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1/26/2022 8:30:00 AM1/26/2022 10:00:00 AM 2022 Policy Leadership Breakfast
Please join us on January 26th for what has proven to be the must-attend event for senior industry leaders, policymakers, and life sciences government affairs executives.
During this year’s Policy Leadership Breakfast, we will virtually convene the life sciences industry with state and federal policymakers and their staff to discuss the most important policy issues facing the life sciences.
The agenda will feature a fireside chat discussing the economic growth opportunities that the life sciences industry presents to the Commonwealth. There will be a panel discussion highlighting the workforce challenges for our industry and how training programs could provide residents access to positions in the life sciences. We will also present the 2021 Legislator of the Year Award.
Legislators and staff should register by contacting our policy team.
Julie Chen Ph.D.
Professor and Vice Chancellor for Research & Economic Development, UMass Lowell
Dr. Julie Chen is the Vice Chancellor for Research & Economic Development and a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Lowell (www.uml.edu). As the Chief Research Officer, Dr. Chen directs UMass Lowell’s >$90 million research enterprise, which also includes industry partnerships, technology transfer, startups & innovation, core research facilities, and economic development programs.
She has facilitated many innovative collaboration models that bring together industry, government, and academia. She serves on the board for the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and MassTech Collaborative, as well as on the Massachusetts Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative and the Massachusetts Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force.
Dr. Chen spent two years in DC, serving as the Program Director for the Materials Processing and Manufacturing and the Nanomanufacturing Programs at the National Science Foundation. She was the 2010 Technical Program Chair for the ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition. Dr. Chen was also one of the co-PIs on an NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant to help advance women faculty in STEM at UMass Lowell.
Dr. Chen received her PhD, MS, and BS from MIT in Mechanical Engineering. She recently was awarded an honorary degree from Queens University Belfast and the Army Public Service Commendation Medal.
Chairman, Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Business MA House of Representatives
Growing up in the West Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, Ed Coppinger was the fifth of eight children and son to a former state representative. Ed graduated from Catholic Memorial in 1990 and went on to get a degree in accounting from Bryant University. As a lifelong resident of West Roxbury, Ed remained active in the community, eventually establishing a news website for local parents to find information about sports leagues and upcoming events. Ed ran for office for the first time in 2010, defeating five other candidates and earning nearly 40% of the vote to become State Representative of the 10th Suffolk District.
Ed is now married with four daughters and serving his sixth term for the 10th Suffolk District, which includes the towns of West Roxbury, Roslindale, and Brookline. He currently serves as Chair to the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Businesses, overseeing legislation concerning business establishments, economic districts and local planning commissions, urban renewal, and other such matters.
Ed was diagnosed 20 years ago with chronic kidney disease during a routine physical. Doctors at Brigham and Women’s Hospital monitored Ed closely for 15 years. In early 2015, he was notified that he would need a kidney transplant. Months later, Ed would receive his new kidney, with the donor being one of his sisters. The Medical and Biotech Industries have played a key role in Ed’s life, and he is always willing to offer his assistance when needed.
Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, appointed as the President of Quincy College in June of 2020, served the City of Quincy as the Superintendent/ Assistant Superintendent of Quincy Public Schools for 27 years. Dr. DeCristofaro grew up in the city and has worked in Quincy his entire career. Prior to assuming the role of Assistant Superintendent for Quincy Public Schools in 1993, Dr. DeCristofaro was Principal at Snug Harbor Community School and Assistant Principal at Point Webster Middle School. Dr. DeCristofaro also has many years of teaching experience at the elementary, middle and high school levels, up to teaching college courses at Quincy College, Bridgewater State College and Eastern Nazarene College.
Dr. DeCristofaro holds a Doctorate in Education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, a master’s degree in both Special Education and Elementary Education from Suffolk University and a bachelor’s degree in Education from North Adams State College.
Aisha Francis, Ph.D., was recently named the President and Chief Executive Officer of Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology after initially serving as Chief of Staff. She is pleased to advance the mission of this minority-serving, non-profit technical college based in Boston, MA. This role is an exciting return to higher education administration for Dr. Francis, who began her career as a college lecturer and adjunct professor after completing her terminal degree in English Literature from Vanderbilt University. The entirety of her professional career has centered on increasing access to higher education although she worked across various fields and populations over the past 20 years. Aisha is an educator at heart with broad-based experience in philanthropy, marketing, and communications. She believes in the collective ability of healthy organizations and well-supported individuals to transform underserved communities. Leadership roles in board relations and governance, strategic planning, and resource development have underscored her ability to develop trusted relationships and implement programs with significant impact.
