BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP)– The first meeting of the newly created Economic Development Planning Council was held at the State House in Boston on Friday.

Governor Maura Healey, Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll, and Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao met with the members of the council to discuss the state’s economic development needs, opportunities and strategies. The council is made up of leaders from the top industries in Massachusetts.

According to state law, a new economic development plan must be created and signed by the governor within the first year of a new administration. 

“From day one, our administration has been committed to making Massachusetts a thriving and great place to live, work, raise a family and do business,” said Governor Maura Healey. “We have assembled this council of leaders from across the business community and representing every region of our state to advise us on how to harness our tremendous human talent and assets to create opportunity across the state.” 

“We want to lengthen our lead in Massachusetts and put our people and communities on a path towards economic prosperity,” said Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao. “We are excited to get started on this process and look forward to working with business leaders and stakeholders throughout Massachusetts to define the areas of opportunity and growth for our state economy.”

The council will be holding public meetings across the state to gather input from state residents, businesses and regional planners as well as discuss ideas for an economic development plan.

Below are the confirmed locations and dates of these sessions:

  • May 19, 2023: Pioneer Valley Regional Session at Springfield College, Springfield, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. 
  • May 25, 2023: Southeast Regional Session at Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
  • June 12, 2023: Greater Boston Regional Session at Roxbury Community College, Boston, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • June 13, 2023: Merrimack Valley Regional Session at Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill, 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.
  • June 20, 2023: Cape Cod Regional Session at Chatham Community Center, Chatham, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Sessions in the Northeast, MetroWest, Central Massachusetts, and Berkshires regions will be announced at a later date.

Members of the council include:

  • Frank Callahan, President, Massachusetts Building Trades Council
  • Julie Chen, Chancellor, University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • JD Chesloff, President and Executive Director, Massachusetts Business Roundtable
  • Roger Crandall, Chairman, President and CEO, MassMutual
  • Steven Ellis, Town Administrator, Town of Montague
  • Gina Fiandaca, Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation
  • Sen. Barry Finegold, Senate Chair, Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, Senate President Designee
  • Ruthanne Fuller, President, Massachusetts Municipal Association
  • Matthew Gorzkowicz, Massachusetts Secretary of Administration and Finance
  • Yvonne Hao, Massachusetts Secretary of Economic Development, *Chair
  • Sarah Hodges, General Partner, Pillar Venture Capital
  • Melissa Hoffer, Massachusetts Climate Chief
  • Laura Hooks, Ph.D., Vice President and General Manager, Maritime & Strategic Systems, General Dynamics Mission Systems
  • Lauren Jones, Massachusetts Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development
  • Julie Kim, President, Takeda U.S. Business Unit and U.S. Country Head
  • Glynn Llyod, Executive Director, Mill Cities Community Investments
  • Paul Niedzwiecki, CEO, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce
  • Rep. Jerald Parisella, House Chair, Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies
  • Jason Park, Chief Financial Officer, DraftKings
  • Andrew Rebello, Principal, Diman Regional Voc-Tech
  • Elisabeth Reynolds, Ph.D., Partner, Unless; MIT Lecturer
  • Antonio Rodriguez, Partner, Matrix Venture Capital
  • Tamara Small, CEO, NAIOP Massachusetts
  • Dr. Kevin Tabb, M.D., President and CEO, Beth Israel Lahey Health
  • Rebecca Tepper, Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs
  • Brooke Thomson, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs, Associated Industries of Massachusetts
  • Son Vo, Owner, Chashu Ramen + Izakaya
  • Kate Walsh, Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Mary Kay Wydra, President, Greater Springfield Convention Visitors Bureau