Monday, January 30, 2012

LAST CHANCE to Register for Our Executive Forum with Ron O'Hanley



Please join us at our upcoming Executive Forum featuring Ron O'Hanley, President of Asset Management and Corporate Services at Fidelity Investments.

Date: Thursday, February 2, 2012
Time: 7:45 a.m. Registration & Networking
8:10 - 9:00 a.m. Program
Location:

Seaport World Trade Center


REGISTER HERE!

See photos from our past Executive Forums here!

LAST CHANCE to Register for Our Best Practices Seminar on Feb. 1st


Join us for our upcoming Best Practices Seminar with AJ Gerritson, Founding Partner of 451 Marketing. This is a FREE, members only event. At the event, AJ Gerritson will be focusing on helping members amplify their brand using social media and public relations.

When: Wednesday, Feb. 1st
7:45am Registration & Networking
8:10am-9am Program
Where: Metro Meeting Centers, 101 Federal Street, 4th Floor

REGISTER HERE!


Thanks to our sponsor for this event: Fitcorp!
Fitcorp Fitness Centers

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Celtics CEO Wyc Grousbeck joins This Week in Business: Game Time

Today on This Week in Business: Game Time, Wyc Grousbeck, managing partner and CEO of the Boston Celtics, joined hosts Paul Guzzi and Mike Nikitas to discuss the impact of the NBA lockout and a shorter season. He also talks about the Big Three, the team's involvement in the community, and the role of social media in the NBA.

On the Business Beat, NECN business reporter Peter Howe weighs in on President Obama's State of the Union address, Governor Patrick's State of the State address, Logan Airport's record number of passengers in 2011, and the Patriots' trip to the Super Bowl.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Pinnacle Awards: In Pictures

In case you missed yesterday's event, here are some images that capture the highly successful 2012 Pinnacle Awards.

For the full gallery, please click here.

Congratulations again to all eight honorees!










Thursday, January 26, 2012

2012 Pinnacle Award Honorees Gather

More than 1,000 of Greater Boston's top business executives and professionals today filled the Boston's Copley Marriott Place to honor eight of the region's most dynamic women leaders, as part of the 2012 Pinnacle Awards, hosted by the Chamber.


Front Row: Joan W. Miller, M.D. (Harvard Medical School), Marcy L. Reed (National Grid),  Mary Jo Meisner (The Boston Foundation), Michelle Shell, CFA (LPL Financial)

Back Row: Carmen M. Ortiz (District of Massachusetts), Suzanne Bates (Bates Communications, Inc.),
Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter (Harvard Business School), Helen G. Drinan (Simmons College)

House Energy Chair Keenan Talks Top Issues

The Chamber's Energy Committe convened this morning, discussing the top issues and trends impacting the Greater Boston business and civilian communities. Today's guest speaker: House Energy Chair Rep. John Keenan.



Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chamber's Guzzi Joins State Officials in Veterans Services Funding Announcement

Chamber President & CEO Paul Guzzi joined Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Coleman Nee in a press conference yesterday announcing the state’s funding of nearly $11.25 million devoted exclusively for veterans and their families, for Fiscal Year 2013.

This latest round of funding builds on the Commonwealth’s commitment to maximizing employment, health, economic, housing, and other services and benefits for its thousands of veterans – from those recently returning from Iraq and Afghanistan to older generations.

In addition to Murray’s budget announcement, Guzzi detailed the Chamber’s continual partnership with the Commonwealth, working with the local business community to enhance veteran’s access to adequate employment and training opportunities.

Comcast is also teaming up to present Hire A Veteran On Demand, which aims to connect returning soldiers to jobs to help ease their transition back into civilian life.  Hire a Veteran on Demand features veteran profiles for prospective hiring managers and recruiters to review for their employment needs.

This news article has more on yesterday’s event.






Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chamber Joins Governor, Mayor, Civic Leaders in Call for Community College Reform

The Chamber’s Executive Vice President Jim Klocke today joined Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, and business and civic leaders at a meeting and press conference supporting community college reform across the Commonwealth.

Attendees cited the importance of community colleges to area businesses, to Massachusetts residents, and to the state’s economic competitiveness.  The Governor’s proposed overhaul of Massachusetts’ community colleges was a prominent theme in his State of the Commonwealth address last night. The initiative includes the merger of all 15 state campuses into a unified system, and $10 million in new funding for the system’s workforce development initiatives.

