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Massachusetts Companies Wary of Economic Downturn

Posted by Christopher Geehern on Oct 7, 2019 8:30:00 AM

Two-thirds of Massachusetts employers surveyed by Associated Industries of Massachusetts anticipate an economic contraction before the end of 2020.

ManufacturingWorkerSmallMany of those companies are taking defensive measures ranging from hiring fewer people to paying down debt to limiting capital expenditures.

The survey results are based on responses from 111 Massachusetts companies representing almost every sector of the state economy. AIM collected the information as part of its monthly Business Confidence Index survey.

The sobering economic news comes as the Massachusetts Legislature debates billions of dollars in new spending on education, transportation and tax measures.

“A possible take-away from the survey for state policymakers as they begin considering billions of dollars in new spending is this could be a difficult time ahead for the state economy,” said John Regan, President and Chief Executive Officer of AIM.

“Businesses are assuming a defensive posture and significant tax increases - beyond the $1 billion for the new paid family and medical leave system - even for worthwhile causes, could harm the overall economy, most especially the manufacturing sector.”

Seventy-five companies that participated in the survey expect a contraction before the end of next year and 36 do not.

The companies that see a recession on the horizon are carefully managing payrolls, reducing expenses and developing relationships with customers insulated against downturns.

Comments include:

  • Scaling back on hiring plans. Slowing down certain capital expense/equipment purchases until we get a clearer picture of what the next six months will bring.
  • We have temporarily eliminated overtime work that was formerly unlimited.
  • Diversifying our service offerings.
  • Being a small manufacturing company, we can react quickly to changes in the business climate. Also, we will only invest in capital projects that significantly improve efficiencies and process with a payback of 18 months or less.
  • Concentrating on expense reduction - evaluating closely the need to replace positions as all employment related costs continue to increase - using methods such as combining roles in the short-term, hiring part-time as a replacement, reducing headcount by attrition or reorganizing an area.
  • Our workforce has already dropped ... Conditions have been very volatile for us, one month were up two or three months were down, next two months are up, two months after that were down considerably, next month moderate.
  • We have hired an outside firm to pursue sales opportunities.
  • We have cut our work force of temps and are currently on work-share. As we supply many markets, the two most impacted are agricultural equipment and trucking. The latter is a canary in the coal mine and has always been ahead of the economy. The agricultural industry is suffering from the cut in exports and the loss of markets due to tariffs. The continued list of tariff exemptions on imports for products we make also has a depressive affect.

Other companies believe they will ride out a downturn.

  • We think we'll be immune from the contraction.
  • Our industry is counter-cyclical. When the economy contracts, our industry usually receives a boost. 

The Massachusetts economy has continued to expand throughout 2019, though at a moderating pace as the year has progressed. Economic growth slowed from 2.7 percent in the first quarter to 1.4 percent in the second, according to MassBenchmarks.

The AIM Business Confidence Index has likewise remained in optimistic territory during the year but has lost 3.7 points during the past 12 months.

Conversely, the Massachusetts unemployment rate remains at 2.9 percent and private employers created 6,700 jobs between August 2018 and August 2019.

"The AIM survey ultimately argues for economic prudence and fiscal caution in the short term to allow the recent legislative and regulatory changes that have occurred over the last two sessions to take effect," said Brooke M. Thomson, Executive  Vice President of Government Affairs at AIM.

“Massachusetts is flourishing in many ways, and in the wake of such recent changes, we need policies and practices that will ensure the economy remains strong and that creates economic stability and regulatory certainty for employers.”

Topics: Associated Industries of Massachusetts, Massachusetts economy, Massachusetts employers

Brooke Thomson Named Executive Vice President of Government Affairs at AIM

Posted by John Regan on Sep 11, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Brooke M. Thomson, most recently Vice President of Government Affairs for AT&T and a former senior official with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office, will become Executive Vice President of Government Affairs at Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the association announced today.

BrookeATT&THeadShotThomson is no stranger to AIM. She has served as a member of the AIM Board of Directors and Executive Committee and chaired the board’s Government Affairs Committee for the past year. She replaces John Regan, who took over as President and Chief Executive Officer of the 3,500-member business association in May.

