One of the first things Jeff Rosica did when he was suddenly promoted to CEO at Avid Technology was to look for new charities that could benefit from the Burlington company’s philanthropic efforts.
It didn’t take long to find a worthwhile beneficiary.
Shortly after his promotion last February, Rosica attended an annual fund-raising gala for the Boston Arts Academy, the city’s only public school for visual and performing arts.
He was immediately intrigued, and wrote a personal check to the school’s foundation that night.
“I was blown away,” Rosica says. “They’re using arts to really build the academic strength in these students. . . . I sat there, and thought, ‘Wow, we’ve got to get involved in this organization.’ This is a very diverse student body, coming from every neighborhood in Boston.”
Rosica will be back at the arts academy fund-raiser this year, running the show on May 4 as the event’s chairman. That mainly means drumming up interest in tickets and tables for the fund-raiser at the InterContinental hotel.
But that’s not all. Avid plans to give some of its sound and video editing equipment to the school when its new home opens in 2021, the same kind of equipment that the pros use when they’re making Hollywood blockbusters. The company has built a website to promote the school, donated $100,000 to the gala, and has made plans to connect experts with the students at the school starting in the fall.
Rosica also joined the foundation’s board and is helping spearhead the school’s “Building Our Future” campaign. The goal: to raise $30 million over five years for programs and scholarships at the new school that general contractor Lee Kennedy Co. is building across the street from Fenway Park.
“I want to help them build a bigger following and a support system from the corporate world and the tech world,” Rosica says. “We’re basically using our pulpit, our soapbox, to be able to spread the information around, to make greater awareness. Hopefully, that work will get them additional funding from other corporations.” — JON CHESTO
R.I. officials see hope in future of McCoy Stadium
For a while it looked like the loss of the PawSox would strike a severe blow to Pawtucket’s economy.
Mayor Don Grebien of Pawtucket had banked on a new baseball stadium to anchor his efforts to resuscitate his city’s downtown. But when he couldn’t get state financing to build the stadium and keep the team, they found greener pastures in Worcester.
Sometimes, though, adversity can lead to opportunity. That’s how Grebien and Rhode Island commerce secretary Stefan Pryor are looking at the situation now. The PawSox will leave McCoy Stadium, their longtime home, for the yet-to-be-built Polar Park in Worcester in 2021 and Grebien and Pryor are considering ways to replace them.
They were pitched six concepts last week after city officials put the word out for ideas, for the reuse of McCoy Stadium and the redevelopment of the city’s downtown. “That exceeds our expectations,” Pryor says, referring to the private sector response.
A firm called AJAX Advisors proposed to build a new professional soccer stadium downtown and convert McCoy into industrial use. Brett Johnson, cochairman of the Phoenix Rising Football Club in Arizona, also proposed a soccer stadium in downtown Pawtucket, and a recreational park with multiuse fields at McCoy. Frank Boulton, CEO of the Long Island Ducks baseball team, would bring a new minor league baseball team to McCoy. A separate group of local business and civic leaders would do the same. Native Waters Investment LLC, of Connecticut, proposed a family entertainment center and park, a project that could include an indoor coaster, a zip line course, and a riverboat hotel. And Level Exchange, a local business that caters to musicians and artists, proposed a music industry hub.
Pryor says it’s possible that city and state officials might approve more than one proposal. They need to assemble a selection committee to oversee the process but Pryor says he remains hopeful that major decisions can be made by the end of the year.
“When the PawSox made their decision to depart from Pawtucket, there were those who wondered whether there was a future for sports and entertainment activity in Pawtucket,” Pryor says. “I believe that question is answered today.” — JON CHESTO
MGH president links poetry, health care
Peter Slavin is finding poetry while running Mass. General Hospital. The hospital president had never participated in a poetry reading before. But now he’s done it twice within the past month or so. His most recent reading took place at an in-house poetry reading at MGH’s Russell Museum on Monday. The event featured hospital staff from several departments.
Slavin’s first reading took place in late March, at the Huntington Theatre, as part of Mass Poetry’s “Evening of Inspired Leaders.” The lineup of poetry readers included a number of civic leaders, such as Senate President Karen Spilka, Mayor Yvonne Spicer of Framingham, YW Boston CEO Beth Chandler, and Boston’s economic chief John Barros.
In a note to MGH staff, Slavin called the March event riveting “in a way that I had never imagined.” Slavin picked his poem — “When Giving Is All We Have,” by Alberto Rios — with the help of MGH writer in residence Suzanne Koven. He also read that poem on Monday.
“This deceptively simple poem to me reflects the depth and intricacy of the many relationships inherent in medicine and health care,” Slavin wrote. — JON CHESTO
Immelt to host Formlabs’ 3-D industry conference
Jeff Immelt’s Seaport days might not be over after all.
The former General Electric CEO left the GE roughly a year after the company moved its headquarters to the South Boston Waterfront in 2016. But he returns to the neighborhood on May 7 as host of Somerville-based Formlabs’ annual 3-D printing industry conference.
As host, Immelt used his industry connections to pull together a number of big name executives for the Formlabs conference, known as Digital Factory. They include Rob Carter and Richard Smith of FedEx, Align Technology CEO Joseph Hogan, and GE chief technology officer Vic Abate.
The Digital Factory event is expected to draw about 1,000 people to the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal on May 7. (Formlabs will hold a summit for customers the following day.)
Immelt ended up hosting in part because he joined Formlabs’ board of directors last year. Venture capital firm NEA, where Immelt is a venture partner, is a major Formlabs investor.
Formlabs’ CEO Max Lobovsky says Immelt is the ideal host, largely because of his background at GE, a company that sells its own 3-D printing technology and is also a major client of other 3-D printing firms.
“If there’s one person that can represent a broad swatch of our customers, Jeff is probably the guy,” Lobovsky says. — JON CHESTO