The Newton-Needham Chamber would like to send a big thank you to our host, TripAdvisor Global HQ for hosting all of our members at last night's New Year Celebration. And a big thank you to all who were in attendence at last night's Celebration. Thank you for a great start to the New Year.
A special thanks to Century Bank for sponsoring the chamber's 2016 New Year Celebration.
US EDA grant and added fundraising will support competiveness study and marketing plan Newton, MA, August 6, 2015
The Newton-Needham Chamber has been awarded a federal grantdesigned to advance economic development in the section of Newton and Needham known as the N2 Innovation Corridor, U.S. Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III announced today.
The $50,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) has been matched with an additional $50,000 from local businesses and non-profits and from the City of Newton and Town of Needham. It will fund a year-long competitiveness study and create a marketing plan for the N2 Corridor as the Corridor enters a period of marked expansion and development.
“By partnering and promoting their shared assets, Newton and Needham are uniquely positioned to attract industry and drive development,” Kennedy said. “This N2 Initiative grant will help leverage the Corridor’s unique strengths and capitalize on our rapidly expanding innovation sector as we continue our efforts to expand access to economic opportunity throughout our Commonwealth.”
Comprised of nearly 500 acres of commercial, educational, retail and recreational land along the Newton-Needham line, the N2 Innovation Corridor is home to some of the nation’s fastest growing and most well-known innovation companies. In addition to being the new location of TripAdvisor’s world headquarters, which opened in July, it’s also home to PTC, Turbine, SharkNinja (formerly Europro), Verastem, CyberArk, Big Belly Solar and Karyopharm Therapeutics, among others, What lies ahead for the N2 Corridor has the power to transform the region. Earlier this year, Normandy Real Estate Partners purchased a 28-acre parcel in the Needham Crossing section of the Corridor with plans of large redevelopment.
The parcel is expected to be home to a 400-unit affordable housing complex, creative office space, restaurants and retail. Additionally, at the Wells Ave. office park in Newton, several significant property expansions are in the planning stage. Considerable roadway improvements -- including a new dedicated exit ramp off of I-95 at Kendrick Street leading to the two office parks -- are currently under construction. A renovation of Needham Street and Highland Ave. has just been funded. “This grant ensures that the early success we’ve enjoyed establishing the N2 Corridor as a work-live-learn-play destination will be relevant and sustainable over the long term,” said Newton-Needham Chamber President Greg Reibman.
“We are extremely grateful to the EDA, to our municipal partners in Newton and Needham and to the 18 businesses and non-profits who’ve contributed financially towards this project,” Reibman added. “The N² Corridor is a great example of how municipalities and private partners can work together to more effectively advocate for the resources needed to finance projects based on holistic plans that will have a big impact on the area,” said Newton Mayor Setti Warren.
“This grant will enable us to get the expertise needed to create the strongest, most effective plan to spur the economic development that will attract innovative companies, entrepreneurs, and high-paying jobs to Newton and Needham. “I am proud of the work we have done through this private-public partnership with the Town of Needham and the Newton-Needham Chamber and look forward to continuing to grow this initiative and see how we can apply our success here towards the creation of other innovation districts, such as the Charles River Mill District. I would like to thank Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams and the EDA for their support of the N² Corridor,” Warren added.
“This grant recognizes the value of both the N2 area and the constructive regional approach that Needham and Newton have taken together in partnership with the Newton-Needham Chamber and the businesses in both communities,” said Maurice Handel, chair of the Needham Board of Selectman. “We also recognize the key role played by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and our elected representatives.”Kennedy announced the grant at a press conference at Karyopharm Therapeutics’ headquarters on Wells Ave. in Newton.