“Brooke Thomson will allow AIM to move forward without missing a beat on critical upcoming debates on transportation, health-care costs and education funding. She brings unparalleled intelligence and experience to the complex issues that AIM tackles every day on behalf of Massachusetts employers,” Regan said.

Joanne Hilferty, President and Chief Executive Officer of Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries in Boston and Chair of the AIM Board of Directors added: “Brooke understands both government affairs and the broader mission of AIM as an association of forward-thinking employers working to make Massachusetts a better place for everyone by empowering success and creating change.”

Thomson joined AT&T in 2013. Her duties for the telecommunications company include legislative and regulatory affairs in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Thomson came to AT&T after six years in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office, where she served as Chief of the Business, Technology and Economic Development Division. Prior to that, she worked as legal counsel to the Massachusetts Legislature’s Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy.

Her political experience includes managing the successful campaign of Martha Coakley for attorney general in 2010.

“I am thrilled to be joining AIM, the leading voice for businesses for 104 years. I look forward to working with the outstanding AIM government affairs team to ensure that the organization remains a champion of business in the state as we continue to move Massachusetts forward,” Thomson said.

She begins her new job on September 23.

Thomson is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and Mount Holyoke College.

Topics: Associated Industries of Massachusetts, Joanne Hilferty

New Era Begins as Regan Becomes President of AIM

Posted by Christopher Geehern on May 20, 2019 10:28:04 AM

Regan.Annual.2019Editor's note: John R. Regan, who has directed AIM's government advocacy for the past 18 years, today becomes the new President and Chief Executive Officer of the largest business association in the commonwealth. Regan outlined a vision for the future of the organization during brief remarks to the AIM Annual Meeting Friday.

As the Roman philosopher Seneca observed “Omni fine initium novum” or, “Every new beginning comes from the end of another.”

As AIM prepares to write a new and exciting chapter in its distinguished history, I am reminded at every moment of the wisdom, generosity and quiet determination with which my predecessor Rick Lord has paved the road before me.

Rick never lost sight of where he came from and he never forgot that trust and respect are the ultimate currency of public policy and service.

Please join me - in again acknowledging Rick for all he has done for the Massachusetts economy.

Conscious of the fact that you have patiently listened to a full menu of speeches already, I would beg your indulgence to offer three brief observations.

First, to the members of AIM and especially to the Board of Directors, I gratefully accept your commission to lead this organization - supporting the dreams and aspirations of Massachusetts employers. We must keep as our guiding principal the fact that economic growth remains the only effective method of achieving the social equity that makes our commonwealth a great place to live and work.

Second, there has never been a more pressing need for businesses to work together with the sort of common purpose that drove 28 visionary companies to create Associated Industries of Massachusetts 104 years ago.

And third, meeting here in the Seaport district underscores the fact that we face an entirely new set of issues and challenges brought about by the breathtaking pace of change driving our economy.

The founders of AIM would no doubt be amazed to discover their association in 2019 wrestling with issues such as the rules governing ride-hailing apps, the appropriate use of drones, or how to integrate the autonomous vehicles driving around outside the building today.

You know, one can almost see the Seaport District from where I grew up in Dorchester. But in economic terms, it’s a different world and a different century being driven by a new generation of entrepreneurs.

AIM welcomes all employers and dedicates itself to serving the needs of the full range of Massachusetts companies working to provide the hope of a better life to our friends and neighbors.

We remain committed to the principals of diversity, equity and inclusion - on our board, on our staff, and throughout our membership. We assert unequivocally that AIM will be an association in the truest sense of the word, providing an opportunity for everyone – especially those who have historically been ignored – a full voice.

Everything we do at AIM is done to help businesses unlock their full potential. We fiercely advocate for positive public policy that helps to create a strong economy.

We empower businesses with the information, tools and resources needed to successfully navigate a fast-paced, complex business world. We foster connections, networks, and the flow of ideas between people and businesses.

