2016 emerging leaders celebrate “Changing the Face of Leadership”
Roughly 300 community members from Boston and the region congregated at the Seaport Boston Hotel on Friday to celebrate the 41 graduates of the 2016 Emerging Leaders Program at the fifteenth annual “Changing the Face of Leadership” luncheon.
The Emerging Leaders Program, housed at the Center for Collaborative Leadership within UMass Boston’s College of Management, molds fellows from the region’s corporate, nonprofit, and government sectors into inclusive and collaborative leaders through nine months of development training. Since its inception in 2002, about 600 fellows have graduated from the program.
On Friday, keynote speaker and University of Massachusetts President Marty Meehan reflected on his own journey to becoming a Congressman and university leader after graduating from UMass Lowell as a first generation college student, along with his six brothers and sisters. He highlighted the leadership traits of some of his own mentors and role models, including Congressman John Lewis, U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, U.S. Senator George Mitchell, Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Judicial Court Margaret Marshall, and President Lyndon Johnson.
“I think what we need to do is have more collaboration, work together, understand each other’s points of view, and respect the other side of our point of view,” Meehan said. “No one has ever learned very much by talking … but you learn a whole lot from listening. The inability of people to listen causes so many of the problems we have in society and prevents us from solving them.”
The fourth annual Leading the Way Award was presented to Chris Sinclair, an alumnus from the Emerging Leaders Program Class of 2011, and founder, president and CEO of The Anthem Group. The award recognizes an individual who has risen to the level of significant responsibility, leveraged a broad network and worked collaboratively to affect outcomes, is involved in the community, and serves the Emerging Leaders Program.
The Anthem Group, which is headquartered in Boston and includes entertainment branch Anthem Entertainment, is a nationally and internationally recognized entity specializing in innovative public events including festivals, sports, music, food, and fashion. Sinclair highlighted the Anthem Group’s work to create jobs in the hospitality industry to employ inner city youth, individuals recovering from substance abuse, and homeless individuals transitioning back into the workforce.
“The ELP and the center has helped make these programs great,” Sinclair said. “I’ve met individuals in government and nonprofits, but beyond meeting the individuals, I also learned what the needs were, how to service those needs, how to build purposeful relationships, and how to leverage them to actually make a really large impact.”
The Center for Collaborative Leadership was founded by Dr. Sherry Penney, who served as the chancellor of UMass Boston from 1988-2000.
Chancellor J. Keith Motley commended Penney’s vision and mentorship as he also congratulated center Director Lisa DeAngelis for helping the Emerging Leaders Program continue expanding and succeeding for 15 years. He also reminded the Class of 2016 that their connection to the university will last much longer than the nine months they spent in the program.
“Your legacy lives on in all those you’ve touched — this is sort of like that gift that keeps on giving,” Motley said. “Your gift of excellence to us, and to everybody else you’ve touched, lives on in perpetuity and we’re so grateful for that.”