As President and COO, Kendalle leads the strategic direction, global expansion, and business operations of the organization ensuring that MassBio offers the greatest value to its members and that Massachusetts life sciences companies have the best environment possible to research, develop, and commercialize breakthrough therapies and cures for people around the world who need and deserve them.
Kendalle first came to MassBio in 2008 as Director of Purchasing and Strategic Alliance. She was promoted to Vice President of Member Services and General Counsel in 2012, then promoted to the organization’s first-ever Chief Operating Officer in February 2019. Throughout her tenure at MassBio, Kendalle has played a critical role in the growth of MassBio’s membership supporting its expansion to become the largest life sciences trade association in the world with over 1,400 members. Kendalle has overseen the rebrand of a number of MassBio’s core programs and services, including the MassBio Edge, MassBio’s savings and rewards program, and its expansion into other New England states by building valuable partnerships with the supplier community and creating MassBio’s highly-rated Employee Rewards program. She also led the development of the MassBioHub, MassBio’s conference and business center, and the creation of MassBio’s 2025 State of Possible Report. In 2019, Kendalle commenced a multi-year digital health initiative to support the convergence of digital tech and the life sciences in Massachusetts. And in 2021, Kendalle was instrumental in the launch of MassBio’s Partnering Week, a new initiative to bring together established biopharma companies with early-stage startups and academic institutions.
Kendalle has reached extraordinary heights in her growing career. She was named a 2019 Boston Business Journal 40 under 40 honoree which recognizes a leader’s impact on Massachusetts’ industries.
Cory Siddons is the Senior Director of Manufacturing & QC for Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and is site head for Alnylam's manufacturing sites in Cambridge and Norton. In that role, he is responsible for cross functional plant activities and operations including manufacturing, process sciences, validation, engineering, facilities, EH&S, and materials management. Cory was previously Director of Engineering at Alnylam, responsible for process engineering, plant engineering, and automation. Prior to joining Alnylam, he also spent more than 10 years in engineering consulting, supporting clients in the US and Europe.
Melisa Tintocalis is a planning and public administration professional with expertise in economic development, real estate analysis, land use analysis, and public sector management. She is an experienced project manager who specializes in complex public policy initiatives that require creative problem solving and consensus building. Melisa is recognized for her people skills and her enthusiastic team-oriented approach. She has a proven track record of effectively managing staff and believes in getting results through a collaborative approach. Melisa is passionate about smart growth, promoting meaningful social connections and facilitating civic engagement - these are the guiding principles of her work.
In 2020, Melisa was offered a position with the Town of Burlington to build a framework for the Town’s long-term economic development strategy. In her new role, Melisa oversees various initiatives focused on retrofitting suburbia, placemaking, workforce development, and shop local efforts. Her work integrates urban planning policy, real estate economics, and economic development.
Prior to joining the Town of Burlington, Melisa was the Economic Development Director for Lexington, MA leading a team on development and tourism initiatives, bringing to fruition the development of Lexington's new Visitor Center. Previously, Melisa worked as the Principal Economic Development Planner for the City of Somerville, where she worked on a variety of economic development initiatives to support local businesses and encourage new commercial investment in targeted areas in preparation for the Green Line Extension.
Over the course of her experience, Melisa has specifically enjoyed real estate development attending real estate finance courses and working with a local business partner on the renovation of a small-scale residential project - she worked to secure the permitting, develop the design, and worked with multiple contractors. The home sold in Spring, 2019.
President and CEO, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center
Kenneth Turner is President & CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), an economic development and investment agency dedicated to supporting the growth and development of the life sciences in Massachusetts. He directs and oversees the center's operations, investment strategy, programs, and partnerships. Prior to joining the MLSC, Mr. Turner serves as Director of Diversity & Inclusion/Compliance with Massport. He oversaw and managed the Authority's multiple diversity programs, including business and supplier diversity, workforce diversity, and airport concessions, as well as compliance initiatives with Massport's Disadvantaged/Minority/Women Business Enterprise programs. Previously, Mr. Turner serves as Deputy Secretary for Administration & Finance for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Veterans' Services. He has over 20-years of general management and executive experience in various Fortune 100 media and package good companies including having served as Senior Vice President of Emerging Markets at AOL Time Warner as well a having held various positions at Hallmark Cards and Hasbro Toys. A retired U.S Navy Captain and submarine nuclear weapons system officer with 26-years of service. Mr. Turner holds a B.S degree in Liberal Arts from Southern University and A&M College, Baton Rouge, LA.