The following is a press release
BOSTON – Celebrating 17 years of honoring outstanding male leaders who have worked in their personal, professional, and civic lives to achieve parity for women, the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus is proud to announce its honorees for this year’s Good Guys Awards, as well as the addition of an inaugural “Corporate Champion” award:
Joshua Bekenstein, Co-Chair of Bain Capital, was one of the founders of Bain Capital, a leading global private investment firm, joining at the firm’s inception in 1984. During his 33 years at the firm, Josh has played a leading role in a wide spectrum of prominent consumer and retail businesses in which the firm has made investments, including Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Burlington Stores and Canada Goose. A graduate of Yale with an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, Josh is active in a number of charitable and civic activities. He chairs the board of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute where he and his wife, Anita, established the Women’s Cancer Research Fund, which has proven critical in finding a cure and ensuring better outcomes for women diagnosed with breast or gynecologic cancers. The Bekensteins have also been active supporters of Yale University, the Environmental Defense Fund, New Profit Inc., and City Year.
John B. Cruz III, President and CEO of Cruz Companies, leads one of the oldest and largest minority-owned companies in the Northeast. Referred to by his nominator as “a community treasure”, under John Cruz’s direction, the company has been a leader in construction, real estate development, property management, and giving back to the community through its non-profit, “Cruz C.A.R.E.S.” The firm employs approximately 75 individuals, of which 90 percent are people of color. Cruz Companies’ MBE contractor participation rate is as high as 82 percent, serving as an industry leader in diversity and inclusion; and recognized by organizations like the NAACP and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice. Headquartered in Roxbury and founded in 1948 by John’s dad, John B. Cruz, Jr., this third-generation, family-owned firm is celebrating its 70th year in business.
Joseph Kennedy III, U.S. Representative from Massachusetts Fourth Congressional District, represents a diverse district that stretches from the suburbs of Boston to the industrial cities of Massachusetts’ South Coast. As a member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, Congressman Kennedy has crafted a legislative agenda driven by the needs of his constituents. With a focus on issues such as mental health and addiction, energy costs, manufacturing and STEM education, he has prioritized bipartisan reforms that directly impact the communities he represents. Nationally, Congressman Kennedy has become a powerful voice for social justice — championing issues including transgender rights, marriage equality, pay equity and comprehensive immigration reform. A former prosecutor and legal aid volunteer, he has helped highlight the importance of our civil justice system, establishing the first-ever Congressional Access to Legal Services Caucus.
Edward A. Palleschi, Deputy Chief Secretary of Boards and Commissions for Governor Charlie Baker, is a public servant who has always been devoted to family and community. Since joining Governor Baker‘s administration in January 2015, Palleschi has been a strong proponent for the appointment of both women and people of color to key boards and commissions, ensuring that the Governor has a balanced perspective on issues that are critical to all populations. Last year, his office made a total 570 appointments, 59% of which were women. This reflects an increase from 2015 and 2016, as appointments were 37% women (out of 600) and 43% women (out of 736) respectively. A 1988 graduate of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, Ed served for two terms as an elected member of the Swampscott School Committee from 1992-1998. He was instrumental in the hiring of former Superintendent of Schools, Jacqueline Blanchard — the first female Superintendent in Swampscott. Ed has been married to Shelia Collins Palleschi for twenty-two years and they have three children. The Palleschis live in Swampscott.
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, a nonprofit health services company, is the inaugural recipient of MWPC’s Good Guys Corporate Champion award. Under the eight years of leadership of President and CEO Eric Schultz, Harvard Pilgrim has demonstrated a strong dedication to gender parity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace. Harvard Pilgrim’s senior executive team is comprised of 50% women and women make up 74% of the entire organization. The organization was also one of the first 30 to sign onto the Boston Women’s Workforce Council’s 100% Talent Compact, in support of eliminating the gender wage gap. Harvard Pilgrim has also made great strides in hiring and retaining a diverse staff by conducting training on diverse hiring for all hiring managers. Diverse hires and promotions account for 20% and 23% respectively, making large improvements over past years. Harvard Pilgrim is also a recognized regional leader in advocating for transgender and LBGT rights.
“MWPC is honored to celebrate these accomplished figures, and one organization, for their commitment to gender parity in government, business, and their communities,” said MWPC Board President Gail Jackson-Blount. “Whether it be through hiring a diverse staff of high-level executives, fighting for equal pay or gender equality in public office, these men have helped to advance women and communities across the economic, political, and social spheres.”
This year’s event will be held on Thursday May 3, 2018 at 6 p.m. at the Omni Parker House in Boston.
The annual Good Guys Awards honors distinguished male leaders who, in their personal and professional lives, have worked to achieve gender parity for women across all spectrums. The Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus’ annual Good Guy Awards recognizes that the goal of equal representation for women can only be achieved through the combined efforts of men and women alike. In the past, we have honored notable figures such as Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Senator Edward Brooke, Governor Deval Patrick, Attorney Wayne Budd, Governor William Weld, Governor Charlie Baker, Eastern Bank Chairman and CEO Robert Rivers, the Honorable Robert DeLeo, Harvard Professor Charles Ogltree, BCBS President and CEO Andrew Dreyfus, State Senator Dan Wolf, Senator Edward Kennedy, Taylor Smith Properties Chair Richard Taylor, Senator John Kerry, and Attorney Steven Wright.
The Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus is a nonpartisan 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that seeks to increase the civic engagement and empowerment of women of all ages in the political process and to increase the number of women elected and appointed to public office and public policy positions in the Commonwealth.