“I commend Mayor Warren, Selectman Handel and Greg Reibman on earning this grant and look forward to working together as we move this initiative forward.” Kennedy said. EDA grants are awarded through a competitive process based upon the application’s merit, the applicant’s eligibility, and the availability of funds, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. In addition to the financial support from the EDA, the Chamber received financial contributions totaling $50,000 from City of Newton, the Town of Needham, financial contributions and the following Newton-Needham based businesses and non-profits:
Normandy Real Estate Partners
The Bulfinch Companies
Mount Ida College
Boston Realty Advisors
Cabot, Cabot and Forbes
Residence Inn Needham
New England Development
Dunn-Gaherins Food & Spirits
Fairway Independent Mortgage
RL Tennant Insurance
Jewish Community Centers of Greater Boston
Bakers’ Best Catering
The Chamber is presently interviewing consultants to work with the Chamber, the N2 Task Force and its municipal partners on the creation of a strategic business plan for development of the corridor. “None of this would have been possible without careful guidance and support from the Steven Winter, Economic Development Manager at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) in Boston and Chris Steele, COO and North America President at Investment Consulting Associates and a member of the N2 Task Force,” Reibman said. “I’m deeply grateful to have Steve, Chris and the support from the Chamber’s Board of Directors on this initiative,” Reibman said. “We at MAPC are thrilled to partner with Newton, Needham, and the Newton-Needham Chamber in announcing this economic development grant, which will help to promote the N2 Corridor as an attractive area for innovative businesses to locate and grow,” Winter said.
Contact Greg Reibman email@example.com 617-244-1688
Mayor Setti Warren announced today that Newton has reached agreement with MassChallenge, the world renowned Boston-based start-up accelerator, to create an innovation center in the former Newton Corner Library building in the Newton Corner area of Newton.
"The innovation sector is one of the major engines for sustainable jobs and opportunity for all workers in the 21st Century," Warren said. "This is a tremendous opportunity to work with MassChallenge to encourage entrepreneurship in Newton while also opening up access to the innovation economy to Newton residents of all backgrounds."
This move marks MassChallenge first expansion in Massachusetts outside of Boston's Innovation District. The non-profit will design programming for entrepreneurs as well as the community at large and will collaborate with Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC). These organizations are both locally and internationally recognized with proven track records in the innovation space.
MassChallenge has also agreed to host interns from the Mayor's summer high school internship program and to conduct workshops for both students and other community groups on business practices, some in conjunction with the Newton Free Library.
"We're thrilled that MassChallenge and the Cambridge Innovation Center recognized the value of setting up their first Massachusetts expansion in Newton," said Greg Reibman, president of the Newton-Needham Chamber. "Newton offers easy access to the Boston area but with our own unique amenities, access, affordability and talent.
"This is an extraordinary economic development opportunity for Newton and our efforts to establish the N2 Innovation Corridor and the Charles River Mill District as destinations for innovation-economy sector companies and support businesses. It also brings focus to Newton Corner which is already home to a number of growing companies as well as a small restaurant and bar scene," Reibman added.
MassChallenge runs startup accelerators designed to catalyze a global renaissance by connecting high-impact startups with the resources they need to launch and succeed. Anyone can apply to MassChallenge, with any early-stage startup, in any industry, from anywhere in the world. MassChallenge does not take equity or place any restrictions on the startups it supports.
With programs in Boston, Israel and the UK, MassChallenge provides entrepreneurs with mentorship, office space, education, access to a vast network, and other resources during four months of acceleration. MassChallenge awards over $2 million in non-dilutive grants to the startups demonstrating the highest impact and highest potential. A nonprofit organization, MassChallenge is funded by corporate, public and foundation partners. To date, the 617 MassChallenge alumni have raised over $947 million in funding, generated $485 million in revenue and created 5,105 jobs. For more information, visitwww.masschallenge.org.
"Mayor Warren and Newton are offering an excellent opportunity to help inspire and support more entrepreneurs," said Scott Bailey, Managing Director of MassChallenge Boston. "By engaging with the Newton community, we hope to forge more connections and help entrepreneurs launch and grow."
