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Fidelity, Bright Horizons, WHOI Honored with 2017 AIM Vision Awards

Posted by Rick Lord on Mar 30, 2017 9:07:00 AM

Three organizations that have transformed Massachusetts by carving out preeminent places in their disciplines – Fidelity Investments, Bright Horizons Family Solutions and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution -  will be honored with 2017 Vision Awards by Associated Industries of Massachusetts.

The largest employer association in Massachusetts will present the Vision Awards at its Annual Meeting on May 5 in Boston. Accepting the awards on behalf of the honorees will be Abigail Johnson, Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Investments; Linda A. Mason, Co-Founder of Bright Horizons; and Mark Abbott, Director and President of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Governor Charles D. Baker will deliver the keynote address.

The Vision Award recognizes companies, organizations and individuals who have made unique contributions to the cause of economic opportunity in Massachusetts. The award reflects AIM’s mission to stand for jobs, economic prosperity, innovation and a government that acknowledges that the private sector has the unique responsibility to create the common wealth for the people of Massachusetts.

“The 4,000 member employers of Associated Industries of Massachusetts are delighted to honor three world-renowned organizations that have truly changed the way we live,” said AIM President and Chief Executive Officer Richard C. Lord.

“Fidelity Investments became a cornerstone of the financial industry by offering investment services to a broad set of customers from individual investors to advisors and large companies. Bright Horizons is the largest provider of employer-sponsored day care in the United States. And Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution remains both a global leader in ocean science and a key driver of the economy on Cape Cod.”

Johnson1.jpgFidelity Investments is the fourth largest investment firm in the world. With assets under administration of $6.0 trillion, including managed assets of $2.2 trillion as of February 28, 2017, the firm focuses on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers: helping more than 26 million people invest their own life savings, 23,000 businesses manage employee-benefit programs, and providing more than 12,500 financial advisory firms with investment and technology solutions to invest their own clients’ money.

Founded in 1946 by Edward C. Johnson 2d, Fidelity was an early pioneer in the development of mutual funds. Fidelity was also innovator in many other areas throughout its history, including check writing for money market accounts, selling mutual funds over 800 number phone lines, the development of sector funds, the growth of the defined-contribution retirement savings industry, and using online and mobile technology to make investing quicker and easier for millions of customers.

The company has used innovation and an unrelenting focus on customer service to mold itself into a diversified financial services firm that is a leader in personal investing, workplace investing, and tools and services for financial intermediaries. Fidelity is now the nation's No. 1 record keeper of 401(k) retirement savings plans and is also the largest US online brokerage firm, with 17.9 million accounts and $1.7 trillion in client assets.  

Abigail Johnson became chief executive officer in 2014 and assumed the title of Chairman in December 2016. A recent Investor’s Business Daily article on Fidelity’s 2016 financial results praised the company’s ability to change: "Fidelity is profitable, strong, innovative and driven to growth," said Jim Lowell, editor-in-chief of Fidelity Investor, an independent newsletter. "That's not true for many financial services companies."

Mason1.jpgBright Horizons Family Solutions – Watertown-based Bright Horizons has forged a trusted global presence as an indispensable resource for employers and their workers seeking to address an increasingly complex array of work-life issues.

Linda Mason and her husband, Roger Brown, founded Bright Horizons with the goal of providing high quality child care at work sites. Together, they created a company with the mission to nurture each child’s unique qualities and potential, support families through strong partnerships, and collaborate with employers to build family-friendly workplaces.

Bright Horizons today operates more than 1,000 child-care centers in the U.S., the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, India, and Canada. It also works with more than 1,000 employers to provide a complete family of employer solutions, including child care, back-up care for children and adults/elders, and educational advising for employees and their college-bound dependents.

And they do it well. Eighty organizations on Working Mother magazine’s "100 Best Companies" list are Bright Horizons clients. Bright Horizons itself has consistently been named to the "100 Best Companies to Work for in America" list by FORTUNE magazine and the Top Places to Work in Massachusetts by The Boston Globe.

