Governor Baker Swears In Workforce Development Board

Boston, Feb. 25, 2016 – Today, Governor Charlie Baker swore in members of the new Massachusetts Workforce Development Board at a State House ceremony prior to the board’s first public hearing where they are charged with making recommendations to improve the public workforce system and align policies to strengthen regional economies. Verizon New England’s Region President Donna Cupelo, was named the Board’s chair, which will include public officials, business and workforce representatives.

“The Workforce Development Board will allow us to reimagine how we create skill-building programs across the state,” said Governor Baker.“Our administration is focused on driving economic growth and creating new job opportunities by designing programs that meet the demands of businesses in each region, and give workers the skills they need to fill job openings.”

Governor Baker signed legislation establishing the board to advise the administration on policies to further coordinate services and improve performance accountability of the state’s One-Stop Career Centers and regional workforce boards, building a stronger public workforce system that is aligned with state education policies and economic development goals. The board will also recommend strategies to promote workforce participation of women, people of color, veterans, and persons with disabilities across industry sectors.

“We are going to create a public workforce system that better meets the needs of employers and job seekers by giving residents the skills and training opportunities they need to fill jobs in growing industries,” Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Ronald L. Walker said.

The legislation reconstitutes the former Workforce Investment Board by reducing its membership from 65 to 33 members and ensuring the makeup of the board continues to comply with federal requirements under the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The board will consist of 17 business representatives and seven workforce representatives – including four representatives from community-based organizations and two from labor, one of which is chosen by the National Association of Government Employees (NAGE). Executive Branch representatives from the Executive Offices of Labor and Workforce Development, Health and Human Services, Housing and Economic Development and Education will also serve in addition to the governor’s designee, two state legislators and two local government representatives.

WIOA was signed into law by the President on July 22, 2014 replacing the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, with the goal to transform the nation’s workforce system and to invest in a skilled workforce.

WIOA Board Members:

Donna Cupelo, region president of Verizon, will chair the Workforce Development Board. As Verizon’s chief corporate executive in New England, she is responsible for service, earnings, government and regulatory affairs, public policy and economic development. Prior to joining Verizon, Cupelo was the vice president and general manager of NYNEX in Marlboro, MA. She has served on numerous professional boards, including the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, Boston Private Industry Council, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Jobs for Massachusetts, Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, Massachusetts Women’s Forum, and MA Tech Hub Collaborative Organizing Committee. Most recently, she served on Governor Baker’s Task Force on Persons Facing Chronically Higher Rates of Unemployment. 

Aixa Beauchamp has worked in the philanthropy field for more than 20 years helping institutions strengthen their programs and broaden their impact. She began her career in the philanthropic sector as a program officer at NY Community Trust. Currently, she sits on the grant-making committee of The Hestia Fund, which aims to impact the lives of low-income women and children in Greater Boston by increasing the quantity and quality of after-school and out-of-school programs. She also sits on the boards of The Philanthropy Connections; Board of Overseers at Children’s Hospital; and The BASE, a transformational program for inner city youth.

Joanne Berwald is vice president of human resources at Mestek Inc., a global HVAC manufacturer in Westfield, MA. She has expertise in employment law, labor relations, recruitment, and training and development.  She is a board member of the Associated Industries of Massachusetts; board of directors of FutureWorks Career Center; board of advisors, Springfield College Career Center; and previously served as a member of the former Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board.

Anne Broholm is the chief executive officer of AHEAD, LLC, which provides a variety of products to the golf industry. She led the successful post-acquisition integration of AHEAD into the new parent company New Wave. Ms. Broholm successfully reorganized the management team through the transition, expanded into new markets, and initiated a strategic reduction of obsolete inventory. Previously, she was the global director of sales for golf at Cutter & Buck. She serves on the Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board.

Kristin Broadley is the co-founder of Centerville Pie Co., based on Cape Cod. Shortly after opening her pie company, Broadley took a shot at fame in 2009 when Oprah Winfrey was visiting the Cape for the funeral of Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Broadley found out where the television icon was staying, and delivered pies to her hotel. Oprah later invited Broadley and her co-founder Laurie Bowen to be on her show to tell their story on the “Ultimate Wildest Dreams” episode that aired in September 2010. Popularity of the Centerville Pie Co. soared. Broadley is a professionally trained chef who studied at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, R.I.