MassChallenge and the city previously discussed opening a branch in Newton Centre. This initiative replaces that prior plan.
Meredith Dunn, Laura Hasenfus, Greg Tormey and Seana Gaherin of Dunn-Gaherin’s Food & Spirits took first place in the chamber’s 24th Annual Children’s Charitable Golf Tournament Monday August 3 at Woodland Golf Club. Photo by Michelle DeSimone of Needham Bank.
Over one hundred golfers formed twenty-six teams to compete in the Newton-Needham Chamber’s 24th annual Children’s Charitable Golf Tournament Monday August 3 at Woodland Golf Club in Newton. In first place was a foursome from Dunn-Gaherin’s Food and Spirits: Seana Gaherin, Meredith Dunn, Laura Hasenfus and Greg Tormey. Walter & Lynn Tennant and Rick & Lauren Grisolia from R.L. Tennant Insurance captured the second place title. Rounding out the podium in third place was the foursome from JN Phillips Auto Glass: Steve Marino, Tom Dwyer, Dave Grich and Mike Gallahue.
Out of approximately 16 golfers who hit the green on the fourth hole, Noah Ehrenpreis, who played with the Ares Management foursome, was randomly selected to win $100 gift card to the Capital Grille in Chestnut Hill. Proceeds from the Hit the Green contest supplemented the chamber’s contribution to this year’s charity beneficiary, The Second Step, Inc., a Newton-based nonprofit providing support for adult and child victims of domestic violence. Sarah Perry, executive director of The Second Step, spoke briefly during the reception immediately following the tournament thanking participants for their support. A chamber member since its founding in 1992, The Second Step, Inc. provides a wide range of services including safety planning, advocacy, long-term transitional housing, children’s programs, legal case management, peer support groups, and outreach prevention services. Noah Ehrenpreis, who also won $500 in the event’s 50/50 raffle, generously donated a portion of his winnings to The Second Step, Inc.
The Village Bank returned as the title sponsor for this year’s tournament. Wingate Residences was the lunch sponsor for the event. Also sponsoring the tournament were R.L. Tennant Insurance Agency, Beth Israel Deaconess Needham, Rockland Trust, Century Bank, Newton-Wellesley Hospital and Needham Bank. Whole Foods Market and RCN provided snacks for golfers out on the course.
TripAdvisor officially opened in 282,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility on July 21 and has already become an important economic driver in our efforts to establish the N2 Corridor as a destination for innovation-economy companies and supporting businesses, said Newton-Needham Chamber President Greg Reibman.
“This is a milestone event for our regional economy,” Reibman said. “Congratulations to TripAdvisor, Normandy Real Estate Partners and the Town of Needham on making this project happen in just short years.”
Trip’s jaw-dropping facility houses nearly 1,000 employees with room for an additional 500 new hires. It features dazzling large collaborative work spaces, an outdoor amphitheater, a game room, pub and fitness club.
“The Chamber is grateful to TripAdvisor president & CEO Steven Kaufer and Mark Roopenian, Principal at Normandy, for their ongoing support of the Chamber and our N2 collaboration with our partners at the Town of Needham and City of Newton,” Reibman said.
Hosted By: Needham Public Schools
ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate) is a set of proactive, options-based strategies that increase your chances of survival during a violent intruder or Active Shooter event. For 14 years, the ALICE Training Institute has provided violent intruder response training to individuals and organizations across the nation.
This 2-Day Instructor training course is designed to teach law enforcement as well as school, church, hospital and workplace administrators and employee’s skills and strategies that bridge the gap between the time a violent event begins and law enforcement arrives.
WHEN: 6/27/2016 - 6/28/2016 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
WHERE: Needham High School located at 609 Webster Street, Needham, MA 02492
COST: $595.00 per person
REGISTER AT: www.AliceTraining.com (click to register)
Background: You will become knowledgeable in statistics and information about active shooter situations and why ALICE training is effective.
