Member News

New Member Spotlight: Sandy Edgerley

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Sandy Edgerley, President, Hexagon Properties

 

After watching the city’s iconic Back Bay neighborhood evolve and grow, Sandy noticed that one thing remained elusive: high-end rental properties that were luxurious, elegant, and most importantly, felt like home. As the President of Hexagon Properties, with an abiding reverence for quality, craftsmanship, and beautiful design, she has built a portfolio of short- and long-term rental properties, condos, and a guest house to fulfill this need.

New Member Spotlight: Siobhan Dullea

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Siobhan Dullea, CEO, Mass Challenge

 

As CEO of MassChallenge, Siobhan sets and manages strategy for the largest zero-equity startup accelerator in the world. MassChallenge has supported the growth of startup ecosystems across five continents, and it has partnered with hundreds of organizations to grow their innovation agendas.

New Member Spotlight: Dr. Alison Davis-Blake

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Dr. Alison Davis-Blake, President, Bentley College

 

Alison Davis-Blake is the eighth President of Bentley University. She has devoted her career to scholarship and teaching and describes herself as in the business of changing lives in positive and powerful ways by expanding students’ visions of what is possible. Alison joined Bentley in 2018. She is the former business school dean at the Universities of Michigan and Minnesota. 

New Member Spotlight: Beth Chandler

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Elizabeth Chandler, CEO, YW Boston

 

Beth’s leadership and vision as CEO and President of YW Boston recently led the organization to refine their strategic direction. She has developed programs that educate and empower individuals, organizations and corporations to take action towards a more equitable society, from exploring personal bias to changing policies and practices. Read more about her work at YW Boston in our interview with Beth here.

New Member Spotlight: Jane Borkowski

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In 2019, MWF accepted 31 new members! Each day, we will be highlighting one. Please join us in welcoming, Jane Borkowski.

 

Jane Borkowski, Vice President, Global Corp Affairs, Chief People Officer, Ocean Spray

In her role at Ocean Spray, Jane oversees all human resources related programs, which includes employee performance, benefits and compensation, diversity and talent recruitment, as well as the Cooperative Affairs division. She’s been instrumental in helping make organizational changes and has contributed significantly to Ocean Spray’s talent management and executive development process.

Beth Chandler: Building a Better Boston through Changing Workplaces, Education, and Advocacy

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Beth Chandler, one of MWF’s newest members, is President and CEO of YW Boston, has more than 25 years of experience in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors. Her breadth of work experience encompasses program development, delivery and evaluation, business development, and operations. Before working at YW Boston, Beth served as vice president at the Achievement Network, a national non-profit dedicated to helping urban public and charter schools close the achievement gap. Beth also held positions at Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, the largest funding source for civil legal aid programs in the Commonwealth and Neighborworks America, one of the country’s preeminent leaders in affordable housing and community development. Prior to this, she worked at Bank of America in corporate banking and began her career as a research and evaluation analyst with the Urban Institute.

 

We recently spoke with Beth about her inspiration and vision for the future of YW Boston.

 

Acting with intention and focusing on values 

 

The mission of YW Boston is to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. As a woman of color, Beth encountered challenges throughout her career. Because of this, she decided to choose roles that would make Boston and the world better for her two children, who are kids of color. This compelled her to work at an organization exploring the underlying issues behind why racism and sexism exist and helping both organizations and individuals change. Also, YW Boston has always been an organization that focused on action. It goes beyond discussing potential solutions and instead focuses on the action of helping individuals and organizations alter behaviors and create policies and practices that can be more inclusive.

 

Working at empathy in a polarizing time

 

The best managers that Beth has worked with are people who allowed her to grow into her role and didn’t put barriers or constraints in the way. This has influenced how she manages: Beth tries to be clear on where the organization is going and allow other people to develop strategies that align with their strengths and then? lead to that destination.  She also advises that people be clear on what they want out of work and life. Balance is different for everyone. Be intentional about what works for you and how you can be your best self when you’re at work.

 

For those doing work around diversity, justice, or inclusion, Beth thinks it’s important to be able to have empathy for others and to be able to hear and understand where somebody else is coming from. Especially in a polarized time that takes people away from their humanity, she stresses being open-minded and truly listening to other people’s experiences. Challenging personal assumptions about people or groups can help build the empathy muscle and will help people understand where you’re coming from and that we have more commonalities than differences.

 

Creating YW Boston’s new vision 

 

Beth is proud of completing a strategic planning process and developing programs to support YW Boston’s new vision. Through Bridgespan’s Leading for Impact initiative, she led the organization from having six programs that served six different audiences to adapting a much clearer vision: helping organizations create more inclusive environments so that women, people of color, and particularly women of color, can thrive. She’s also proud that YW Boston is pushing people to think about the intersection of race and gender and understanding that monolithic strategies cannot have the same impact across groups.

 

Programming: building on what’s working and launching new initiatives

 

Going forward, Beth wants to continue developing existing YW programs while also looking forward to launching new initiatives. Beth highlighted several programs for us.