Jesse Brown is the chief executive officer of Heidrea Communications, a position he has held since 2007. Based in Bellingham, MA, Heidrea Communications is veteran-owned general contracting firm specializing in the wireless industry. The company focuses on tower construction and maintenance throughout New England. Prior to joining Heidrea, Brown was a field operations manager at Maxton Technology. A Plymouth resident, Brown was a communications specialist with the U.S. Marine Corps from 1995 to 1999.

Gerard E. Burke is the president and CEO of Hillcrest Educational Centers Inc., a role he has held since 1992. For 30 years he has worked with children with special needs in both the private sector and public school systems. Hillcrest provides therapeutic treatment and special education to children and adolescents at its therapeutic day school, residential and non-residential autism services, and three residential treatment centers in Berkshire County.

James Cassetta is the president and chief executive officer of WORK Inc., an agency that provides skills and supportive services to help people with disabilities achieve their career goals. WORK Inc. is recognized nationally a pioneer in developing community-based programs for individuals with disabilities. Prior to joining WORK Inc., Mr. Cassetta was vice president at The May Institute, a behavioral health care organization. He is the past director and a current member of the East Boston Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers, the Mass Early Intervention Consortium, and a board member and treasurer of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.

Kathleen Cullen-Cote is a corporate vice president of human resources at PTC, a Needham-based computer software company formerly known as Parametric Technology Corporation. Ms. Cullen-Cote has more than two decades of experience in human resources. She began her career at PTC as a supervisor and has been promoted to corporate vice president. Prior to PTC, Ms. Cullen-Cote worked for a Johnson & Johnson company; a Raytheon company; and a manufacturing company. She resides in Norwood, MA.

Driscoll DoCanto is resident director, wealth management advisory and portfolio manager at Merrill Lynch in Boston. Mr. DoCanto was a portfolio manager for 12 years, managing investments for Fortune 500 companies, endowments, foundations, and municipalities. He is a member of the Boston Security Analyst Society.

Sherry Dong is the director of Tufts Medical Center’s Office of Community Health Improvement Programs. She oversees department operations, including corporate philanthropy, grants management and fiscal management. She previously worked for the Boston Redevelopment Authority where she managed the development review process for mixed-income housing and mixed-use projects. A Jamaica Plain resident, Ms. Dong also previously worked for the City of Boston in the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services as the Asian Liaison/neighborhood coordinator.

Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll was elected as the city’s first woman mayor in 2006. Mayor Driscoll has an extensive background in planning and land use development, having worked as a real estate and commercial development attorney in private practice, and as the community development director for the City of Beverly. Prior to being elected Mayor, she served two terms on the Salem City Council and as the deputy city manager and chief legal counsel for the City of Chelsea. She previously served as president of the Massachusetts Mayors’ Association.

Pam Eddinger, PhD, is president of Bunker Hill Community College in Charlestown, MA. As the college’s chief executive, she is responsible for institutional planning, operations, and implementing policies. She previously served as executive vice president at Massachusetts Bay Community College. Ms. Eddinger is on the board of directors of the Boston Private Industry Council; a board member of the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship; a commissioner of the Boston Employment Commission. She has served on both Governor Charlie Baker’s and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh’s education transition advisory teams after they were elected.

Carol Grady is the chief operating officer at Jewish Vocational Service, a non-profit workforce development agency based in Boston. As COO of the organization that serves 18,000 individuals a year, Grady is responsible for oversight of all program operations. Previously, she served as vice president of JVS. From 1997 to 2006, she worked as the director of training at The Home for Little Wanders, the nonprofit that helps children and families in crisis.

Eric D. Hagopian is a manufacturing entrepreneur that helped grow a small family-owned business into a globally recognized leader of precision machined components and assemblies for Fortune 100 companies in aerospace, defense, medical and industrial sectors. He served as the president and chief executive officer of Hoppe Technologies until 2013. An East Longmeadow resident, Mr. Hagopian has served as a trustee at Springfield Technical Community College; past president of the National Tooling and Machining Association, western MA chapter; and a board member of the Westfield Vocational Technical Academy Foundation.