ALICE Concepts: We will deliver a detailed overview of ALICE training and the liability of proactive vs. passive response strategies.
Physical Drills: You will experience live scenario drills that compare passive vs. active responses.
Effective Training: You will learn the strategies and be provided with materials to become an effective ALICE Instructor in your own organization.
The ALICE Training Institute phone: 330-661-0106 | email: info@AliceTraining.com | www.AliceTraining.com
By Amy Dain
Late last year, when Newton’s Board of Aldermen voted 17-6 to approve a four-story mixed-use development at 28 Austin St. in Newtonville, it was seen as a hard-won victory for Mayor Setti Warren and a developer who spent more than a year getting approval to build a relatively modest size apartment building.
But, in fact, the vote was about much more than one 68-unit apartment building.
It was an indication that after two decades of resistance, the work of many organizations and community leaders to promote smart growth as an alternative to suburban sprawl may finally be starting to bear fruit.
Smart growth is all about building in ways and places that reduce impact on our environment. This includes developing around existing transportation nodes and near schools, near workplaces and near stores, while providing diverse types of housing to meet the needs of diverse residents and supporting the regional economy.
And Newtonville is a textbook location for smart growth. It has a commuter rail stop. It’s at the intersection of a few bus routes that head downtown and to various suburbs. It has a couple of supermarkets, lots of stores and restaurants, places to exercise and excellent schools. The entrance to the Mass Pike is nearby in Newton Corner. All of Newtonville is highly walkable, with great sidewalks.
Still, the approval of 28 Austin St. was striking, especially in Newton, where land is scarce and property values high, and the percentage of affordable housing units has actually declined since Warren was first elected mayor in 2010.
Throughout 2015, no issue was hotter politically than 28 Austin St. Public meetings and public hearings drew overflow crowds. From the beginning, opponents were there in force, expressing many legitimate concerns. That’s not unusual. Typically, the people who attend hearings about multifamily housing — in Newton and anywhere else in the state — are opponents. Since many homeowners’ houses are both their single-largest investment and their homes, anything that might affect the value of their property and the quality of their neighborhood can understandably appear threatening.
Zoning was invented largely to stabilize the value of real estate so that people would be willing to invest money in it. The potential headaches for neighbors associated with new multifamily development are many: parking issues, increased traffic, noise, a clash of cultures between old and new residents, strain on infrastructure and city services, ugly architecture and more school kids moving in than the local schools have capacity to accommodate.
Some of the risks might be imagined or exaggerated. But some problems could turn out to be real, and neighboring homeowners get no compensation for any indirect loss of value to their own properties or for any reduction in the quality of their lives.
So while opponents have many reasons to turn out in opposition to such projects, and they do, in most instances the only folks who show up at public hearings in support of multifamily projects are owners and developers of the properties. But developers cannot speak credibly to the public good in the eyes of decision-makers, as they have a profit motive. And they’re almost always outnumbered at these meetings, while potential residents of the new housing are dispersed and unknown — they do not mobilize in support of their future residences.
The difference with the Austin Street debate as it headed into fall was that supporters were there in force too. The 28 Austin Street debate became unique.
Slowly, the Friends of Austin Street, a coalition of Newton-residents and disparate community organizations (including Green Newton, League of Women Voters of Newton, Newton Council on Aging, Newton Fair Housing Committee, Newton Housing Authority, Progressive Newton, CAN-Do and the Newton-Needham Chamber) began to mobilize.
Why were residents and civic groups turning out in force to support a big housing development? They had no financial stake in its success. Testifying in support were residents who already love Newton and Newtonville the way it is. Why would they want to see it change? What motivated them to turn out in favor of this project, even risking conflict with their neighbors who opposed it?
My read is that the movement for smart growth is taking hold. Its message is resonating.
