Jim Brett to be honored by Cardinal Cushing Centers

BOSTON – On June 14, 2012, New England Council President & CEO James T. Brett will be honored by Cardinal Cushing Centers, Inc., for his work as an advocate for people with intellectual disabilities.  Mr. Brett will be honored at the organization’s 2012 Springtime Gala, which will be held at their Hanover, MA, headquarters.

“As a longtime advocate for people with disabilities, I have always admired the important work that the Cardinal Cushing Centers do to provide educational and employment opportunities to people with disabilities,” Mr. Brett said.  “We are incredibly fortunate to have the Centers as a resource in our region and I am truly humbled to be honored with this award.”

“It is our honor to recognize Jim for his tireless efforts on behalf of persons with intellectual disabilities. Few people take the lessons learned at home, and in Jim’s case it was the gifts of his beloved brother Jack and his mother’s steadfast belief that Jack was going to be included in family, church and community life, and teach the rest of us those lessons. Jim has led the Commonwealth and the United States throughout his career as a legislator, Chair of the Governor’s and President’s Committee on Persons with Intellectual Disabilities in all matters that are important to the Cardinal Cushing Centers. He has fought for us, cried with us and demanded the best for people with disabilities.  We are blessed to have him on our side,” said Jo Ann Simons, President & CEO of the Cardinal Cushing Centers.

Mr. Brett, a Dorchester resident, has served as the President & CEO of the New England Council, a non-partisan business organization representing businesses throughout the six New England states, since 1996.  Prior to joining the Council, he served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives for over 15 years.  Throughout his career, Mr. Brett has been an outspoken advocate for people with intellectual disabilities.  In May 2011, President Barack Obama appointed him the Chairman of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities.  Mr. Brett also currently serves as the Chairman of the Massachusetts Governor’s Commission on Intellectual Disability, and served as Co-Chairman of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health Inpatient Study Commission. Mr. Brett is a member of the Board of Directors of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health, and serves on the Advisory Council of the Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps and The New England Center for Children. Mr. Brett also serves on the Board of Advocates of Bay Cove Human Services, Inc., the Advisory Board of the Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester.

Mr. Brett’s humanitarian work has been recognized by a number of organizations, including Action for Boston Community Development, Massachusetts Special Olympics, and Hospice of Boston, who named him Humanitarian of the Year.  In 1996, Bay Cove Human Services of Boston named a new community home for disabled adults “Brett House” in his honor.  Mr. Brett also received the Distinguished Leadership Award from Massachusetts Special Olympics in 2008.  In 2009 and 2011, the Boston Red Sox invited him to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park in recognition of his national contributions in support of people with intellectual disabilities.

Founded in 1947, Cardinal Cushing Centers, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization, is located in Hanover, MA. Cushing Centers began as a day and residential school for students with intellectual disabilities. With a second campus located in Braintree, Cushing now serves over 400 individuals of all ages, with the goal of helping each student and adult to become included and independent members of society. Programs include, among others, affordable housing, community programs, education, vocational training both on and off campus, recreational and residential services.  For more information, please visit: http://www.cushingcenters.org

The New England Council, the country’s oldest regional business organization, is an alliance of businesses, academic and health institutions, and public and private organizations throughout New England formed to promote economic growth and a high quality of life in the region.  The Council is dedicated to identifying and supporting federal public policies and articulating the voice of its membership regionally and nationally on important issues facing New England.  The NEC is also committed to working with public and private sector leaders across the region and in Washington through educational programs and forums for information exchange.  For more information, please visit: www.newenglandcouncil.com.

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