Danroy T. Henry Sr. has been chief human resources officer of Bright Horizons Family Solutions Inc. since 2007. Mr. Henry has more than 25 years of experience in human resources at global corporations, including Pepsi Co., Reebok International, Staples Inc., Fleet Boston Financial. He joined Bright Horizons in 2004 as senior vice president of global human resources. Mr. Henry is the co-founder of the DJ Dream Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing financial resources to enable children and young adults to participate in athletics, wellness and arts programs.

Cassius Johnson is senior director of public policy and government affairs at Year Up Boston, a national organization that helps low-income young adults attain skills and employment opportunities that enable them to move into professional careers. Mr. Johnson is responsible for developing policy and creating an advocacy agenda to foster opportunities for higher education and employment for young people living in cities in Massachusetts. Previously Mr. Johnson worked at Carnegie Corporation, in New York, as a program officer at the New Schools and Systems Designs – which is focused on developing school models that use innovation and educational technology.

John G. Mann is the president of the National Association of Government Employees (NAGE), Unit One, MassDOT. He also serves as national vice president of NAGE, and the chair of the budget committee of the national labor union. A Duxbury resident, Mann is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the local labor union, manages staff, and budgets.

Susan Mailman is the owner and president of Coghlin Electrical Contractors, Inc., a fourth generation family-owned electrical, telecommunications, and networking business located in Worcester, MA. She has more than 30 years of experience in construction management.  She serves on the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston New England Advisory Council. She is president of the central Massachusetts chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association; a member of the Massachusetts Apprenticeship Advisory Council; and board chair of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Juliette C. Mayers is president and CEO of Inspiration Zone LLC, a firm specializing in multicultural consulting and brand management. Her experience spans different industries, including financial services, communications and healthcare. From 2001 to 2014, she worked at Blue Cross Blue Shield, where she launched a multicultural marketing business unit for the health insurer. A Norwell resident, Ms. Mayers has written two books and is a professional speaker.

Beth Mitchell is director of engineering at General Dynamics in Pittsfield, MA. She leads more than 1,500 engineers in developing mission critical systems and solutions, and is responsible for technical execution of programs within the Maritime and Strategic Systems Line of Business of General Dynamics Mission Systems. Ms. Mitchell has also worked at Lockheed Martin, Martin Marietta, and General Electric Co. She is involved in organizations that promote young women’s growth, such as Girls Incorporated and Women on TechPath. She sits on the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority; the Berkshire Applied Technology Council; and the local STEM Council.

Warren Pepicelli is manager and international executive vice president of UNITE HERE New England Joint Board, a labor union that represents workers in hotel, gaming, food service, airport, textile, manufacturing, distribution, and transportation industries. He began his career as an organizer for the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union in Boston in 1980. Mr. Pepicell also serves as vice president of the Massachusetts and Connecticut AFL-CIO. He has served on the governing board of the Massachusetts Job Council and the former Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board. He is a founding member of the Massachusetts Roundtable for Worker Education and serves as a board member of the Greater Boston Labor Council.

Joanne M. Pokaski is director of workforce development at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Since taking on the role in 2004, she has launched 10 programs that foster employee training and promotion in hard-to-fill positions such as pharmacy technician, research administrators and medical laboratory technicians. More than 450 employees each year use a workforce development service at the hospital. Along with overseeing classes in ESOL, financial literacy and basic computer skills, she partners with community-based organizations to hire adults and youth each year. She previously worked as director of Boston Career Link, one of the state’s One-Stop career centers located in Roxbury.

Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera was elected in 2013, after serving as an At-Large City Councilor. He was elected vice president of the Council during his second term. Mayor Rivera is a U.S. Army veteran who served in Kuwait and Iraq during Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield. He was a military police officer. Mayor Rivera also has years of experience in marketing management, previously working at BirdDog Solutions Inc. in Andover. He previously served as member of the Board of Trustees for Northern Essex Community College where he played a supporting role in the expansion of the college’s Lawrence campus. He is alumnus and board member of the Lawrence Boys & Girls Club, an advisory board member of Family Services Inc., and a past board president of Hope Street Youth Center.