In fact, the smart growth movement has been growing nationwide for years now. A little over a decade ago in Massachusetts, seven organizations that focus on housing, planning, design, and the environment joined forces to establish the Smart Growth Alliance: the Boston Society of Architects, Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association, Conservation Law Foundation, Environmental League of Massachusetts, Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, and the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations. Each of those organizations has devoted significant staff time and money to advancing the principles of smart growth in Massachusetts.
In addition, the Boston Foundation has been funding an annual housing report card for Greater Boston, produced by the Dukakis Center at Northeastern. Think tanks such as the Pioneer Institute and the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston at Harvard University have also been out front on the issue. The Audubon Society published its famous report “Losing Ground” on the loss of open space in Massachusetts due to development. State leaders have also been carrying the banner.
Their efforts have started to change popular opinion about housing development. Now, the prevailing ethos is not only “let us protect our wonderful neighborhoods from development,” but also “let’s promote smart growth – for the environment, the economy, and diversity.”
Hence, neighbors, in a historic move, turned out to support a large development in a beloved neighborhood, Newtonville. And if you listened to the comments at the Austin Street public hearings and the remarks by Newton Aldermen the night they approved the program, it was the smart growth argument that won the debate.
It’s just in time. The Metropolitan Area Planning Council, the region’s planning agency, has looked into the crystal ball and concluded that the region needs to build 435,000 new units (many of those in multifamily developments) by 2040. With a target that big, Austin Street’s 68 apartment units (with 23 units below market rate) barely dents the need.
Almost a decade of planning went into 28 Austin St. Building many thousands of additional units in the region will take a lot of planning, organizing, and campaigning — for changes both in local zoning regulations and state laws.
But it’s an encouraging sign that Newton understands and is ready to embrace smart growth.
Amy Dain runs a consulting business in Newton that focuses on public policy research and is a Newtonville resident. An earlier version of this column was previously published online by CommonWealth Magazine.
How towns curb multi-family housing
Ten years ago, I conducted a survey of local zoning regulations in the 187 communities within 50 miles of Boston (not including Boston). I wanted to find out if our region was allowing for diverse types of housing to be built, as single-family homes are not for everyone.
I found that only 10 communities did not allow any multifamily housing. These communities tended to be rural areas on the outskirts, such as Lakeville and Littleton. Another nine (Boxford, Carlisle, Marshfield, etc.) only allowed multifamily housing restricted to residents 55 years or older. So, only 10 percent of communities did not allow any multifamily housing for families and young adults. It was better than I had expected.
When I looked closer, though, I found:
- At least another eight communities listed multifamily as an allowed “use” but had no multifamily zone on the map, so the permitting of a project would involve approval by two-thirds of Town Meeting – which effectively prohibits it. Weston, Dover, Chelmsford, Northborough and others were in this category.
- Several communities restricted the density of apartments per acre to four, two, or even one. That would be low density for single-family houses, forget about multifamily. Easton required one-half acre per bedroom.
- Some communities required land parcels bigger than a developer could likely assemble in the community.
- Most of the remaining communities allowed multifamily projects in districts drawn around existing multifamily housing, zoned at the density already built, so you could not squeeze in new units.
— Amy Dain
A citizens' petition has been filed for May's annual Town Meeting which would revise Needham's food truck by-law to allow food trucks in Needham Center (adjacent to the Town Common) and Needham Heights (adjacent to Avery Square Common).
Food trucks are presently allowed only in designated areas of the Needham Crossing section of the N-Squared Innovation Corridor. This new proposal would also reduce the annual fee from $1000 for a season to $250 and reduce the required distance from a mortar and brick restaurant from 200' to 15', which could potentially place a food truck directly in front of a restaurant.
This proposal is of concern the Chamber because we believe it provides unfair completion to Needham's bricks and mortar restaurants, who pay taxes and other fees far in excess of what a food truck operator would contribute.
Needham's Board of Selectmen will be holding a hearing on food trucks on March 8 (time TBA). We will keep you posted on this proposal as it develops and I welcome your input.
