000 residents during his tenure. At the core of his fifth term agenda are initiatives to transform public education to create quality learning opportunities for all youth, reinvigorate underdeveloped areas of the city to establish a sustainable and shared innovation economy, capitalize on Boston’s entrepreneurial spirit to produce a new wave of municipal innovation, and bring the city closer together across diverse backgrounds.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011


7:45 a.m. Registration & Networking
8:10 - 9:00 a.m. Program


Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel


See photos of our most recent Government Affairs Forums with Tom Brokaw, here!

Thanks to our sponsor, Bank of America.