We believe that business can be a positive force for change in helping to create a better, more prosperous society. And the best part is, we’re just getting started.

Topics: Associated Industries of Massachusetts, AIM Annual Meeting, John Regan

Joanne Hilferty to Chair AIM Board of Directors

Posted by Christopher Geehern on May 16, 2019 2:30:03 PM

BOSTON, May 16, 2019–Joanne K. Hilferty, president and CEO of Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries in Boston, is set to be elected Chair of the Board of Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) Friday as the state’s largest business association convenes for its annual meeting.

Hilferty2019Dennis Leonard, President and CEO of Delta Dental Plan of Massachusetts, is expected to be elected Treasurer of the association while Patricia Begrowicz, President of Onyx Specialty Paper in South Lee, will be Assistant Treasurer.

Hilferty, Leonard and Begrowicz will stand for election alongside a diverse slate of 13 new board members representing companies from every sector of the economy and from every corner of the commonwealth. The officers and new directors will be unanimously recommended by the AIM Nominating Committee.

A member of AIM’s board since 2008, Hilferty was elected to the AIM Executive Committee in 2010. She became Assistant Treasurer in 2012, and Treasurer in 2015. Hilferty will be the first woman to chair the AIM board.

Outgoing AIM Chair Dan Kenary said: “Joanne Hilferty is an accomplished business executive who runs a $45 million-a-year, multi-location enterprise focused on a critical need for the Massachusetts economy: training and developing talented employees. She has been part of the board leadership at AIM for almost a decade and is the perfect person to carry AIM into an exciting future.”

Kenary is CEO of the Massachusetts Bay Brewing Company, parent company of Harpoon Brewery and four other brands.

Hilferty said: “AIM stands at a pivotal moment as it seeks to represent the full diversity of employers creating economic opportunity for the people of Massachusetts. I look forward to working with the board to assure that the organization is inclusive as it represents current members and reaches out to new ones in order to continue to be a leading force advocating for economic vitality in the new economy.”

Hilferty has served as president and CEO of Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries since 1995, substantially increasing its revenue, geographic reach and number and range of individuals served in its job training and career services. Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries has been named one of the Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts by the Boston Globe Magazine and the Commonwealth Institute for the last five years.

Hilferty serves on the Board of the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers and has been appointed to numerous Boston economic development advisory groups. In April she received the Goodwill Industries International Advocacy Leader award and has received numerous other awards including the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Pinnacle Award for not-for-profit management.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brown University, Hilferty holds a master’s degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. She lives in Cambridge.

The 13 new directors set to join AIM’s 75-member board are:

  • Arthur Barrett, President, Barrett Distribution Centers, Franklin
  • Peter Bowman, Vice President, External Affairs, Verizon Communications, Boston
  • Janice Goodman, Owner, Cityscapes, Boston
  • Dominick Ianno, Head of State Government Relations, MassMutual, Springfield
  • Marie Johnson, Treasurer, Ken’s Foods, Inc., Marlborough
  • Pia Sareen Kumar, Owner, Universal Plastics, Holyoke
  • Marianne Lancaster, President, Lancaster Packaging, Hudson
  • Emiley Lockhart, Senior Counsel and Director of Regional Initiatives, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)
  • Thomas Pacheco, Chief Financial Officer, Acushnet Holdings Corporation, Fairhaven
  • Srinivas Reddy, Director, Global Innovation & Supply Network Operations, Procter & Gamble, Boston
  • Emily Reichert, Chief Executive Officer, Greentown Labs, Somerville  
  • Kumble Subbaswami, Chancellor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • Annemarie Watson, President, Crane Currency, Dalton

“We are delighted to welcome such an impressive group of CEOs, entrepreneurs and business leaders to the AIM Board of Directors. These new board members are accomplished, committed, and full of  creative energy that will keep AIM moving into the future,” said outgoing AIM President and CEO Rick Lord.

About AIM

Founded in 1915, AIM engages in public policy advocacy for more than 3,500 Massachusetts employers who collectively employ one of every five residents of the commonwealth. AIM is dedicated to supporting pro-business legislation and policy on the full range of economic issues including the cost of health care and energy, compliance with employment laws, state and federal budget, taxes, financial issues, and workforce development.