Let’s unite to raise awareness of heart disease and stroke! Town of Needham's Board of Selectman have proclaimed February 5 as “Wear Red Day!”
· Post a photo of you (and friends) in red directly towww.facebook.com/bidneedham
· Tag @bidneedham in your posts on Twitter, Facebook and/or Instagram
· Or, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital - Needham’s Cardiovascular Institute will provide all participants with a free pedometer and information on “Walking for Your Heart.” We are also happy to provide you and your employees with information on the prevention of heart disease and stroke.
Please email Alyssa Kence at email@example.com or call 781-453-5460 if you are interested in receiving the pedometers and prevention literature.
Want to reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke? Here are some easy ways to get started from www.goredforwomen.org:
- Eat a healthy diet
- Visit your doctor annually, and get blood pressure and cholesterol checks
- Follow a regular exercise routine
Thank you for wearing red to raise awareness and help save women’s lives! We hope you can participate in Go Red For Women!
By Lise Elcock
Each year, several member businesses and nonprofits come on board as Annual Partners of our chamber, providing significant and secure funding for all we do. From the highest tier to the lowest, these sponsor dollars underwrite the events, programming, website, staff and mission of our extraordinarily busy chamber.
Our annual partners choose from a menu of sponsor opportunities that align with their company’s message and community profile. For more than a half-century, The Village Bank has long been the chamber’s Annual Premier Sponsor and returns again this year as the title sponsor of the 25th Annual Children’s Charitable Golf Tournament.
Village Bank’s sponsor dollars also underwrite our Women in Networking Committee which presents our very popular WIN luncheon series and additional programming for women in business, along with our Green Business Breakfast and other initiatives.
Needham Bank will once again be the premier underwriter of our Annual Achievement Breakfast – our largest gathering of the year for the local business and community leaders – and the title sponsor of our Small Business Series of programs and workshops.
We’re starting 2016 with two new Gold Annual Partners: First Commons joins us as the Connoisseur Underwriter of Spring Seasonings: A Taste of Newton and Needham, our very popular and always sold out restaurant tasting event in Newton and Needham; and Wellesley Bank announces their arrival in Newton Centre as the presenting sponsor of both the Lawyers Council and Nonprofit Committee.
Century Bank welcomed the new year as sponsor of our sold-out members only holiday party at the new TripAdvisor headquarters and will be the inaugural sponsor of our very well-attended monthly Coffee Connects where members and nonmembers start their days with an hour of high-energy networking.
The Bulfinch Group returns as the Premier Underwriter of the Youth & Community Awards that are presented at our annual breakfast and will also partner with us on topical programming, including the 2nd Annual Workplace Event panel in late 2016.
Belmont Savings Bank also returns as the sponsor of our Real Estate Series kicking off the series with a marketing workshop for realtors. And The Bulfinch Companies is once again supporting our N2 Corridor Initiative at the Innovator Level.
Additional returning Gold Sponsors include Cambridge Savings Bank, both the Newton-Wellesley and BIDNeedham hospitals, Mount Ida College, Wingate Residences, NewTV, The Street and Showcase SuperLUX.
“We’re very grateful to The Village Bank, Needham Bank and all our additional partners for their generous financial support, which makes it possible for us to offer the depth, quality and quantity of programming our members have come to expect,” said Greg Reibman, president of the Newton-Needham Chamber.
Many of the chamber sponsorships are available throughout the year. We’ll work with you to create a meaningful partnership through a series, a program or a single event. Chamber partners count on the strength of our marketing reach through the much-visited Chamber website, our targeted email blasts, the direct-mailed bimonthly Chamber news publication and our well-attended events to help them deliver their message to the local professional community.
Please contact me for the full package of 2016 Member Annual Partnership Opportunities or to explore the many ways you can put the chamber to work for your company.
Contact Lise Elcock at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-244-1864.
