When it comes to Chamber programming, we're proud to offer something for everyone. Last week we jumped into our fall programming schedule full force. We hosted three stellar events for three different and diverse audience that all touched upon the theme of keeping Massachusetts competitive for business, for people and for the future of our great region.
We started the week with a Women’s Network Breakfast featuring Meredith Verdone, who is the Chief Marketing Officer for Bank of America. Verdone told us her remarks were inspired by the tremendous work the Women’s Network has done to advance the cause of diversity in the business community. She focused on the theme of maintaining a diverse mindset to solve some of the most important challenges facing Massachusetts and the world: challenges like climate change, clean water, gender equality and more. She spoke about how Bank of America has applied this mindset, and challenged audience members to:
- Look at their business partners
- Take a close look at the gender diversity of employees and leadership
- Find ways to listen to a wider array of voices
- Hold yourselves accountable, and
- Create spaces where people feel empowered to ask questions
See pictures from the event here, and join us October 24 for our next Women’s Network Breakfast with Sue Seigal, CEO of GE Ventures.
Next we hosted our annual Mayoral Government Affairs Forum with Mayor Martin J. Walsh. Mayor Walsh began his speech by celebrating the tremendous success Boston has seen in the last four years in terms of growth in residents, housing, graduation and employment rates, and the overall strength of our economy. He discussed a number of areas for the city and business community to focus on together to maintain this growth and ensure that Boston remains a competitive environment for new and existing businesses, for a talented workforce, and for our valued residents. He outlined proposals he will introduce for more low income housing, for improved public transit, and for a citywide college, career and life readiness framework. He also spoke about the collaborative work the Chamber and City have done together on the issue of economic opportunity.
And join us for our next Government Affairs Forum with U.S. Congressman Richard Neal on October 27.
Public Policy & Special Interests
We ended the week with a special Forum in our Chamber offices called “Legalized Cannabis: Building a Successful New Industry.” With the state’s recent passage of cannabis reform, we invited expert panelists to provide an overview of the new industry and explore the many business opportunities it presents for the Commonwealth, including economic impact. The sold-out event was a tremendous success with much audience engagement and discussion about everything from dispelling stigmas, to ensuring social inclusion and diversity in these new opportunities, and learning from the wins of other states. The program was moderated by Dot Joyce, principal of Dot Joyce Consulting and former Communications Chief for Mayor Thomas Menino, and panelists included Chris Beals, president & general counsel for our newest member, Weedmaps; Todd Finard, CEO of Finard Properties, and Shaleen Title, commissioner for the Cannabis Control Commission of Massachusetts.
See photos from the event here.