Topics: Associated Industries of Massachusetts, AIM Board of Directors, Joanne Hilferty

AIM Names John Regan New President and CEO

Posted by Christopher Geehern on May 9, 2019 12:12:47 PM

John R. Regan, a Boston native who has directed government affairs advocacy at Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) for the past 12 years, was selected today as the next President and Chief Executive Officer of the commonwealth’s largest business association.

Regan2019The AIM Board of Directors approved the selection of Regan during a special board meeting this morning. Regan succeeds AIM President and CEO Richard C. Lord, who is retiring after two decades leading the organization.

The appointment is effective May 20.

“The AIM board of directors conducted a comprehensive search to find just the right person to lead this dynamic organization into the future,” said Patricia Begrowicz, Chair of the AIM CEO Search Committee and President of Onyx Specialty Papers in South Lee.

“After engaging with an extraordinary and diverse group of more than 100 candidates and prospects, our committee recommended unanimously to the board that John Regan should be the next President of AIM.”

Regan, who joined the AIM Government Affairs Department in 2000 and was appointed Executive Vice President in 2007, said: “My goals are to ensure that AIM remains the pre-eminent voice for businesses on Beacon Hill, and to make Massachusetts an attractive state for employers of all kinds to succeed. I’m committed to ensuring that AIM represents, and advocates for, the full diversity of Massachusetts employers. I am deeply honored and grateful to the board of directors for their confidence in me and for all the time and effort they invested in this search process.”

At AIM, Regan’s focus has been administrative and legislative advocacy, regulatory affairs, litigation, and ballot initiatives. He has negotiated favorable outcomes for employers on major issues such as health-care reform, paid family and medical leave, use of non-compete agreements, pay equity, unemployment-insurance rate freezes, and the 2018 “Grand Bargain” compromise that avoided costly and contentious ballot questions concerning the minimum wage, sales tax, and paid leave.

Dan Kenary, Chair of the AIM board of directors said: “John emerged as the clear top choice to build on Rick Lord’s long legacy of success advancing the interests of employers and fostering economic growth and opportunity in the commonwealth. We’re excited to have John lead our organization.” Kenary is CEO and co-founder of Mass. Bay Brewing Company in Boston.

Regan has deep experience in both the private and public sectors. Prior to his tenure at AIM, he served as Chief Operations Officer for MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, overseeing real estate development and community revitalization projects including the transformation of the former Fort Devens. Before MassDevelopment, Regan was the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office of Business Development, leading the commonwealth’s business retention and recruitment efforts.  

Regan, a graduate of Boston Latin School, earned his bachelor’s degree from St. John’s Seminary College in Boston and a certificate in organizational management from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

About AIM

Founded in 1915, AIM engages in public policy advocacy for more than 3,500 Massachusetts employers who collectively employee 1 of every 5 residents of the commonwealth. AIM is dedicated to supporting pro-business legislation and policy on the full range of economic issues including the cost of health care and energy, compliance with employment laws, state and federal budget, taxes, financial issues, and workforce development.

Topics: Associated Industries of Massachusetts, John Regan

AIM Launches Diversity and Inclusion Initiative

Posted by Rick Lord on Apr 8, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) has launched a comprehensive diversity, inclusion and equity initiative designed to ensure that the largest business association in the commonwealth represents the full variety of people and companies driving the state economy.

Juliette.MayersThe effort is being overseen by a committee of the AIM Board of Directors Chaired by Donna Latson-Gittens, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of MORE Advertising in Watertown, and Gregory Buscone, Executive Vice President and Senior Commercial Banking Officer at Eastern Bank in Boston.

AIM has already revamped its processes for nominating members of the board of directors, selecting candidates for statewide achievement awards and for assembling public programs. The association recently hired Juliette Mayers, a former executive director of multicultural marketing at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and CEO of Inspiration Zone LLC, as a consultant to help develop a long-term plan for diversity and inclusion.