The Newton-Needham Chamber has elected Samantha Sherman, the Chief Development and External Relations Officer at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Needham, to a three-year term on its board of directors.
“Sam Sherman brings energy, passion and tremendous skill as a communicator and fundraiser to our board,” said Rachel Hillman, chair of the Newton-Needham Chamber’s board. “And BID–Needham is an integral part of our community and a great chamber partner. We’re delighted to have her on our team.”
A Newton native who presently resides in Needham, Sherman is responsible for the direction, management, and coordination of all the external relations activities at the hospital, including fundraising, marketing and communications, board relations, community relations and benefits, government relations, and volunteer services.
Sherman arrived BID–Needham in July 2012 from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where she was the Executive Director of Development and Strategic Planning, serving as a lead strategist on the medical center’s $300 million capital campaign and was responsible for marketing and communications, donor relations, annual giving and board relations for nearly 15 years.
“I’m looking forward to working with such a talented chamber board,” said Sherman. “The Newton-Needham Chamber is incredibly innovative and that’s reflected in its tremendous growth. The hospital has a deep commitment to the communities of Newton and Needham and our relationship with the chamber helps us to continue to strengthen that.”
The Newton-Needham Chamber Board of Directors has elected Rachel Hillman as its new chair effective Jan. 1, 2016.
Hillman is the owner of Hillman Homes, a boutique real estate firm helping buyers, sellers, renters and investors in Newton, Needham and surrounding towns. Hillman succeeds Seana Gaherin, who completes her two year term this month and will assume the role of Immediate Past Chair on the chamber board.
"2016 marks my 10th year with the Newton-Needham Chamber and it is an absolute honor to have this opportunity,” Hillman said. “I have huge shoes to fill following the great work accomplished by Seana Gaherin. With the leadership of Chamber President Greg Reibman and his amazing team, this chamber is the best it has ever been and there is much more to look forward to. I am excited to be a part of it.”
A Newtonville resident, Hillman has served as the chamber’s first vice chair for the past two years as well as chair of the chamber’s Membership and Real Estate Committees. She was previously chair of the Ambassadors Committee and has been the chamber’s number one new member recruiter for the past two years. Hillman is also involved in helping local charities including Second Step and Second Chances to fight homelessness.
In addition to the Dec. 16 election of Hillman as chair for a two-year term, the directors elected Chris Teachout, VP of Business Development at Needham Bank as its first vice chair. Barry Brown, president at Mount Ida College, and Joseph De Vito, president and CEO of The Village Bank, were elected vice chairs. Walter Tennant was reelected as treasurer and Linda Sloane Kay, executive VP of Century Bank was elected clerk.
“Our chamber has been blessed with a long tradition of amazing leadership and Rachel is the perfect person to lead our on-going efforts to stay relevant for future generations of business leaders,” said Chamber President Greg Reibman. “She understands the challenges small businesses face. She understands our communities and our region. And she understands this organization and our challenges and opportunities . We’re all really looking forward to working with her.”
“I’m also extremely grateful to Seana Gaherin for her service and friendship these past two years,” Reibman added. “Seana didn’t just challenge this chamber to think out of the box, she kept moving the box and we’re a better organization because of it.”
“I’ve enjoyed every bit of my term as chair,” Gaherin said. “I expect Rachel will enjoy it as well and take this chamber to even greater heights.”
Chuck Tanowitz and Chris Steele were presented with the Newton-Needham Chamber’s prestigious RL Tennant Award -- – the chamber’s highest honor – at the chamber’s annual Achievement Breakfast on Nov. 6.
Tanowitz, vice president of public relations at independent marketing and PR agency Eric Mower & Associates and Steele, an economic development specialist with Investment Consulting Associates, both played a crucial role in the establishment of the N2 Innovation Corridor – an area of Newton and Needham designed to attract innovation-driven companies.