Stronger community colleges are critical to realizing the full potential of the Massachusetts economy.  The Chamber will work with leaders in the business, education, civic and government sectors in the months ahead for passage of community college reform legislation.

Read more about the Governor's proposal.

Hill Holliday's Karen Kaplan named new chair of Chamber

The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce announced today that Karen Kaplan, president of Hill Holliday, has been chosen to serve as the new chair of the Chamber. Her two-year term will begin on April 24, when she is inaugurated at the Chamber’s 103rd Annual Meeting & Dinner. Kaplan was the unanimous choice of the Chamber’s Executive and Nominating Committees.  She is only the second woman to chair the Chamber in 103 years.
“Karen Kaplan brings an impressive track record of contributions to the Massachusetts business and civic communities,” said Robert Gallery, Massachusetts president of Bank of America and current Chamber chair. “Her extensive experience in the advertising industry and the terrific work she has done to advance women’s leadership guarantee she will be a tremendous asset to the Chamber and its mission.”


“Karen’s success at Hill Holliday, presence in the Greater Boston community, and vision for the future make her one of the region’s most respected and talented leaders,” said Paul Guzzi, president and CEO of the Chamber. “I very much look forward to working with her over the next two years.”

Kaplan joined Hill Holliday, the 17th largest advertising agency in the United States, as a receptionist in 1982, and is now a driving force behind the firm’s growth to more than $1 billion in annual billings. Hill Holliday’s clients include Dunkin’ Donuts, Chili’s, John Hancock, Liberty Mutual, Bank of America, Major League Baseball, Novartis, Great Wolf Resorts, Cigna, TJX, and Verizon Wireless. Kaplan is the immediate past President of the Massachusetts Women's Forum and serves on the board of the Massachusetts Conference for Women. She is a member of the Board of Governors of the Chief Executives’ Club of Boston, and also is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative.

"The Chamber plays a critical role in growing our economy by fostering the important partnership between business and government,” said Kaplan. “I look forward to serving and engaging the next generation of Boston's leaders to help shape the Chamber's future agenda."

“We are delighted that Karen is assuming this important role,” said Mike Sheehan, CEO of Hill Holliday. “The Chamber has made a tremendous impact improving the business climate in our region, and Hill Holliday is proud to support their work.”

Join Mayor Menino's Summer Jobs Kick-Off!

We encourage all of our members to attend Mayor Menino's Summer Jobs Kick-Off and to support this important initiative. Details below.

Please Join Mayor Thomas M. Menino

at The Boston Summer Jobs Program Reception

To meet industry leaders who will share their experiences with Boston Public School teens in their workplace.

Monday, January 30, 2012
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Hosted by: State Street Corporation
One Lincoln Street, 36th Floor

Chamber Urges Enactment of Unemployment Rate Relief

The Chamber continues to work for the passage of unemployment insurance (UI) rate relief legislation in the first quarter of this year.  The Chamber has urged State House leaders in recent months to advance legislation freezing UI tax rates at Schedule E in 2012.  This month, the House and Senate each passed versions of a FY’12 supplemental spending bill with language implementing such a freeze. This is an important step toward securing legislation that will help to support Massachusetts’ economic recovery, mitigate an obstacle to new hiring, and improve the overall business climate.  The Chamber has asked the Patrick Administration to enact the UI rate freeze when this bill reaches the Governor’s desk.

Absent such legislation, Massachusetts businesses would face a 25% increase in 2012 UI taxes (average cost of $141 per employee), resulting from a UI rate increase from Schedule E to G that would be triggered under current law.  Massachusetts UI costs have long been among the very highest in the nation. By freezing UI rates at schedule E, Massachusetts can ensure that employers will be spared more than $500M in unemployment insurance taxes.  Current economic forecasts, and Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund projections, suggest that Massachusetts can afford to take such action without jeopardizing fund solvency or beneficiary payments.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Last Chance to Register! 2012 Pinnacle Awards

More than 1,000 of the top female leaders, executives, and professionals impacting the Boston – and global – business community will be gathering this Thursday, January 26 at Boston’s Marriott Copley Place, as part the annual Pinnacle Awards luncheon.   

This year, the Chamber will be honoring a select group of eight women demonstrating excellence in entrepreneurship, management, and lifetime achievement. Learn more about this year’s recipients.
Now is your last chance to register for this special event, and honor the accomplishments of these women – and the region’s overall female business community.