                     Juliette Mayers

“Diversity, inclusion and equity are central to the business success
of AIM,” said Daniel Kenary, Founder and CEO of The Harpoon
Brewery in Boston and chair of the AIM Board of Directors.

“Our ability to maintain a vibrant, influential association in the future will depend upon our willingness to seek out the broadest possible pool of people as members, as AIM staff people and as AIM directors.”

AIM has also integrated diversity into its public-policy agenda. The association has recently taken part in negotiations on laws governing pay equity and treatment of pregnant workers, consistent with the association's longstanding commitment to economic growth.

Latson-Gittens and Buscone noted that studies by the consulting firm McKinsey and the Peterson Institute for International Economics show that companies with diverse management generate higher profits than those that are less diverse.

Population demographics also underscore the case for diversity. Government and private statistics show that, for the first time in US history, a majority (50.2 percent) of children under the age of five are classified as being part of a minority ethnic group. The minority working-age portion of the workforce has doubled to 37 percent since 1980.

In addition to Latson-Gittens and Buscone, the Board of Directors committee leading the diversity initiative at AIM includes Kenary; Joanne Hilferty, President and CEO of Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries in Boston; Phyllis Barajas, founder and CEO of Conexion in Boston; Tricia Canavan, President of United Personnel in Springfield; and Brian Burke, Northeast Director of State Government Affairs at Microsoft in Cambridge.

The objectives of the initiative include:

  • Increase the diversity of the AIM membership, Board of Directors and staff;
  • Strengthen governance and management of the association;
  • Expand membership by reflecting the full diversity of the Massachusetts business community and the larger community;
  • Enhance the organization’s reputation as the pre-eminent representative of Massachusetts employers on public-policy issues
  • Meet the expectations of respected AIM member companies that are already are doing this and expect partners to do the same;
  • Recruit and retain the most professional workforce possible, now and in the future.

AIM is a community of 3,500 employers re-imagining a better state of business for Massachusetts.

The association believes that business can be a positive force for change in creating a better, more prosperous world. AIM strives to bring together the best people, the best insights and the best resources to ensure that Massachusetts businesses thrive and create a hopeful future for everyone. 

Mayers expects AIM to have a long-term plan for diversity, inclusion and equity later this year.

“AIM is a high-profile organization that has a unique opportunity to take a leadership role in ensuring that everyone has a chance to share in the economic prosperity of Massachusetts,” she said.

Topics: Associated Industries of Massachusetts, Diversity & Inclusion

AIM's John Regan Talks Issues on Comcast Newsmakers

Posted by Christopher Geehern on Jan 31, 2019 12:38:52 PM

John Regan, AIM's Executive Vice President of Government Affairs, recently joined Comcast Newsmakers and host Jenny Johnson for a look at the issues facing employers as the Massachusetts Legislature begins a new, two-year session.

Regan.Comcast.2019

 

 

 

Topics: Massachusetts Legislature, Associated Industries of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker

The Top Job Creator in Massachusetts

Posted by Melody Howard Ritt on Dec 12, 2018 1:30:00 PM

Lynn Tokarczyk may have helped to create more jobs and business investment in Massachusetts than anyone else.

The founder of the government incentives consulting firm, Business Development Strategies, Inc., (BDS) has assisted more than 100 Massachusetts businesses with creating 10,000 new jobs and retaining another 18,000 jobs. Those companies have saved more than $100 million in state and local taxes and invested more than $1 billion in Massachusetts cities and towns by navigating the often-mystifying maze of state and municipal business incentives with help from the BDS team.

Since its founding in 2003, BDS has built an impressive record of success assisting a “Who’s Who” of prominent companies identify, negotiate and secure tax incentives in the form of Tax Increment Financing (TIF), state tax credits and other tools under the state’s Economic Development Incentive Program.

Like any experienced dealmaker, Tokarczyk makes her work look easy. But the business behind the scenes is anything but simple.

Tokarczyk

Lynn Tokarczyk, second from left, stands with
executives of Analog Devices, a company
she worked with on a state-of-the-art facility in
Wilmington.

