Hear from the Massachusetts Speaker of the House, Representative Ronald J. Mariano (D-Quincy), at the Chamber’s Government Affairs Forum.
9:45am - 11:00am
Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel
Join the Massachusetts Apprentice Network for the two-year anniversary celebration of the Network's launch.
9:30am - 11:00am
Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce
Join us for our highly anticipated Annual Meeting, Greater Boston's top business convening of the year.
4:30pm - 8:00pm
Boston Convention and Exhibition Center
Expand your DEI professional development with a virtual workshop focused specifically on LGBTQIA+ identities and inclusion.
Join our Transformational DEI Certificate! Our comprehensive learning & development offerings are designed to connect and grow strong leaders who lead both inside and out of the office.
Our Women’s Leadership Program enables you to take your leadership to the next level by arming you with the most in-demand leadership toolkit.
Our Boston’s Future Leaders (BFL) program provides emerging leaders with a socially conscious and civically engaged leadership toolkit, as well as the opportunity to apply their knowledge through experiential assignments.
City Awake empowers young professionals in a variety of ways that encourages these rising leaders to stay invested in the region’s future success.
We are developing an ecosystem of corporations and partners with the influence and buying power to transform economic inclusion for minority business enterprises (MBEs).
The Fierce Urgency of Now Festival brings Boston’s diverse young professionals together with business leaders, organizations and their peers to build connection, advance careers and ignite positive change.
BIMA (the Boston Interactive Media Association) serves a vibrant community of like-minded professionals from agencies, brands, publishers, and ad-tech companies with business interests in the New England market.
For 30 years, the Chamber’s Women’s Network has connected female professionals of all background and career levels. Today, our Women’s Network is the largest in New England, strengthening the professional networks of women each year.
The Massachusetts Apprentice Network convenes employers, training providers, and talent sources interested in developing and implementing apprenticeship programs in occupations across industries and statewide in fields such as tech, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, and more.
We support small business through public policy initiatives, events designed to connect small businesses in Greater Boston to their peers and established business leaders, professional development offerings, and free small business advising.
Explore our mission and values to better understand how we are leading the business community forward.
Our member directory is your resource to discover, connect, and engage with Boston’s businesses from every industry and sector.
2023 Pacesetters Awards
Congratulations to Rosanna Molinaro of Northeastern University for winning Champion of the Year at the 2023 Pacesetters Awards. The Pacesetters Awards celebrates leaders in the Pacesetters network who are improving supplier diversity in their companies and throughout Greater Boston. Our Pacesetters companies are committed to increasing corporate spend with businesses of color. Hear from Rosanna, on how she supports diverse businesses and promotes supplier diversity in work and in life.
I would first like to thank the Boston Chamber of Commerce and the Pacesetters for selecting me as the recipient of the Pacesetter Champion of the Year award, as well as, Northeastern University for supporting me in advancing supplier diversity – with a special shout out to Catherine Walsh and Beya Jimenez for nominating me for this award. I am grateful and honored.
By way of brief introduction, my name is Rosanna Molinaro and I am the director of procurement and contracts management in the Planning, Real Estate & Facilities division at Northeastern University.
Ever since I was informed I would be receiving the “Pacesetters Champion of the Year” award, I’ve been trying to articulate what I have done to earn this recognition. Was it my direct actions or advocacy? Was it because I drove our division to meet/exceed our diverse spend participation metrics? Finding new contracting opportunities for MBEs? The simplest answer is probably ‘yes’, but there’s more to it than that.
I am truly honored to receive this award, but at the same time it feels strange to receive this type of accolade for doing something that comes natural to me. Throughout my life I have always found myself being an advocate for things I care about, whether it was trying to get my brothers out of trouble with my parents, providing pro bono legal services for small, diverse business, or even utilizing my own discretionary income to support MBEs and other small, local businesses (pro-tip for those living with in the 495 belt – Urban Grape delivers for a nominal fee!). So as you can see, having the opportunity to incorporate this type of advocacy into my professional career was a natural move. But the ‘real’ reason I am here is my commitment to equity and economic inclusion for MBEs and other underrepresented businesses.
While we are here, I figured I would share my ‘big 3 tips and tricks” to keep in mind when developing equitable procurement practices.
First – take as many opportunities as possible to talk about supplier diversity. During meetings, I try to highlight our progress on reaching our diverse spend goals, sharing a big win about a new contract award to an MBE, or highlighting new MBEs we’ve prequalified. I’ve found that if you talk about your wins, whether big or small, folks will want to learn more or ask how they can help.
Second – work your network. I know that “working your network” feels incredibly cliché, but there’s a reason for that – it works. For MBEs out there looking for your next opportunity, listen closely, make sure to stay in touch with your contacts within organizations – even if there is not an immediate “fit” for your firm at the beginning; there likely will be one in the future if you keep in touch and build relationships. For everyone else, your network is also your best resource; whether it be asking a fellow Pacesetter for an MBE referral or sharing your latest diverse supplier list with another organization.
And finally – take a cross functional/interdisciplinary approach within your organizations to further your DEI goals. I am by no means a procurement subject matter expert, but I find value in diversity of thought; often times collaborating with like-minded individuals in different roles or departments has led to much better and more effective ideas and strategies than any one person could implement themselves.
If I could leave you all with the one piece of advice to help you stay motivated on this journey, please try your best to keep this drive for economic inclusion as an actionable belief in your life, and avoid the pitfalls of focusing on simply hitting specific metrics or professional goals. Every action – whether it be choosing to shop at minority or woman owned local wine shop, awarding a larger number of smaller contract opportunities to MBEs to help build capacity, or introducing a new MBE to your network – is a step towards the change we all want to see. By keeping these ideals as part of our general mindset, both personally and professionally, I truly believe that taking a mountain of small steps will lead to greater shifts in our culture at large.
Director, Procurement & Contracts Management in the Planning, Real Estate & Facilities (PREF) department,