To learn more about the event, please click here or listen to this special announcement, which appeared on WBZ-AM.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

2012 economic outlook & the expansion of community banks on 'This Week in Business'

Today on This Week in Business, Michael Goodman, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Public Policy at UMass Dartmouth, joined hosts Paul Guzzi and Mike Nikitas to discuss Massachusetts December job figures and the regional economic outlook for 2012.

In the Briefing Room, Bob Mahoney, President & CEO of Belmont Savings Bank, joined to discuss the bank's rebranding efforts and the overall success and expansion of community banks.

On the Business Beat, NECN business reporter Peter Howe weighs in on the recent internet piracy bill protest, Novartis' plan to cut US jobs but expand in Cambrige, renovations at the Gardner Museum, and Mayor Menino's 'million pound slim down.'

Friday, January 20, 2012

Unemployment Insurance Costs: House and Senate Pass 2012 Rate Freeze

The Chamber continues to work for the passage of unemployment insurance (UI) rate relief legislation in the first quarter of this year.  The Chamber has urged State House leaders in recent months to advance legislation freezing UI tax rates at Schedule E in 2012.  Within the past week, the House and Senate each passed versions of a FY’12 supplemental spending bill with language implementing such a freeze. This is an important step toward securing legislation that will help to support Massachusetts’ economic recovery, mitigate an obstacle to new hiring, and improve the overall business climate.  We and other business groups are also working with the Patrick Administration on this issue. 

Absent such legislation, Massachusetts businesses would face a 25% increase in 2012 UI taxes (average cost of $141 per employee), resulting from a UI rate increase from Schedule E to G that would be triggered under current law.  Massachusetts UI costs have long been among the very highest in the nation. By freezing UI rates at schedule E, Massachusetts can ensure that employers will be spared more than $500M in unemployment insurance taxes.  Current economic forecasts, and Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund projections, suggest that Massachusetts can afford to take such action without jeopardizing fund solvency or beneficiary payments. 

Women's Leadership Program Profile: Kristin Bedard

Name: Kristin Bedard
Company: The Boston Globe and Boston.com
Education: Boston University BA, Political Science, Psychology 1997 – 2001, Cum Laude

Kristin has over 10 years experience in the local media industry, starting at The Boston Globe in 1999 while studying at BU. Leveraging her unique experience working in the newspaper industry during its transformation into a multi-platform news and content provider, Kristin directs strategic initiatives to grow local advertising revenues for The Boston Globe and Boston.com.

What do you like most about your job?
The opportunity for innovation and the outstanding resources within my organization. Also the tremendous networking and educational opportunities within my industry.

Who do you admire in the business world?I particularly admire entrepreneurs and those who have overcome obstacles in pursuit of their vision, not settling until they achieve their goals. Barbara Lynch comes to mind. I'm also inspired by those who work to support the success and advancement of women and girls.

If you could have any job in Boston, besides your own, what would it be and why?It would likely be supporting a cause that gives back to our community, either through protecting our environment and preserving the outdoors, or contributing to the strength of local families and children. I'm passionate about the outdoors and social causes.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?Still learning, working with new technologies for communication and accessing information. Enjoying time with family and friends.

Favorite place or way to unwind after a long day?Spending time with my husband Rob, cooking dinner together or planning our next camping trip.

What reading material is on your nightstand right now?My Life in France by Julia Child, Whole Living magazine, and Arnoldia, magazine of the Arnold Arboretum.

Did you miss our Government Affairs Forum with Martha Coakley?

No worries! You can now watch Attorney General Martha Coakley's complete address to the Chamber on Comcast's "Get Local" On Demand channel. Check out a video promo below.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Chamber releases monthly Massachusetts Jobs Update

Highlights from this month's Jobs Update:
  • State shed 6,200 jobs last month, bringing the year-over-year (Dec ’10 – Dec ’11) job growth total to 40,700. State posted 1.3% job growth in the last 12 months, equaling the U.S. rate during that time period.
  • State unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point to 6.8%, posting its lowest rate since December 2008 and remaining well below the U.S. rate of 8.5%.
  • Three of 12 regions added jobs last month, led by the addition of 500 jobs in the Cape Cod region. All 12 regions added jobs year-over-year with strongest growth in the Greater Pittsfield and Worcester regions.
  • Trade, Transportation & Utilities (+2,300) posted the largest monthly private sector job gain at the state level, followed by Manufacturing (+1,100).

