Elizabeth Turnbull Henry believes there’s more common ground to be found between environmental and business groups, and she wants to play a critical role in finding it.
She’ll get that opportunity — more often, perhaps, than she suspects — as the new president of the Environmental League of Massachusetts.
Henry, who is 34, will take over for George Bachrach next month as Bachrach, 65, retires after 10 years leading the Boston-based environmental group. Bachrach, a former state senator, picked Henry as his successor in part because she represents a new generation of leadership in the city. And her background is in business — not politics, like his.
“Environmental advocates can only push their agenda so far,” Bachrach says. “Then this has to be turned into an economic issue.”
Bachrach has taken some steps in this regard already, most notably with the formation in 2008 of the ELM Corporate Council, which supports ELM’s efforts. Council members include Biogen, Boston Scientific, and Eastern Bank.
But Henry, who most recently worked at Adidas in Canton, wants to take those efforts a step further. She plans to make the case that spending money on the environment improves property values all around. Witness the development boom that followed the Boston Harbor cleanup.
“If you create a beautiful place to work, people will flock to it,” Henry says.
She says she’ll still take on corporate “bad actors” — and their allies in the State House — much like Bachrach. Some of the public policy issues ELM will tackle: pushing for a carbon pricing plan, energy efficiency ratings for houses, and an expeditious start for the state’s offshore wind industry.
Like many nonprofits, ELM runs on a tight budget: roughly $1 million a year, for a 10-person payroll. But Henry knows a thing or two about efficiency. She built and lived in a 144-square-foot home for three years while going to grad school at Yale University.
Henry has already proved her networking skills. While leading sustainability efforts at Adidas, she launched a series of quarterly dinner meetings in which peers in similar roles meet to discuss the issues they face as they push to make their employers more environmentally friendly.
“I thought she was really good at bringing people together,” says Johanna Jobin, director of global sustainability at Biogen. — JON CHESTO
The Big 225
There aren’t many businesses that can brag about celebrating their 225th birthday this year.
But State Street Corp. executives didn’t have to go far to find someone else who could share the honors.
It turns out that 2017 also marks the Big 225 for the New York Stock Exchange, where Boston-based State Street has been listed since 1995.
So the two organizations held a joint celebration on Monday. This being State Street and the NYSE, it didn’t involve candles and cake. Instead, State Street chief executive Jay Hooley headed to Manhattan with more than 60 of his State Street colleagues to ring the stock exchange’s closing bell. Other top execs joining Hooley included chief financial officer Eric Aboaf, president Mike Rogers, chief administrative officer Karen Keenan, HR chief Kathy Horgan, and chief marketing officer Hannah Grove.
During his time at the podium, Hooley talked about his company’s long history — it can be traced back to the opening of Union Bank in Boston in 1792, the city’s third bank — and how State Street has managed what he calls numerous “market shifts” since that time.
Of course, the stock exchange is just a couple blocks from where the Fearless Girl statue is staring down Wall Street’s Charging Bull. So it’s not surprising that State Street employees lined up with the tourists to take photos with the smaller statue.
State Street paid for Fearless Girl to promote a new fund that invests with companies with a significant number of women in their executive ranks. But the girl has become a symbol of much more than a clever marketing campaign since its debut in March.
— JON CHESTO
Going to bat for museum
This is quite an early birthday gift.
Worcester’s EcoTarium, a science and nature museum celebrating its 200th birthday in 2025, recently received a $600,000 grant from the Yawkey Foundations, the philanthropies associated with the legacy of Tom and Jean Yawkey, former owners of the Boston Red Sox.
The gift will be used to help reinvigorate the EcoTarium campus, including its former polar bear exhibit. The exhibit was once home to a beloved polar bear named Kenda, who ate and slept on a simulated iceberg and swam in a deep water pool with windows before legions of central Massachusetts children.
The Yawkey Foundations’ grant will help the museum construct a major new exhibit encompassing the old space and call it Wild Cat Station. Spanning an acre, the new exhibit will include a two-story mountain lion exhibit with viewing stations for guests. Bird mews (a type of birdhouse for birds of prey), a multi-purpose educational plaza, and a wildlife care building will also transform Kenda’s former habitat.
Kenda was born at the center to her polar bear parents, Ursa Minor and Ursa Major. The exhibit has been vacant since Kenda’s death six years ago at the age of 27.
“We are excited to see the positive impact the museum has made in the Worcester community,” said James Healey, Yawkey Foundations’ president and trustee. “With growing recognition as a national leader among small and mid-sized science and nature museums, the EcoTarium is taking its long history of success to new levels.”
The museum, incorporated in 1884 as the Worcester Natural History Society, became known as the New England Science Center in 1986 and changed its name to EcoTarium in 1998.
The center has been the beneficiary of Yawkey Foundations’ gifts for more than a decade, and $100,000 of the most recent grant will also fund ongoing operations. Joe Cox, EcoTarium president, said the grant ensures “that we continue to grow as an accessible resource for all in our community.”
— MEGAN WOOLHOUSE