About Us

Greater Boston Chamber Announces 2020 Leadership Council Chairs

September 16, 2019

The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce (GBCC) is pleased to announce its lineup of Leadership Councils and each council’s chair(s). Leadership Councils bring together individuals from select Chamber member organizations with specific policy interests to connect with policymakers and each other, share ideas and perspectives, and inform and develop GBCC policy positions. More than 320 GBCC member organizations participate on at least one of the Chamber’s eight Leadership Councils.

Councils are intentionally cross sector and industry, and participants are representative of diverse backgrounds, professions, and titles. Through these convenings, the Chamber is able to tap the expertise of its membership to better identify emerging policy issues and programmatic opportunities, while also prioritizing specific issues within broader subject areas.

Leadership Councils

Energy & Climate Co-Chairs

  • Vikki N. Spruill, President & CEO, New England Aquarium and Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life at the New England Aquarium
  • Brian Swett, Principal, Arup Boston Office 

Financial Services

  • Tracy Flaherty, Senior Vice President, Government Relations, Natixis
  • Thomas E. Samoluk, Vice President & General Counsel, External Affiars & Investigative Services, John Hancock

Health Care & Life Sciences

  • Michael Caljouw, Vice President, Government and Regulatory Affairs, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
  • Kevin B. Churchwell, M.D., Executive Vice President of Health Affairs and Chief Operating Officer, Boston Children's Hospital

Hospitality & Tourism

  • Carrie Campbell, Senior Vice President, Fenway Events, Boston Red Sox
  • Robert J. DeSalvio, President, Encore Boston Harbor

Public Policy

  • Brian Dempsey, Founder & President, Dempsey, Lucey & Associates
  • Pamela Everhart, Senior Vice President, Regional Public Affairs & Community Relations, Fidelity Investments

Regional Real Estate Development

  • Kimberly Sherman Stamler, President, Related Beal
  • Adam Weiner, Managing Partner, Weiner Ventures

Talent Development & Retention

  • Joanne Pokaski, Senior Director of Workforce Development and Community Relations, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • Kerry Stakem, Northeast People Leader, PwC

Transportation & Infrastructure

  • Katherine N. Lapp, Executive Vice President, Harvard University
  • Michael E. Scott, Co-Managing Partner, Nutter

Brief bios for each of the chairs can be found here. This slate of chairs will serve a two-year term beginning officially in January 2020 and ending in December 2022. Full council rosters are available online.

“The strength of our Chamber lies in our diverse and collaborative membership, and our Leadership Councils are how we leverage that strength to build a better Boston for all,” said James E. Rooney, GBCC president & CEO. “Through our councils, we convene a variety of viewpoints around shared interests to generate robust discussion that ultimately allows the Chamber to move the dial on issues that have a direct impact on our region’s competitiveness. And we couldn’t do it without our chairs, prominent individuals in the Greater Boston business community who are outstanding leaders within their organizations and who have also committed their time and influence to the Chamber to ensure that the outcomes of these councils count.”

Each GBCC Leadership Council meets quarterly at the Chamber to either discuss relevant topics or hear from a guest speaker followed by discussion. Recent and upcoming speakers include Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollock, new President & CEO of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, Martha Sheridan, and Senate Chairman of the Joint Committee on Ways & Means, Michael Rodrigues. Occasionally, multiple councils are convened together for a big picture conversation on a policy or business issue that has broader impacts, such as capital improvements at Boston Logan Airport or workforce development initiatives proposed by the Office of Labor & Workforce Development.

In addition to Leadership Councils, the GBCC has a number of advisory boards and committees that provide guidance and perspective to the Chamber and its staff, particularly on how we can better serve and elevate audiences such as young professionals, people of color, small businesses, and female professionals. The chairs of these groups are listed below.

City Awake Advisory Board

  • Amber Haskell, Corporate Citizenship and Diversity Associate, MFS Investment Management

Small Business Advisory Committee

  • Jeff Freedman, Founder & CEO, Small Army

Women’s Network Advisory Board

  • Yvonne Garcia, Chief of Staff to President & CEO, State Street

Economic Opportunity Committee

  • Robert F. Rivers, Chairman & CEO, Eastern Bank
  • Steven Wright, Senior Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston