Today, Governor Maura T. Healey appointed Emme Handy, Aisha Miller, Carlos Aramayo, Meg Mainzer-Cohen, Sheena Collier, Gwill York, and Xiomara DeLobato to the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) Board of Directors. The new appointees bring a range of experiences and are majority women and People of Color. Emme Handy, a senior leader at the Broad Institute and the former Chief of Administration and Finance for the City of Boston under Mayor Marty Walsh, will serve as Chair. The new appointees will serve along with current members Paul Sacco and Cindy Brown.
“Massachusetts is home to world-class convention centers and event spaces that bring people together, generate economic activity and drive our competitiveness. The MCCA Board of Directors has a critical role to play in supporting the growth of this industry and cultivating a welcoming environment for all guests, employees and vendors,” said Governor Healey. “We are proud to appoint this talented group of leaders who are committed to supporting the economic growth of our state and applying an equity lens to everything they do.”
“These seven appointees bring diverse experiences and backgrounds to the table that will be invaluable in supporting the equitable growth of the conventions, trades and events industry in Massachusetts,” said Lieutenant Governor Driscoll. “Emme Handy will be an excellent chair because of her vast experience in government finance and administration and her unwavering dedication to serving our state. Governor Healey and I are excited for this new chapter for the MCCA under her leadership.”
“I’m honored that Governor Healey and Lieutenant Governor Driscoll have placed their faith in me to leader the MCCA Board of Directors and for the opportunity to continue my service to the people of Massachusetts. Our convention centers offer limitless possibilities to attract people and businesses to our state, spark innovative ideas and actions, and bolster our economic competitiveness,” said Emme Handy. “This Board will be committed to supporting and growing this industry, and we’ll center equity and community each step of the way.”
The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority is an independent public authority of the Commonwealth that owns and operates several public facilities primarily for conventions, tradeshows, and industry meetings. It is governed by a 13-member board of directors. Nine members are appointed by the Governor, two members are appointed by the Mayor of Boston, and two (ex officio) members are the Secretary of Administration and Finance and the Collector-Treasurer of the City of Boston or their designees. The MCCA Board is responsible for appointing an Executive Director to serve as the MCCA Chief Executive Officer.
The full MCCA Board of Directors membership includes:
Emme Handy (Chair), At-Large Seat
Aisha Miller, At-Large Seat
Carlos Aramayo, At-Large Seat
Meg Mainzer-Cohen, At-Large Seat
Sheena Collier, At-Large Seat
Gwill York, Resident of Cambridge
Xiomara Alban DeLobato, Resident of Hampden County
Paul Sacco, Massachusetts Lodging Association
Cindy Brown, Massachusetts Visitors Industry Council
Michelle Consalvo, Mayoral appointment
Michael Donovan, Mayoral appointment
Matthew Gorzkowicz, Secretary of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance
Ashley Groffenberger, Collector-Treasurer of the City of Boston
Emme Handy, Chair
Emme is currently a Senior Advisor to the COO at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. She previously served as Chief of Administration and Finance for the City of Boston under Former Mayor Walsh. She also previously served as Budget Director of the Executive Office of Administration and Finance and the Assistant Secretary for the Budget and Fiscal Operations during the Patrick administration.
Dr. Aisha Miller
Dr. Aisha Miller is the Vice President of Permitting, Community, and Corporate Engagement for Related Beal. Previously, former U.S. Labor Secretary and former Mayor of Boston, Martin J. Walsh, appointed Dr. Miller to Chief of the Civic Engagement Cabinet for the City of Boston. Dr. Miller served as the Director of Constituent Services for the Boston Inspectional Service Department (ISD) and then transitioned to Assistant Commissioner of Constituent Services. In addition, she worked as a Suffolk County Probation Officer for Boston Municipal Court-Dorchester Division. She served as the Regional Steward for Suffolk County Probation Officers, a Litigation Paralegal for McCarthy & Barrett, and former aide to Senator Dianne Wilkerson and Representative Shirley Owens-Hicks.
Carlos Aramayo is the President of UNITE HERE Local 26, the Union for hospitality workers in the greater Boston area and Rhode Island. He is also a Vice President of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, an International Vice President of UNITE HERE and a trustee of UNITE HERE Health and the Greater Boston Hospitality Employers Trust. In addition to his work in the Union, he is a member of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Board of Directors and a member of Massachusetts Governor Maura Healy’s Advisory Council on Latino Empowerment. During his eighteen years with UNITE HERE, he has organized casino gaming, hotel, and industrial food service workers in Connecticut, Nevada, Florida, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. As Organizing Director of UNITE HERE Local 26 from 2011-2016, he led successful campaigns to double the size of the Local. He first became involved with the labor movement as a rank-and-file organizer with the Graduate Employees and Students Organization (now Local 33) at Yale University, where he earned a Ph.D. in Latin American history.
Meg Mainzer-Cohen has served as President and Executive Director of the Back Bay Association since 2000. She collaborates with a board of 40 business leaders, provides strategic advice to companies managing business development, and works with them to gain city approvals and build support during the public permitting process. Meg is a critical conduit between the businesses of Back Bay and city/state policy makers and elected leaders to support increased economic outcomes. She has been a stalwart leader for the meetings and hospitality sectors in Back Bay, advocating for preserving the area’s robust economic engine. Working closely with city and state elected officials and key agencies, she also maintains strong alliances with community groups and neighborhood organizations. Meg participated on, and later chaired, the Boston Finance Commission and served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Somerville Community Corporation, a community development corporation (CDC), which develops and manages affordable housing and supports inclusive economic growth in Somerville. Her first role in business development was as Events and Public Relations Director for the Downtown Crossing Association, a nonprofit association (now Business Improvement District) of businesses dedicated to the civic, economic and cultural development of Boston’s central business district.
Sheena Collier is the Founder & CEO of The Collier Connection (TCC) and Boston While Black (BWB). She has 20 years of experience in business development, growth strategy, brokering partnerships, and event design. Sheena has a proven ability to build communities by getting the right people in the right spaces and moving them to take action. Sheena received her BA from Spelman College and her Ed.M. from Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is a proud board member of Union Capital Boston and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, an advisory board member of Boston Harbor Now, an investor in the Boston Ujima Fund, and a member of the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (BECMA).
Gwill is co-founder and managing director of Lighthouse Capital Partners. Since its founding in 1994, Lighthouse has committed over $2 billion in capital to over 500 companies in six limited partnerships. She led investments in biotech, medical devices and services, information technology, communications equipment, e-commerce, Internet infrastructure, semiconductors, software, and clean tech companies. Gwill served on the Board of the New England Venture Capital Association for 9 years until 2014. Lighthouse Series A investments include Netflix, Vertex, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, NVIDIA, NxStage, Insulet, Foundation Medicine, ZocDoc,, Impossible Foods, and Rent the Runway.
Xiomara Albán DeLobato
Xiomara has over a decade of experience in both the public and private sectors. As Vice President and Chief of Staff for the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council (EDC), she is instrumental in facilitating the growth and development of the region’s economy. In her role, Xiomara has focused on industry sector and workforce development, recognizing the full activation and support of community, entrepreneurship, and tourism as integral ingredients to the success and prosperity of an economy.