Elizabeth Williams is the president and CEO of Roxbury Technology Corp., a Boston-based company that remanufactures recycled inkjet and laser toner printer cartridges. Founded in 1994 by the late Archie Williams, Beth Williams succeeded her father in 2003. Under her leadership, the company has experienced substantial growth. In 2008, Inc. Magazine and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City named RTC the Top Minority-Owned and the Top Woman-Owned Company of the Year on the Inner City 100, an annual list that ranks the fastest growing inner city businesses nationwide.

Raymond Wrobel is vice president of business development, commercial loans and government affairs for Align Credit Union. He is responsible for the acquisition of credit union sponsored companies, and accountable for maintaining business relationships with educational institutions. Mr. Wrobel serves on the Greater Lowell Workforce Investment Board, the Greater Lowell Small Business Assistance Agency, and the executive committee of the former Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board.

Ex-Officio Members:

Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker, II is responsible for executing Governor Baker’s agenda on workforce development, unemployment assistance, business services and labor. As chair of the Workforce Skills Cabinet, Secretary Walker joins his counterparts in education and economic development in examining the state’s workforce development system and aligning economic and educational resources to the labor needs of employers. He also led a task force charged with improving access to jobs and training for populations that experience chronically higher rates of unemployment, which recently released its report. Prior to his appointment, Secretary Walker was managing partner and president of Next Street, the merchant bank he co-founded.

Secretary of Education James Peyser directs the Executive Office of Education which is responsible for early education, K-12, and higher education. He is Governor Baker’s top advisor on education and helps shape the Commonwealth’s education agenda. Prior to his appointment, Secretary Peyser served as managing director at NewSchools Venture Fund, a non-profit grant-making firm that seeks to transform public education in high-need urban communities by supporting innovative education entrepreneurs. Secretary Peyser previously served as chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Education. Prior to joining NewSchools, he was education advisor to Governors William Weld, Jane Swift and Mitt Romney, where he helped shape state policy regarding standards and assessments, school accountability, and charter schools.

Senator Eileen Donoghue (D-Lowell) is serving her third term representing the First Middlesex District, representing Lowell, Dunstable, Groton, Pepperell, Tyngsborough, and Westford. She was first elected to the Senate in 2010, after serving as Mayor of Lowell and on the Lowell City Council. Sen. Donoghue currently serves as the Senate chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies. She is also vice chair of the Joint Committee on Higher Education, and serves on the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

Rep. Joseph Wagner (D-Chicopee) has served Chicopee since 1991. Prior to winning election to the House, Rep. Wagner was administrative assistant to the Mayor of Chicopee from 1988 to 1991. He served as the Chicopee civil defense director. He is currently House chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies; and serves on the Joint Committee on Rules.

Juan Vega serves as assistant secretary for communities and programs in the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, where he works to empower municipal leaders by connecting them to existing state resources. Prior to joining EOHED, Assistant Secretary Vega was president and chief executive officer of Centro Latino, where he increased the profile of the agency and expanded its services. He is the 2009 recipient of the Barr Foundation Fellowship for outstanding community service in Greater Boston. A lifelong Chelsea resident, Mr. Vega served on the Chelsea City Council from 1994 to 2001. He was elected Council President in 1999 – making him the first Latino in the state to serve in that capacity at the municipal level.

Adelaide “Nicky” Osborne is commissioner of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. She was tapped by Governor Charlie Baker and Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders to lead the agency after serving as MRC’s director of Brain Injury and Statewide Specialized Community Services. Commissioner Osborne oversees 800 employees in 27 offices, helping more than 22,000 individuals actively receiving vocational rehabilitation through the agency, and another 11,000 receiving community living services. Ms. Osborne worked for the Department of Mental Health in the 1970s for 15 years before leaving public service to work at the South Middlesex Opportunity Council, Riverside Community Care and Eliot Community Human Services. She has also served on a number of advocacy boards related to issues of behavioral health, substance abuse, and developmental disabilities.

Cheryl Scott serves as the executive director of the Massachusetts Workforce Development Board. Ms. Scott has been involved in workforce development policy and program implementation since 2009, and previously served as director of the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund; managed a federal Department of Labor On-the-Job Training grant; and conducted quality assurance analysis for the Department of Career Services.