Metropolitan Region Total
Jobs

Change Since December 2010

MASSACHUSETTS 3,234,500 1.3%
Barnstable 99,200 3.1%
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy 1,709,000 1.9%
Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton 89,200 1.8%
Framingham 157,000 3.0%
Haverhill-North Andover-Amesbury 78,000 1.7%
Leominster-Fitchburg-Gardner 48,400 0.4%
Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford 117,600 2.3%
New Bedford 65,000 0.2%
Peabody 99,200 1.1%
Pittsfield 37,000 3.4%
Springfield 286,400 0.6%
Worcester 247,400 3.2%

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Guzzi Shares Prospects for Region's Economy

Chamber President & CEO Paul Guzzi shared insight into why there’s growing optimism settling in across the Boston area, as part of this afternoon’s WBZ NewsRadio’s “The Boston Business Executive Luncheon.” 

Guzzi cited many promising signs – including a shrinking Massachusetts unemployment rate and the boom of Boston’s Innovation District – into his favorable forecast for local businesses and the regional economy. Michael Goodman, associate director & chair department of Public Policy at UMass Dartmouth and Jeff Kaplan, founder and managing director of THINKstrategies joined Guzzi on the panel.


AG Coakley Addresses Chamber



Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley addressed more than 250 Chamber members this morning as part of our first Government Affairs Forum for 2012. The conversation spanned three major issues impacting to the region’s economic climate – energy, healthcare and the growing housing foreclosure crisis.

View all photos from today's event.

Media coverage:

• Boston Globe: Mortgage foreclosure issues top AG Martha Coakley’s consumer-complaint list

• Boston Herald: Mortgage woes top list of complaints to AG Coakley

• MyFOXBoston: AG sees foreclosure deal with banks likely

• The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones: UPDATE: Massachusetts AG Sees Foreclosure Deals, But Has Concerns

• Boston Business Journal: Mortgage-Foreclosure complaints quadruple

If you missed today's breakfast, it will be broadcasted in its entirety on WBUR 90.9FM this Sunday, January 22, at 8 p.m. ET.

Many thanks go out to Bank of America for sponsoring the event.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Boston Business Editors join This Week in Business

Yesterday on This Week in Business, Boston Business Editors 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 the recent New Hampshire primary and the attacks on Romeny's tenure at Bain Capital. The editors also weigh in on a recent agreement that the Boston Globe will now print and distribute the Boston Herald.

In the Briefing Room, the editors are back to discuss a proposal to raise MBTA fares and cut service in order to deal with a more than $160 million budget deficit. They also talk about stories their own papers are focusing on and make predictions for news to come in the week ahead.

On the Business Beat, NECN business reporter Peter Howe weighs in on recent retail sales, the latest in casino news, and Friendly's emergence from bankruptcy.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Chamber continuing to work with state leaders to freeze unemployment insurance rates in 2012

The Chamber is continuing to work for the passage of unemployment insurance (UI) rate relief legislation in Q1 of 2012.  The Chamber has urged State House leaders in recent months to advance legislation freezing UI tax rates at Schedule E in 2012, and the Chamber applauds the introduction of a House supplemental spending bill last week which includes language to implement such a rate freeze.  This is an important step toward securing legislation that will help to support Massachusetts’ economic recovery, mitigate an obstacle to new hiring, and improve the overall business climate.

Massachusetts UI costs have long been among the very highest in the nation. Legislation is needed to avert a 31% premium spike or $220 average per employee rate increase in 2012, resulting from a UI rate increase from Schedule E to G that would be triggered under current law. Such a move which would substantially further the state’s cost disadvantage. By freezing UI rates at schedule E, Massachusetts can limit the average 2012 UI tax increase per employee and ensure that employers pay $529M less in UI taxes than they would have otherwise.

In response to advocacy by the Chamber and other leading business groups, the Legislature and Governor froze 2011 rates, delivering nearly $400M in savings to Massachusetts employers last year. Current economic forecasts and Trust Fund projections suggest that Massachusetts can afford to take similar action in the coming months – continuing to freeze rates at Schedule E in 2012 – without jeopardizing fund solvency or beneficiary payments. Doing so would provide immediate cost relief to Massachusetts employers at a time when such funds could be put to better use for hiring, construction, R&D, sales, and other business activities that will help to rebuild the state's economy.

The Chamber will continue working, in collaboration with other business groups, to secure UI rate relief legislation in Q1 of 2012.