Bright Horizons employs 2,100 people in Massachusetts and more than 20,000 worldwide. The company’s revenue jumped 8 percent during 2016 to $1.6 billion, while net income rose 1 percent to $95 million.

The company’s blue-chip client list reads like a who’s-who of global business leaders, from Allstate Insurance, Comcast NBC Universal and Booz Allen Hamilton to Sprint, Target, Discovery Communications, General Mills and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Ms. Mason and Mr. Brown in 1988 also created an independent, nonprofit organization, Horizons for Homeless Children (formerly The Horizons Initiative) dedicated to providing high-quality child care and educational services to homeless children and their families.

Abbott1.jpgWoods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is the world’s largest, private non-profit oceanographic research institution and a global leader in the study and exploration of the ocean. An unmatched reputation for intellectual discovery under the water has allowed the organization to contribute to its economic surroundings out of the water as well.

Woods Hole scientists and engineers have played a part in discoveries that form the modern understanding of the ocean and how it interacts with other parts of the planet, including human society. WHOI professionals combine access to specialized tools, ships, labs, and underwater vehicles with knowledge of how to explore the ocean to create a detailed understanding of the global ocean system.

The institution, founded in 1930, employs more than 1,000 researchers, engineers, information technology specialists, and crews for ships and underwater vehicles like the Alvin that famously explored the wreck of the Titanic in 1986. A combination of government grants and contracts, foundation and private donations and industry contracts provide the organization with an annual operating budget of $215 million.

Increasingly WHOI is involved in projects that apply the knowledge gained from basic research to societal issues, providing high-quality data and analysis across a range of topics, from climate to biodiversity to resources to natural hazards mitigation. These efforts have given WHOI’s work reach into new and important arenas.

In 2010, the Institution rapidly mobilized researchers from several different disciplines to assist the Coast Guard and other responders during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In response to the Fukushima disaster in March 2011, WHOI mounted another rapid response and mobilization to gather data and water samples quickly to determine the amount of radioactivity released into the ocean. That monitoring effort continues.

Engineers and scientists at WHOI worked for nearly two years to successfully locate, in May 2011, the deep-water wreckage of Air France flight 447, using the WHOI-designed and -built REMUS 6000 autonomous vehicle.

Topics: AIM Annual Meeting, Massachusetts economy, AIM Vision Award

AIM Vision Award | BU Researcher Changes Discussion on Brain Injuries

Posted by Christopher Geehern on May 20, 2016 8:30:00 AM

AIM last week presented the first-ever Vision Awards, which honor the accomplishments of companies and individuals who have made unique contributions to the economy and citizens of Massachusetts.

One of the three inaugural Vision Awards wnt to one of most accomplished medical researchers in the country, and also one of the most courageous.

Dr. Ann McKee of Boston University has brought the issue of chronic brain trauma and its effect on athletes and members of the military into the forefront of American consciousness. Her research establishing a link between repetitive head impacts and chronic traumatic encephalopathy – better known as CTE - in former professional football players prompted an extraordinary acknowledgement last month by the National Football League that a connection exists between the sport and degenerative brain disorders.

Topics: AIM Annual Meeting, AIM Vision Award

AIM Honors GE, Nuance Communications and Dr. Ann McKee with Inaugural Vision Awards

Posted by Christopher Geehern on Apr 25, 2016 7:30:00 AM

Two companies that have transformed the Massachusetts economy and a distinguished brain researcher who has changed the manner in which Americans view sports injuries have been named inaugural recipients of the Vision Award from Associated Industries of Massachusetts.

General Electric of Boston, Nuance Communications of Burlington and Boston University brain researcher Dr. Ann McKee will receive the honors during AIM’s 2016 annual meeting May 13 at the Westin Boston Waterfront hotel.

