Robotics leader iRobot Corporation, U.S. currency maker Crane and Company and Bentley University President Gloria Cordes Larson will be honored for contributions to the Massachusetts economy at the centennial celebration of Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) on November 16.
More than 1,500 business and civic leaders are expected to attend the event at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. AIM is the largest employer association in Massachusetts, representing the interests of more than 4,500 companies from every sector of the Bay State economy.
“iRobot, Crane and Gloria Larson exemplify in diverse ways the transformative and lasting power of economic opportunity. Their vision and leadership have allowed thousands of Massachusetts residents to work, support families and build lives for themselves while making this commonwealth a wonderful place to live,” said AIM President and Chief Executive Officer Richard C. Lord.
“Associated Industries of Massachusetts is pleased to inaugurate its next century by recognizing such distinguished people and companies.”
iRobot has defined a growing robotics industry in Massachusetts that is helping people to do more while defining the future of the state economy.
Founded in 1990 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology roboticists, iRobot has grown into a $557 million enterprise. The company's home robots help people find smarter ways to clean, its defense and security robots protect those in harm's way, and its remote-presence robots enable virtual presence from anywhere in the world. iRobot's consumer and military robots feature proprietary technologies incorporating advanced concepts in navigation, mobility, manipulation and artificial intelligence.
iRobot is also committed to building a future for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education in the United States. The company’s multi-faceted outreach program is a resource for students, parents and educators to share in the excitement of the robotics industry and get an inside look at what iRobot does.
Crane and Company is 200 years older than iRobot, but shares the same passion for success and commitment to its employees. Crane paper products have been closely woven into the fabric of American history, from 19th century stock certificates to correspondence between Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.
Crane is perhaps best known for its role as the exclusive supplier of US currency paper since 1879. Since first embedding silk threads in banknote paper in 1844, Crane has been a leader in developing paper-based counterfeit deterrents, such as advanced security threads, watermarks, security fibers, special additives, and fluorescent and phosphorescent elements.
The company has also set an example in minimizing its environmental footprint. Long before it became fashionable or required by law, Crane undertook aggressive and expensive environmental initiatives that have been recognized by environmental organizations and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Few individuals have left a more significant mark on the Massachusetts economy than Gloria Cordes Larson, who has spent a career serving the public interest as a cabinet secretary, lawyer, senior Federal Trade Commission official, and now, president of Bentley University.
An advisor to governors of both parties, Larson led the commonwealth through a period of breathtaking economic growth as Secretary of Economic Affairs from 1993-1996 before returning to the private sector and undertaking community and economic development roles that included chairing the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority during construction of the $800 million Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.
Larson has led the transformation of Bentley from a college to a university and established new programs focused on the value of a business education. At the undergraduate level the school expanded its commitment to a “fused” curriculum with additional courses co-taught by business and arts and sciences faculty. One of its most recent innovations, the Bentley MBA, is an 11-month global program where students pursue four 10-week modules in a collaborative, studio-based setting.
A group of 27 visionary Massachusetts industrialists formed Associated Industries of Massachusetts in 1915 to work with government to advance economic opportunity for the people of the commonwealth. The association now represents organizations from every sector of the economy in what has become a unique and enduring example of employer engagement in public policy.
AIM and its member employers are observing the organization’s centennial by developing the Blueprint for the Next Century, a plan to ensure the long-term economic future of Massachusetts. The Blueprint maintains that economic opportunity will depend Massachusetts’ ability to create the best system in the world for educating and training workers; to ensure a competitive cost structure across all industries; to reform the regulatory system; and to moderate the burdens of high costs for health care and energy.