Casinos, Beige Book & a wellness program at Reebok 'On the Record'

Last night, Chamber CEO Paul Guzzi went On the Record with NECN's Mike Nikitas to discuss casino developer MGM's interest in building a resort casino in Brimfield, MA, the Federal Reserve's Beige Book survey, and Reebok's wellness program.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Government Affairs Committee talks top issues

The Chamber's Government Affairs Committee convened for its first meeting of 2012 this morning to discuss the top business and legislative issues impacting the Commonwealth. Joining us this morning was Mo Cowan, Chief of Staff to Governor Deval Patrick.





Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Chamber Announces 2012 Business Growth Agenda

Our 2012 Business Growth Agenda is designed to advance the state's overall business climate by focusing on the four key areas outlined below.

Workforce Development
  • Talent Development – Expand the skilled worker pipeline via Chamber Intern Connect, talent retention efforts with the Boston Federal Reserve Bank, and strengthened business-academia relations.
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Education – Build support for STEM education as part of a statewide coalition to strengthen the STEM teacher pool and STEM funding.
  • Public Higher Education – Strengthen state financing for public higher education, including state matching funds for research and innovation grants.
Tax Competitiveness
  • State Tax Administration Reform – Improve state tax administration policies and procedures related to tax regulations, building on the implementation of Chamber tax reforms enacted in 2011.
  • Tax Credits & Incentives – Drive innovation and spur new technologies by increasing the state’s investment tax credit from 3 percent to 5percent, and create a new tax credit to promote energy efficiency among businesses.
  • Net Operating Loss Carry forwards for Financial Institutions and Utilities – Extend NOL carry forwards to the state’s finance and utility sectors, strengthening their competitiveness and bringing tax policy in line with that of most U.S. states.
Reform
  • Health Care Payment Reform – Advance payment reform to bring health care cost growth under control, improve the coordination of services, and diminish the use of fee-for-service payments.
  • Unemployment Insurance Reform (UI) – Freeze UI tax rates, thus averting a dramatic rate increase in the first quarter of 2012, and reform UI eligibility policies.
Economic Development
  • Leading Industries – Promote the growth of the region’s economic engines including financial services and life sciences, expanding opportunity for Greater Boston companies and workers.
  • Energy – Lower employers’ energy costs by promoting energy efficiency and expanding regional energy supplies, while promoting new technologies for cleaner and renewable energy.
  • Development – Promote development in critical areas such as the South Boston Waterfront, and remove legal/regulatory barriers to new development.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A PDF OF OUR 2012 BUSINESS GROWTH AGENDA.

Monday, January 9, 2012

NH Secretary of State discusses importance of tomorrow's primary on This Week in Business

Yesterday on This Week in Business, New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner joined hosts Paul Guzzi and Mike Nikitas to discuss the importance of tomorrow's New Hampshire primary. He also discussed the economic impact of the primary for the Granite State.


In the Briefing Room, Richard Freeland, the Commonwealth's Commissioner of Higher Education, joined to give an update on the success of the Vision Project. He also discussed the role and mission of the state's community colleges and rising tuition costs.



On the Business Beat, NECN business reporter Peter Howe weighed in on the nation's jobless rate, changes at the MBTA, an uptick in auto sales, and President Obama's new military strategy.

Friday, January 6, 2012

MBTA fare hikes & new military strategy "On the Record"

Chamber CEO Paul Guzzi went 'On the Record' last night with NECN's Mike Nikitas to discuss a new MBTA proposal to increase fares and cut service, a spike in office building construction, and the implications of President Obama's new military strategy on New England's defense industry.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Paul Guzzi talks jobless claims & MBTA fair hikes on WBZ NewsRadio

President & CEO Paul Guzzi
Today, Chamber president & CEO Paul Guzzi discussed last week's national jobless claims, a new MBTA proposal to increase fairs and cut service, and the growth of office building construction in the Boston area with WBZ NewsRadio's Rod Fritz.

Listen to the audio here.

The interview will play throughout the day on WBZ-AM NewsRadio 1030.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year!

As we look ahead to the New Year, we wanted to take a brief moment to express our thanks for your support of the Chamber in 2011.

Although our region continues to outperform the national economy, we understand that many businesses still face challenges. In the year ahead, we will continue our efforts to create a stronger business climate for the region and for our members.

On behalf of the Chamber, we wish you and your colleagues a Happy New Year!