BDS has worked on many of the largest expansion and retention projects in the state with companies that include Samsonite, Horizon Beverage, Keurig, New England Ice Cream, MACOM, MilliporeSigma, Moderna Therapeutics, and Waters. The project list also includes

  • Technology and manufacturing giant, Analog Devices, which broke ground on a state-of-the-art facility at their current campus in Wilmington after securing a TIF with assistance from BDS. The $150 million project will boost the local economy and create an attractive hub for advanced manufacturers in the area.
  • IPG Photonics, the world’s leading developer and manufacturer of high-performance fiber lasers, has relied on BDS for assistance with tax incentives for nearly two decades. Last summer, IPG turned to BDS again for help with securing a TIF for a $70 million expansion in Oxford. The new facilities will allow IPG to retain 1,550 jobs and create 400 new jobs.

Tokarczyk started her career as the founder and owner of an upscale women’s clothing boutique, where she honed her skills in sales and business. She took those skills in a new direction when she joined the Massachusetts Office of Business Development (MOBD) as a project manager, and later, an MOBD regional director. Recruited by Ernst & Young as manager for the New England Area State and Local Tax Incentives practice, Tokarczyk rose to become a senior manager before starting her own consulting firm.

Upon launching BDS, Tokarczyk quickly became known as an innovative leader whose entrepreneurial spirit, competitive nature and diplomatic skills were having a positive impact on the state’s business community.

The global pet products manufacturer and distributor, Rolf C. Hagen, first contacted BDS in 2003 when it needed to expand its Mansfield operations. Fifteen years later, the company returned to BDS for assistance with securing tax incentives for a second expansion of its USA headquarters and distribution center.

The travel site, TripAdvisor, reached out to BDS when the company was planning a multi-million dollar real estate expansion in Needham. Even though the town had never before approved a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) package, the BDS team fast-tracked the process to completion in just three months.

A member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the Board of Trustees of the Milford Regional Healthcare Foundation and several Chambers of Commerce, Tokarczyk shares her skills with a wide range of organizations. Named 2017 Business Person of the Year by the Tri-Town Chamber of Commerce and included in the New England Real Estate Journal’s 2018 Women in Real Estate, she is a frequent speaker at Economic Development forums.

Drawing from lessons learned early in her career, Tokarczyk tailors her consulting services to each client’s needs. “We manage the entire tax incentive process for our clients and we work round the clock to ensure that projects have a positive outcome,” she describes.

“We strive to be the best in the business by consistently earning our reputation for excellence.”

 

Topics: Associated Industries of Massachusetts, Massachusetts economy, Economic Development, Jobs

What is the Biggest Issue Facing Your Business?

Posted by John Regan on Oct 22, 2018 8:00:00 AM

What is the single most important public-policy issue facing your business?

  • The ability to find qualified employees?
  • The accelerating cost and complexity of providing health insurance to your workers?
  • Declining revenue brought about by newly instituted tariffs against China and the European Union?

Small BusinessSounds like an amusing parlor game, but it’s serious business to those of us here at Associated Industries of Massachusetts who develop our policy agendas every two years based upon the needs and concerns of 4,000 member employers.

Hundreds of those employers have already told us about the issues that keep them awake nights by completing the biennial AIM Issues Survey, which will become the basis of the association’s public-policy agenda for 2019-2020. It will also become the basis of an updated version of The Blueprint for the Next Century, our long-term plan for economic growth in Massachusetts.

We expect to hear from hundreds of additional employers more as we move past the November 6 mid-term election and prepare for the new Beacon Hill legislative session that begins in January.

Employer feedback and participation are essential amid an increasingly uncertain political environment both here in Massachusetts and in Washington, DC.  It’s an environment marked by polarization and partisanship, hostility and incivility, and a Twitter-driven, bumper-sticker approach to serious issues.

Employers accustomed to working in a predictable and collaborative political process here in Massachusetts suddenly find themselves demonized by both the left and right in a political food fight in which there are few rules and precious little middle ground. Increasingly radical shifts by the two major parties are eroding long-held centrist ideologies that have framed our nation’s approach to economic growth since the early 20th century.