 

The Inclusion Boston program is one in which participants go through a series of workshops that help them understand their own identities, learn language and frameworks about how race impacts life experiences, and then together identify issues within their organization related to race or ethnicity. YW Boston supports them in implementing a 12-month action plan. Beth envisions YW Boston continuing that work, developing additional partnerships, and working with different organizations on this journey. Success will be seeing a demographic shift across different sectors in both formal and informal leadership positions. For the participating companies, YW works to foster a greater feeling of inclusion by marginalized individuals because program participants are bringing what they learned back into their own organizations. Research indicates that even if leadership is on board with wanting to be more inclusive, organizations often get stuck because middle managers don’t have the understanding of what that means and/or the tools to do anything about it. The Inclusion Boston Program works to solve this issue.

 

YW’s program for individuals, Lead Boston, provides mid to senior-level executives across sectors with an opportunity to understand some of the bigger issues impacting the city of Boston. They prompt participants to ask questions like: “Is there an impact on my employees or my customers?” and “As a leader, what can I do about this?” Starting next year, Lead Boston looks to spend more time developing employment best practices and skills that help participants to become inclusive leaders and equip them with a toolkit to help move issues of equity within their organization.

 

Helping Middle School Girls Own their Strengths.

 

YW Boston’s most recently launched program called Fierce Youth Reigniting Excellence or F.Y.R.E., which focuses on helping middle school girls recognize their strengths and provides tools to support their leadership development and build social and emotional skills. The program will show the girls different ways that oppression exists, systematically, ideologically, and in the media. Then YW will support their work on an advocacy project, whether in their school or community and bring them together with other girls across the city to share their work.

 

This year, YW Boston switched from supporting other advocacy coalitions to launching their own effort called the Parity and Board Coalition. They created legislation that would require public board or commission in Massachusetts to have more than 50% plus 1 of any one gender and at least one woman of color serving. If passed the state’s boards will have much greater representation of the people they serve throughout the Commonwealth.

 

Beth Chandler has led a career focused on inclusion and equity. She has been transformative in revitalizing the vision and programs of YW Boston.

Diane Hessan Receives Business & Community Leader of the Year Award

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Member Diane Hessan (HBS MBA 1977), Chairman of C Space and CEO of Salient Ventures, was recently honored at the Harvard Business School’s 2nd Annual Business & Community Leadership Dinner. Diane received the Business & Community Leader of the Year Award for her dedication and commitment to entrepreneurship and community impact in Greater Boston and beyond.

Myechia Minter-Jordan to Join DentaQuest as Executive Vice President and Chief Impact Officer

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DentaQuest recently announced member Myechia Minter-Jordan’s appointment as Executive Vice President and Chief Impact Officer.

 

The announcement states that, “In her new role, Dr. Jordan will establish and drive overall strategic investments and partnerships to fulfill DentaQuest’s mission to improve the oral health of all, with a focus on systems change. She will lead the DentaQuest Partnership’s existing philanthropic and programmatic initiatives and align the team around new strategies and innovative approaches to deepen and accelerate DentaQuest’s impact. She will also work with a broad set of external stakeholders in business, government and academia to influence and drive policy and clinical changes that improve the health of millions of Americans.”

 

Click here to read more about her new role.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter To Receive Thinkers50 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award

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Thinkers50, the global ranking of management thinkers, today announced that member Rosabeth Moss Kanter is to be the recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

The announcement states, “The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to someone who has had a long-term impact on the way people think about and practice management,” explains Thinkers50 cofounder Des Dearlove. “Rosabeth Moss Kanter has championed a humane, inclusive, practical, and inspiring brand of management throughout her career. From Men and Women of the Corporation and The Change Masters to her forthcoming book, Think Outside the Building, Rosabeth has a distinctive and compelling take on what it takes to manage.”

 

Click here to read more about Rosabeth’s innovative work and this prestigious honor.

First International Women’s Bahamas Intensive Program

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Priscilla H. Douglas moderated the first-ever International Women’s [IWF] Bahamas “Intensive” Program 9/19-20 in Nassau over 100 women from the Caribbean enthusiastically participated. Former IWF President Allyson Maynard Gibson and current Nassau President Sonia Brown realized their vision by hosting an “Intensive” leadership event, formerly called Executive Development Roundtables [EDR].

 

The Intensive included eight sessions and took a deep dive into trust, political leadership, women on boards, agility, and crafting a personal narrative. Mrs. Patricia Minnick, wife of the Prime Minister, a stalwart supporter of women and girls greeted the group. Futurist Edie Weiner began the event with a powerful morning session on innovation. Sonia Brown, IWF member and President of Graphite Engineering welcomed the 100+ women. Dignitaries included The Right Honorable Dame Janet Bostwick, The Provincial Parliament member the Honorable Mitzie Hunter, Former Mayor of Reykjavik and current Senior Advisor to the UN on Women’s Leadership Hanna Birna Kristjansdottir, the 2019 Nelson Mandela Humanitarian “Mother” Pratt and former Attorney General of Bahamas Allyson Maynard Gibson.

 

In addition to facilitating the two days, Priscilla moderated two panels one on Agility and Curiosity. Featured panelist: Dr. Susan Amat, Executive Director of GEN Accelerates and Irene Arias Hofman, Head of the InterAmerican Develop [IDB] Lab and the second with Anthropologist Nicolette Bethel and Darryl McKissack,  President of McKissack & McKissack construction engineering [Smithsonian AA Museum and MLK Memorial].

 

Priscilla Douglas with panelists Irene Arias Hofman and Dr. Susan Amat