NEC Elects Six Respected Business Leaders to Board

New Directors Include UMass President Marty Meehan, Victoria Reggie Kennedy of Greenberg Traurig

BOSTON (April 6, 2016) – The New England Council, a non-partisan alliance of businesses, academic and health institutions, and public and private organizations, has elected six leaders from the New England business community to serve on its Board of Directors.  The Council’s Board of Directors, chaired by John Hailer, CEO of Natixis Global Asset Management, voted to elect the new directors at its recent meeting in Washington, DC. The newly elected Board of Director members include Thomas Croswell of Tufts Health Plan, Victoria Reggie Kennedy of Greenberg Traurig, Chris MacKenzie of RSM LLP US, the Honorable Marty Meehan of the University of Massachusetts, Jesse Villarreal of Santander, and Dan Walker of Preti Flaherty.

“This group of new Directors truly represents New England’s diverse business community,” said James T. Brett, President & CEO of The New England Council. “Their breadth of experience and expertise will bring fresh perspectives and new ideas to our Board of Directors.  I look forward to collaborating with each of our new Directors as The New England Council works toward our goals of promoting economic growth and a high quality of life in our region.”

Thomas Croswell, of Lexington, MA, serves as Tufts Health Plan’s President and CEO. Croswell joined Tufts Health Plan in 2007 as chief operating officer, was promoted to president and COO in 2013, and assumed his current role in January 2016. Croswell has enjoyed a long and successful career in the health insurance industry having previously served in executive positions at CIGNA HealthCare and Prudential Insurance Company. Croswell received his B.A. from Syracuse University and completed the Wharton Advanced Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania. He currently serves as chair of the board of directors of the Alzheimer’s Association of Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Victoria Reggie Kennedy, of Boston, MA, is Senior Counsel at Greenberg Traurig. In this role, Kennedy advises and assists clients in devising strategies to resolve complex legal problems and provides clients with key strategic and political advice. Kennedy also serves as the President of the Board and co-founder of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston, which was created to educate the public on the unique role of the U.S. Senate in our democracy. Kennedy received her B.A. from Newcomb College at Tulane University and her J.D. from Tulane University Law School.

Chris MacKenzie, of Andover, MA, is the Managing Market Partner for Massachusetts at RSM LLP US and has over 30 years of experience in the professional services industry. MacKenzie is an active member of RSM’s Northeast Region Leadership team that sets strategic direction and priorities, executes on growth initiatives, and provides clients with an integrated array of services. MacKenzie received his B.S. in accounting from University of Massachusetts Lowell and his Master’s degrees in Financial Planning and in Taxation from Bentley University.

Hon. Marty Meehan, of Andover, MA, is the President of the University of Massachusetts system. Meehan is the university’s 27th president and is the first undergraduate alumnus to lead the five-campus University of Massachusetts system. Meehan represented Massachusetts’ 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives for 14 years, and most recently served as the elected chancellor of UMass Lowell for eight years. Meehan received his B.A. in Education and Political Science from UMass Lowell and received his J.D. from Suffolk University Law School.

Jesse Villarreal, of Boston, MA, is Executive Vice President, Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy for Santander Holdings USA, Inc. and Santander Bank, N.A. In this role, Villarreal leads Santander’s government relations and industry public policy efforts in the U.S. Prior to joining Santander, Villarreal served more than ten years in various capacities in the United States federal government, including positions at the Department of the Treasury, the White House and at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Villarreal holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin and has been listed on Hispanic Business Magazine’s Top 100 Influentials list.

Dan Walker, of Freeport, ME, is a Partner and the Chair of Preti Flaherty’s Government Affairs Group. Walker’s practice is centered on advocating for clients before the Maine Legislature, the Executive Branch and other state and federal governmental agencies with a particular focus on regulatory issues and election law. Walker is licensed to practice law both in Maine and Utah and has served as Legal Counsel to the Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives and clerked with judges on the Utah Court of Appeals. Walker received his A.B. from Dartmouth College and he received his J.D. from University of Maine School of Law.

Click here for a complete listing of the New England Council’s Board of Directors.

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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