Moderate, pro-business Democrats in the Massachusetts Legislature face insurgent challenges from progressive activists supporting increased taxes, heavy business regulation and a notion that employers are somehow failing to “pay their fair share.” Now is the time for employers to speak up and articulate their unique role in providing economic opportunity for the people of Massachusetts.

What are employers who have already completed the Issues Survey saying?

“Can we stop making legislative changes at the ballot box?  It is an inefficient way to govern.”

“(The health-care surcharge) tax has placed an incredible financial strain, particularly on smaller to medium-sized businesses, which are already struggling to balance the health care needs of their employees with those that are mandated, but the company may not have the resources available to do.”

“Rising costs to operate in Massachusetts must be addressed.  EMAC, paid family leave, minimum wage - all of these in and of themselves are an issue but piled on it is becoming prohibitive.  We are actively working on efficiency and automation gains that will allow us to reduce the size of our work force, which is not what the commonwealth would like.  We need to recognize that many companies have competitors in other parts of the country where operating costs are not what they are here.” 

 We look forward to hearing from you.

Take the AIM Issues Survey

Topics: Associated Industries of Massachusetts, Issues, massachsetts legislature

Lord to Retire as AIM President, CEO in 2019

Posted by Christopher Geehern on Oct 12, 2018 11:00:24 AM

Richard C. Lord, who built Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) into one of the most powerful and far-reaching business associations in the commonwealth, will retire next year after leading the organization for almost 20 years.

Lord.Speaking-1Lord, a North Adams native and Williams College graduate who took the top job at AIM in 1999, will remain as president and chief executive officer while the AIM board of directors chooses a successor. He will ensure a smooth leadership transition while overseeing critical ongoing AIM public-policy and organizational initiatives through the middle of 2019.

“Rick Lord has built AIM into an organization of more than 4,000 employers from all sectors of the economy who believe that business should be a positive force for creating a better, more prosperous world. He has led the organization through a period of unprecedented growth and change, and created tremendous upward momentum for our next leader,” said Dan Kenary, Chair of the AIM Board of Directors and CEO of The Harpoon Brewery in Boston.

Lord made the 103-year-old former manufacturing association the voice of all Massachusetts employers on generational economic issues such as the cost of health insurance, taxation, education, worker training and energy. At the same time, he expanded the membership of AIM into developing areas of the state economy such as services, technology, biosciences and robotics.

His accomplishments range from representing the views of employers during the landmark 2006 Massachusetts Health Care Reform Law and subsequent 2012 Health Cost-Containment Law to expanding the AIM HR Solutions business to help employers both large and small manage complicated human-resources issues.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve as President and CEO of Associated Industries of Massachusetts for almost two decades. It’s now time for me to set out on a new adventure while AIM finds a leader who will build on this strong foundation for the future,” Lord said.

“I’m most proud of leaving AIM with the most talented team of professionals I have ever had the opportunity to work with. The primary asset of a business association is its people and the staff of AIM enjoys an enviable level of credibility and respect among employers, elected officials and key decision makers.”

Lord joined AIM in 1991 as Executive Vice President of Government Affairs after serving as Chief of Staff for the Committee on Ways and Means of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Before entering public service, Lord worked in financial positions at General Electric Company and McCormack and Dodge.

He is a 1977 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Williams College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Psychology.

Lord has served on an array of policy and charitable board during his tenure at AIM. He currently serves as a member of the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission and chairs the board of directors of the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund Program. He also serves as a board member at The Children’s Trust Fund, the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education, the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health and A.I.M. Mutual Insurance Company.

“We are grateful that Rick has left AIM in a position of strength as we begin the search for a new CEO,” said Patricia Begrowicz, who will lead the AIM Board of Directors committee that will search for a successor.

“The Search Committee plans to engage a professional search firm to cast a wide net for the next CEO of AIM. It’s a great job with a great organization that has a great future,” added Begrowicz, President of Onyx Specialty Papers in South Lee.

Topics: Associated Industries of Massachusetts

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