• Connecting Business with Government


Preparation, patience, and persistence are the three keys to successful business relationships with government, according to a series of distinguished panelists at the most recent meeting of Boston’s Future Leaders, sponsored by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and the Center for Public Management at the Sawyer Business School at Suffolk University.

“These events are terrific networking opportunities,” said Elisabeth Hughes, senior manager of corporate training at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, “but they also highlight the intersection of not-for-profit companies with the government and entrepreneurs, which is important to understand.”

The Nov. 5 hands-on event, held at Suffolk Law School, included a keynote address by Ralph C. Martin II, former Suffolk County District Attorney and current partner at the international law firm Bingham McCutchen and managing principal at Bingham Consulting Group. A panel discussion with representatives from lobbyists, trade organization and business outlined “The Five Things You Need to Know”  to develop a successful relationship with government agencies. The panelists, Steve Tocco, President and CEO of ML Strategies, James W. Hunt, Jr. President and CEO, Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, and former State Senator Patricia McGovern, General Counsel and Senior Vice President, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, shared their experiences and suggested strategies from within and outside the government arena.

This is the sixth year the Chamber and Suffolk have partnered for the Future Leaders program and in his remarks, Sawyer Business School Dean William J. O’Neill, Jr. emphasized the importance of interdisciplinary cooperation and the need to understand an issue from several different angles. Participants in the year-long series of programs are nominated by their employers and come from across disciplines, including the legal, health care, and financial services fields.

“My work is primarily in the courtroom,” said Barry Miller, an associate at Seyfarth Shaw LLP. “I work on labor and employment class action suits, but I've found these seminars valuable because they raise issues that may come up for our clients and educate me about challenges in other fields.”


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