NEC Announces 2013 New Englanders of the Year

Awards to be presented at NEC Annual Dinner October 16

BOSTON (October 1, 2013) – The New England Council, the country’s oldest regional business organization, will present its prestigious “New Englander of the Year” awards at its 2013 Annual Dinner at the Seaport Hotel/World Trade Center in Boston on Wednesday, October 16, 2013.  This year’s recipients are U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte, One Fund Boston Administrator Kenneth Feinberg, Putnam Investments CEO Robert Reynolds, and Newport Jazz Festival Founder George Wein.  The Council will also honor Boston Mayor Thomas Menino with a Lifetime Achievement Award.  Over 1,400 New England Council members representing businesses large and small across a wide range of industries throughout New England will be in attendance.

The “New Englander of the Year” awards are presented each year by the New England Council and honor 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.  First presented in 1964, over the years the award has been presented to Senators George Mitchell, Ted Kennedy, Jack Reed, Judd Gregg, Christopher Dodd, and John Kerry; Congressmen Richard Neal, Ed Markey, John Larson, and Barney Frank; and business leaders Red Auerbach of the Boston Celtics, Jack Welch of General Electric, Charles Shivery of Northeast Utilities, Abigail Johnson of Fidelity Investments, and many other respected government, business, and non-profit leaders.

“Each of our 2013 honorees has made remarkable contributions to our region through thoughtful leadership, innovative thinking, and dedication to their community,” said James T. Brett, President and CEO of the New England Council.  “These individuals truly embody all that is great about New England. We’re delighted to be celebrating their accomplishments with hundreds of our members at this year’s Annual Dinner.”

The New England Council’s Board of Directors selected this year’s honorees based on their distinguished careers and countless contributions to the region:

New Englanders of the Year:

The Honorable Kelly Ayotte, United States SenatorThe Honorable Kelly Ayotte is a New Hampshire native who has devoted her life to public service – previously as a long-time prosecutor and New Hampshire Attorney General, and now in the United States Senate. She has quickly emerged as an influential voice in the Senate, where she serves on the Armed Services, Budget, Commerce, Homeland Security & Government Affairs, and Aging Committees.

Kenneth R. Feinberg, Managing Partner, Feinberg Rozen, LLP,  Administrator of The One Fund BostonKenneth R. Feinberg is a practicing lawyer and is best known as the pro-bono special master of the United States’ September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001. He has administered a fund to compensate the victims at Virginia Tech, managed the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster Victim Compensation Fund and is assisting with the awarding of settlements from Penn State. Most recently, he has been appointed the administrator of The One Fund Boston.

Robert L. Reynolds, President and Chief Executive Officer, Putnam Investments
A highly-respected leader in the region’s business community, Mr. Reynolds has more than 30 years of investment and financial services experience and is a member of Putnam Investments’ Executive Board of Directors and President of the Putnam Funds. Prior to joining Putnam in 2008, he was Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Fidelity Investments. In addition to personal service on several non-profit boards, Mr. Reynolds has also continued Putnam’s tradition as a valuable corporate citizen that supports a variety of important community initiatives.

George Wein, Chairman, Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc.
George Wein began his career in jazz as a pianist and bandleader in Boston. In 1950, he opened a small jazz club in a hotel called Storyville, and four years later, he founded the Newport Jazz Festival in Newport, Rhode Island. The success of the large, outdoor jazz festival has become an annual event and has led to Mr. Wein producing festivals all over the world.

Lifetime Achievement Award:

The Honorable Thomas M. Menino, Mayor, City of Boston – The Honorable Thomas M. Menino is serving his fifth term as the Mayor of Boston. The Mayor’s vision for the city is that of a strong, welcoming community that provides unlimited opportunity for success. To that end, the Mayor has dedicated himself to forging partnerships to revitalize neighborhoods, strengthening the economy through workforce investment, and promoting innovation in education.

The New England Council’s 2013 Annual Dinner will be held on Thursday, October 16, 2013, at the Seaport Hotel/World Trade Center in Boston.  The reception will begin at 4:30 p.m., followed by a dinner program and award presentation beginning at 6:00 p.m.  This year’s Annual Dinner is being chaired by New England Council board member Eric Schultz, President & CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare.

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:

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