A Message from Jim Rooney

The following is an e-mail sent to Greater Boston Chamber members on July 1:

JROONEY-1 (2)I wanted to send you a short message to let you know that, with a tremendous sense of excitement, I have reported for duty as President & CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. I am eagerly looking forward to working with our Chairman Nav Singh, the Executive Committee, the Board of Directors, the entire membership of the Chamber, and the outstanding staff in the coming years.

The past 36 hours has been a period of emotional transition for me at the MCCA and I know for Paul Guzzi here at the GBCC. I again congratulate Paul on his 19 years of service to the Chamber and decades of leadership in Boston and Massachusetts. Paul is truly a “Distinguished Bostonian” who has earned the highest levels of respect in our business, government, and civic communities. I know we all wish Paul well in his future endeavors.

I am grateful and honored to have been selected as the new Chamber CEO. I know many of you already and I look forward to creating new relationships. How can you help me? In the coming days, weeks, and months, I want to hear from you and learn “How can the Chamber help you?” and “What would it take for you to be an even more engaged member?”
The Chamber is well positioned to effectively represent the interests of its members, provide useful and meaningful solutions to issues affecting regional growth and competitiveness, diversify and expand its membership base, and be a trusted and credible voice for the business community. Perhaps most importantly, the new Chamber is poised to be a resource for Boston’s entire 21st Century, innovation-driven economy.

The loud and clear message I received from Chamber leadership during the search process for a new CEO is that we are a “stable” Chamber and we want to move on to become a “dynamic” Chamber. I welcome the opportunity to work with each of you toward that future.

Happy Fourth of July, and I look forward to seeing you at the Summer Reception at the Aquarium on July 29.


James E. Rooney
President & CEO
Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce


5 Ways to Better Network in Boston This Summer

5 ways to better network in boston this summer mainIt’s still hard to believe after that long, long winter, but summer has officially arrived in Boston. You’ve earned those trips to the beaches, long weekends down the Cape, or evening strolls through the Seaport or Back Bay.

What you may not know: Summer is the perfect time to focus on yourself – and your own professional and personal growth. What better way than to attend many of the Boston’s best networking events, meeting new contacts, customers, and friends. (If you’re a Chamber member, we have the perfect one for you.)

Whether you’re new to networking, or a veteran looking to brush up your skills, here are five tips to make the most of your summer networking events:

1. Arrive a few minutes before the event starts. You’ll get a head start in introducing yourself to others before the room fills up. And it’ll help your comfort level, too, since you aren’t walking into a crowded room (Side note: which, we agree, can be very overwhelming at first – but the nerves will go away).

2. Know the importance of your handshake. First impressions are important. Besides your outward appearance, people will make assumptions about you based on your handshake. Believe it or not, the firmness of your grip reveals your confidence, while providing a sense of trustworthiness. Go for a balanced and firm handshake. Don’t be afraid to practice with a friend or colleague.

3. Be yourself. Business is human and building authentic relationships with other professionals in the community is key to your success. In today’s more diversified business world, you have to break down silos and get outside of your industry. Meet new people, share new ideas, and (hopefully) develop mutually exclusive partnerships that’ll advance your career.

4. Go for quality not quantity. We hate to break it you to, but there’s no one scoring how many business cards you’re handing out. In fact, the biggest measure of success is connecting with people on a genuine level and having an interest in others. Discover what matters to the people you meet, and don’t be afraid to share your interests and passions with others.

5. Follow-up is your secret sauce. Believe it or not, but most people rarely (or even not at all) follow up after an event. Huge missed opportunity. For those interesting people you meet, reach out within 12-24 hours. Ask them to coffee to offer them help, continue the engaging conversation you were having at the event, or express your interest in their perspective on a particular topic. Don’t be discouraged if they don’t reply right away. Set a reminder to follow up with them a few days later.

Have fun everyone! And remember, we’re always here to help with your networking strategies and events.


Chamber Partners with Science from Scientists to Advance STEM Education

science by scientistsThe Greater Boston Chamber is thrilled to have partnered with Science from Scientists, a Massachusetts-based non-profit that aims to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM. Together, the Chamber and Science from Scientists brought the Dr. William D. Henderson Elementary school’s fifth grade class to the Museum of Science as part of their end-of-year trip. As part of a science activity, the students participated in a Scavenger Rock Hunt in the outdoor rock garden during lunch. Their favorite exhibit was Innovative Engineers, students were able to build structures and identify sources of energy for a machine.

Are you looking for some ideas on how to engage children in STEM this summer, especially with summer vacation in place? Here are three to get you started:

1). Kids are born as natural scientists. They touch, squeeze, and taste everything! Take advantage of this by setting up mini experiments such as a fun blind taste-testing of foods, or walking down the street to study the natural ecosystem near your home, you may be surprised at what you find!

2). For students in older grade levels, we recommend a mini research project! Start by talking to kids about scientific areas of interest and find out what they’re wondering about. Build a hypothesis for the experiment, design the experiment, conduct follow-up internet research and present findings to the family at dinner!

3) It’s all about texture! Just like the blind taste-test, have kinds identify different objects and learn about the connection between the physical touch and the object’s characteristics.

Science from Scientists is a non-profit organization looking to improve the attitudes and aptitudes of 4-8th grade students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (or STEM). Visit http://www.sciencefromscientists.org/ for more information


Transportation bill advances in the Legislature

On Tuesday, June 23, the Joint Committee on Transportation advanced its MBTA reform bill out of committee. H 3347, a redraft of legislation filed by Governor Baker, is a step in the right direction towards fixing the T. While the Chamber is pleased to see this legislation advance, more needs to be done to solve the most chronic problems at the T and make it a 21st-century transit system. You can help by signing a petition that calls for reform at www.fixourt.com.

H.3347 seeks to establish a fiscal and management control board for the T. However, the current draft omits several key provisions of the Governor’s proposal. The committee eliminated language exempting the T from an anti-privatization law, known as the Pacheco Law, as well as a provision that would have allowed T officials to reject arbitration agreements. The bill now advances to the House Ways and Means (HWM) Committee. Speaker DeLeo has indicated that additional changes may be made to bill in HWM.

In addition to H.3347, both the House and Senate FY16 budgets included language to reform the T. The House budget seeks to exempt the T from the Pacheco Law for a period of 5 years while the Senate budget calls for the creation of a fiscal and management control board. A conference committee is currently working to resolve the differences between the two budget bills. On Monday, June 22nd, the legislature sent a one-month spending bill to the Governor indicating that the conference committee will not complete their budget negotiations before the fiscal year begins on July 1st.

The Chamber is continuing to work with other business groups, the Baker Administration and legislative leaders to advance meaningful reforms that will have a significant impact on the T. If you have not done so already, please join the Chamber in this important advocacy campaign by signing the petition at www.fixourt.com/. If you have any questions, please contact Erin Trabucco, Senior Policy Advisory, at 617-557-7344 or etrabucco@bostonchamber.com.