Held each fall in Boston, the Annual Dinner brings together business, non-profit, and academic leaders from throughout New England to celebrate the New England Council’s accomplishments, and to honor those who have made significant contributions to the region with the New Englander of the Year Award.
The New England Council’s 2017 Annual Dinner took place on the evening of Monday, October 30, 2017, at the Seaport Hotel/World Trade Center in Boston, MA. Over 1700 New England Council members and other guests from throughout the region joined us to celebrate and honor our 2017 New Englanders of the Year:
The Honorable Charles D. Baker Governor, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Governor Charlie Baker was inaugurated as Massachusetts’ 72nd Governor in January 2015 after a long and successful career in both public service and the private sector. As Governor, he has worked in a bipartisan manner to advance a pro-growth agenda for the Commonwealth, and has collaborated with fellow New England Governors on issues of importance to the region, including energy, transportation, and responding to the opioid epidemic. As a result of his strong leadership, Massachusetts was named the #1 best state in the nation by U.S. News and World Report earlier this year, and the Governor has consistently ranked as one of the most popular Governors in the country. Earlier in his career, he served as the Chief Executive Officer of Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare, and was the Chairman of The New England Council.
Collette Divitto Founder, Collettey’s Cookies
Connecticut native Collette Divitto was born with Down Syndrome, as well as an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for baking. After graduating from Clemson University’s LIFE program, Collette struggled to find employment because of her disability. Undeterred, she put her love of baking to use and launched Collettey’s Cookies with her mother and sister in 2011. The business has attracted local and national media attention and a strong social media following, and has sold over 50,000 cookies since its launch. Today, as her business continues to grow and thrive, Collette employs two other people with intellectual disabilities and has become an advocate for employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
Joseph L. Hooley Chairman and CEO, State Street Corporation
Jay Hooley is Chairman and CEO of State Street Corporation, one of the world’s leading providers of financial services for institutional investors. Since joining State Street in 1986, Hooley has held diverse leadership positions with increasing responsibility across the firm. He was appointed president and chief operating officer in 2008 and assumed his current role overseeing all aspects of State Street’s global business in 2010. Since then, Hooley has led State Street’s continued global expansion and growth while investing in technology to position the company as a digital leader in financial services. He is a passionate supporter of community service organizations and devotes a great deal of time and energy to charitable and civic activities. He’s also a vocal champion for increasing diversity at State Street and across the financial services industry and beyond.
Navyn Salem Founder and CEO, Edesia
Navyn Salem is the founder and CEO of Edesia, a nonprofit social enterprise and manufacturer of specialized foods that help treat and prevent malnutrition for children enduring the extreme hardships of poverty, conflict, natural disaster, disease outbreak, or famine worldwide. Salem first saw the urgent need to extend the global reach of Plumpy’Nut® — a peanut-based ready-to-use therapeutic food that cures severe acute malnutrition in children with a 90 percent success rate — after watching a 60 Minutes segment with Anderson Cooper featuring its near-miraculous impact in drought-strick- en Niger. Salem soon after established a factory in Tanzania, her father’s home country, and then two years later in 2009, founded Edesia in Rhode Island, her home state. Since production began in March 2010, Edesia’s ready-to-use foods have reached over 5.5 million malnourished children in 50 countries through the work of UNICEF, the World Food Programme, USAID/USDA, and other humanitarian aid agencies. Today, Edesia employs 70 people who hail from over 20 countries.
The New England Council is grateful to the nearly 200 businesses and organization who sponsored the Annual Dinner, and to event co-chairs Darren Donovan, Managing Principal at KPMG, and Bob Rivers, Chairman and CEO of Eastern Bank.
About the New Englander of the Year Awards
The highlight of each year’s Annual Dinner is the presentation of the prestigious “New Englander of the Year” awards. First presented over 40 years ago, the award is meant to honors residents of the New England states for their commitment and contributions in their fields of work, as well as their leadership and impact on the New England region’s quality of life and economy. Over the years, has honored leaders from both the public and private sectors, including U.S. Senators and Representatives, Governors, cabinet secretaries, college presidents, non-profit executives, and CEOs of some of the region’s most respected and successful businesses.