Minority executives tackle corporate board diversity

Minority executives tackle corporate board diversity

BG_Carol_Fulp

Despite longtime criticism that corporate boards need to diversify, most of them remain stubbornly white and male. Fed up with that status quo, a group of minority executives in Boston has decided that if recruiters won’t come to them, they’ll go to the recruiters.

A contingent of local black, Latino, and Asian business bigwigs recently traveled to New York City for a meeting at the Urban League with Charles Tribbett 3rd, managing director of Russell Reynolds, an executive search firm. They were there to learn more about the board recruiting process — and to try to get their names at the top of national recruitment lists.

“People had the opportunity to ask questions they typically may not have the opportunity to ask,” like what skills boards are looking for and how to craft a resume accordingly, says Carol Fulp (right), CEO of The Partnership, a Boston group that nurtures minority professionals. “It was quite a fruitful day.”

Another key lesson learned, Fulp said, is for candidates to emphasize their technical know-how, since “search consultants can determine your soft skills, like how driven and passionate you are.”

Fulp made the trip with six members of The Partnership’s C-Suite program for high-level execs: Paul Alexander of Eastern Bank, Charles Anderson of Exaltare Capital Partners, Michelle Gadsden-Williams of Ceiling Breakers, Donna Levin of MIT’s Sloan School, Peter Pedro of Marsh & McLennan, and Patrick Vatel of BNY Mellon. The meeting was hosted by Marian Heard, CEO of Oxen Hill Partners and former CEO of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay.

“I’m trying, in this chapter of my life, to share this information,” Heard says, “and pave the way for others to join corporate boards, too.”

SACHA PFEIFFER
Even more news at Fox 25

Sixty hours a week of local news apparently weren’t enough for the team at Fox 25.

WFXT launched an hourlong newscast at 4 p.m. on Monday: It means Fox 25 is the only Boston-area broadcast station with a three-hour block of local news from 4 to 7 p.m. Fox 25 can also boast that it now has 65 hours of live local newscasts, still more than any other broadcast station in the market.

Fox 25 moved “The Dr. Oz Show” to 3 p.m. to make room for the show.

The addition comes after WCVB launched a 4:30 p.m. local news show in January. WHDH also competes in the hour, with a 4 to 5 p.m. show.

Fox 25’s 4 p.m. spot will be anchored by Elizabeth Hopkins and Blair Miller, who previously were weekend evening anchors together. Miller came to the station in September from Fox 25’s sister station in Charlotte, N.C. Hopkins arrived in 2010 from WPRI in Providence.

“They started working well as a team almost instantly,” news director Lee Rosenthal says.

The extra hour of local news each day is the latest in a series of changes at the station since Cox Media Group acquired it from Fox Television Stations in October 2014. Another big change: the launch of a new local news show on weekend mornings last year. There have also been high-profile departures, including Maria Stephanos’ move to WCVB’s evening team.

Rosenthal says Cox has grown Fox 25’s field reporting positions from seven to 19 since taking over. “It’s all part of a long-term commitment to be the most complete, independent place for coverage,” he says.

JON CHESTO
Suffolk’s next project is HQ

Boston’s biggest builder is doing some building of its own.

Suffolk Construction filed plans with the city last week for a 38,000-square-foot expansion of its headquarters in Roxbury’s Newmarket industrial district. The construction giant will turn old warehouses into a three-story building, designed by frequent collaborators at Elkus Manfredi. It will be big enough to add 30 people to its 300-strong headquarters operation, and move 100 jobs from Braintree.

The $22 million project is a bit of a shift for Suffolk CEO John Fish, who spent years plotting a new headquarters in the Seaport before announcing last year his company would stay put in Roxbury, where it has been based since 1982 and is today the neighborhood’s largest private for-profit employer.

“The building will be a symbol of the continuing rebirth of the area,” Suffolk wrote in a filing to the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

TIM LOGAN
Chief for medical society

The Massachusetts Medical Society will soon have someone new in charge, but she’s a person who is already quite familiar to many in the local health care sector.

The Waltham-based doctors’ group, known for publishing the New England Journal of Medicine, picked Lois Dehls Cornell to be its new executive vice president when longtime head Corinne Broderick retires next month.

Cornell takes the group’s top staff post after about two decades at Watertown-based insurer Tufts Health Plan. She left her job there as chief administrative officer and general counsel at the end of last year. The national search process was led by Dr. Dennis Dimitri, the group’s president, and assisted by headhunting firm Spencer Stuart.

Cornell knows she’s coming on board at a tough time for the medical sector. It’s arguably a period of more change than doctors have seen since the 1970s, particularly with the shift in how physicians are reimbursed and all the paperwork accompanying that.

“Right now, it’s a big challenge for people to make the change from where we have been to where we’re going,” Cornell says.

But there’s another shift underway as well: More people are becoming doctors with the expectation of a healthy work-life balance. “There’s a greater insistence on that by this next generation of professionals, overall,” Cornell says. “Physicians are in a [lead] position to participate in that change.”

JON CHESTO

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