The N2 Innovation Corridor stretches for nearly 500 acres along I-95 on the Newton-Needham line. It’s home to such companies as TripAdvisor, PTC, Big Belly Solar, Turbine, SharkNinja (formerly Europro), Verastem, CyberArk, and Karyopharm Therapeutics. Both Tanowitz and Steele were instrumental in guiding the Chamber’s board on the establishment of this community.
“Chuck and Chris epitomize the volunteer spirit that drives this Chamber, a spirit that is the real reason why we’re the fastest growing chamber in the state and how we’re able to host 100 events in one year,” said Chamber President Greg Reibman.
“Chuck is an amazing vision guy,” Reibman said. “He was instrumental in helping us think about the role that inner suburban communities can play in the innovation economy, but he’s also frank about the very real challenges we face. He steered our branding effort, leading the conversation when we came up with the N-squared name. He helped us create programs, events and messages designed to grow awareness of this effort, and his impact is clear as the Corridor continues to succeed.
“Chris is the guy who had us roll up our sleeves and really think seriously about what needs to be done in the corridor, and how we get there. He’s been my mentor in understanding how businesses make location decisions and how business districts thrive. He introduced the chamber to Steve Winter, from the Metropolitian Area Planning Council, and together the three of us collaborated on our application for the federal grant we received this summer from the US Economic Development Administration to create a competiveness study and marketing approach for the N2 Corridor.
Tanowitz and Steele have donated a significant amount of their professional expertise and passion to the success of this project. Because of their dedication, this is the first time the award was presented to two members of the chamber.
“I believe that the Newton and Needham area can play a central role in the innovation economy of the greater Boston area,” Tanowitz said. “Of course, the work here is far from over. In fact, the N2 project continues with a research effort based on a $50,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to help establish the N2 Corridor as a live, work, play destination. Chris and I see this as a long-term effort that will yield results long into the future.”
"I'm proud of the work we have done to enhance our communities' profile in regional economic development,” commented Steele. “Our goal is to make the N2 Corridor part of a much larger effort to grow the entire metro-Boston region, which is why we're also excited by the success of places like the Charles River Mill District. It's gratifying that our work has helped demonstrate how the City of Newton and the Town of Needham are welcoming and supportive of innovation-driven businesses."
The RL Tennant Award is the chairman’s award, presented in recognition of a Newton-Needham Chamber member’s outstanding contributions to the economic and/or cultural vitality of the communities. Recent honorees include Ken Brennan of the Village Bank, Dr. Michael Jellinek of Newton-Wellesley Hospital and Peter Smith of Green Newton.
On October 26, the Newton Economic Development Commission and Mayor Setti Warren presented the 2015 Business Excellence Awards to 10 businesses, two non-profits, and one individual. The Village Business Awards were given to Whole Foods @ Four Corners, Johnny's Luncheonette, O'Hara's Food & Spirits, Cabot's Ice Cream and Restaurant, West Street Tavern, and Harris Cyclery. The Charles River Mill District Award was presented to Fairlane Properties. The N2 Corridor Award was presented to SocialMadeSimple.
The Innovation Business Award was presented to The Bulfinch Companies. The Destination Business Award was presented to Leventhal-Sidman JCC, of the JCCs of Greater Boston. The Community Business Award was presented to Newton-Wellesley Hospital, and the Citizen Champion Award was presented to Steven Feinstein of Newton Highlands. A Certificate of Recognition was presented to Newton Community Farm.
John Harthorne, founder and CEO of the world-renowned start-up accelerator MassChallenge, will deliver the keynote address at the Newton-Needham Chamber's 100th Annual Achievement Breakfast on Thursday, Nov. 5, at the Newton Marriott.
7:30-9:30 a.m. (Program begins at 8 a.m.)
Newton Marriott, 2345 Commonwealth Ave.
Individual Tickets: Chamber members: $50, Non-Members $60
Day of event: $65 for all
$600 for a table of 10 (includes logo display on table and mention in program book)