The Vision Award recognizes companies, organizations and individuals who have made unique contributions to the cause of economic opportunity in Massachusetts and the well-being of the people who live here. The award reflects AIM’s mission to stand for jobs, economic opportunity, innovation and a government that acknowledges that the private sector has the unique responsibility to create the common wealth for the people of Massachusetts.

“The 4,500 member employers of Associated Industries of Massachusetts are delighted to honor two companies and one individual who have truly changed the way we live,” said AIM President and Chief Executive Officer Richard C. Lord.

“GE has redefined the way we view Massachusetts. Nuance has shaped the way we interact with technology. And Dr. Ann McKee has outlined an entirely new set of assumptions for athletic safety from the professional level to youth leagues.”

GeneralElectric2.jpgGeneral Electric, a founding member of AIM in 1915, altered the economic development landscape of Massachusetts when it announced in January that it would relocate its corporate headquarters to the Seaport in South Boston. GE will bring roughly 800 jobs to Boston and create a GE Digital Foundry for co-development, incubation and product development with customers, startups and partners.

The company already has a significant presence in Massachusetts, with nearly 5,000 employees across the state in businesses including Aviation, Healthcare, Oil and Gas and Energy Management. In 2014, GE moved its Life Sciences headquarters to Marlborough, and in 2015 announced its energy services start-up, Current, would also be headquartered in Boston.

CEO Jeffrey Immelt explained the move to Boston: “Today, GE is a $130 billion high-tech global industrial company, one that is leading the digital transformation of industry. We want to be at the center of an ecosystem that shares our aspirations… Massachusetts spends more on research and development than any other region in the world, and Boston attracts a diverse, technologically-fluent workforce focused on solving challenges for the world.”

Nuance.jpgNuance Communications is a global pioneer in voice-recognition and imaging software that bridges the gap between humans and the technology they create. 

The $2 billion-a-year company is best known for providing the voice recognition technology that underpins many digital personal assistants, including Apple’s Siri, Samsung’s S-Voice and Ford’s Sync. 

But Nuance’s largest business segment is providing software that allows healthcare professionals to dictate and capture patient information that streamlines electronic medical records.  Today, more than 500,000 medical professionals use Nuance's products in some capacity.

Nuance employs 14,000 people – with more than 1,000 in Massachusetts – and maintains regional offices in 35 countries. Its international headquarters is located in Dublin.

The company describes its work this way: “Technology should work in service of people, and adapt to the way people communicate instead of forcing people to adapt to the machines.

“We are pioneers in making technology fluent in all things human: from understanding spoken words and extracting their meaning to adaptively and seamlessly interpreting the swipe of a fingertip…And we continuously evolve the ability to perceive the nuance of words, actions and meaning – to fit into your life, your business and your world.”

Mckee.jpgDr. Ann McKee has brought the issue of chronic brain trauma and its effect on athletes and members of the military into the forefront of American consciousness. Her research establishing a link between repetitive head impacts and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in former professional football players prompted the National Football League to acknowledge in March a connection between the sport and degenerative brain disorders.

The league’s admission came at a Congressional hearing just moments after Dr. McKee had presented findings showing that dozens of former players who had died were afflicted with the disease. The NFL reached a $765 million settlement in 2015 over concussion-related brain injuries among its 18,000 retired players.

Dr. McKee’s research is also influencing youth sports. PopWarner, the world’s largest youth football league, made rule changes in 2012 to begin limiting contact during practices “in light of developing concussion research.”

Dr. McKee serves as chief of neuropathy for the Veterans Administration, Boston Health Care System. She directs the CTE Center and Brain Banks for the Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center and Framingham Heart Study. She is also professor of Neurology and Pathology at Boston University School of Medicine.

The AIM Annual Meeting is expected to draw some 750 senior business leaders form throughout Massachusetts. The event will feature a keynote address by Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo and presentation of the annual John Gould Education and Workforce Development Award.

 

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Topics: AIM Annual Meeting, Economy, AIM Vision Award

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