EMPLOYER: Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge
JOB: Senior director, Digital Center of Excellence
It’s important for me to be around people who embrace differences. As a Latino, gay, Jewish immigrant, I feel like all parts of me are welcome here. I’m passionate about my job, creating Web and digital marketing campaigns about the rare genetic diseases our medicines treat. Biotech still needs to make progress in diversity, but Alnylam is at the forefront. This is what makes this company so innovative — it deeply cares about helping patients. And this also extends to employees. After the pandemic hit, and my aging father needed help in Florida, Alnylam approved my request to relocate there permanently. This made a big difference for me and is yet another expression of heart and compassion.
FUN FACT: I’m Cuban and love to salsa dance, especially to Latin and Cuban music.
EMPLOYER: The Phia Group, Canton
JOB: Accounting assistant
I’m 83 years old but have no plans to retire. I can’t stand the thought of it. This is the most rewarding role I’ve ever had. I look forward to making a difference in people’s lives. I take care of all the checks that come in and prepare them to be deposited. I also track down any issues with transactions. My whole life has always been working with figures, and I’ve come up with ways to streamline the payment processing here. The Phia Group helps reduce the cost of health care, and that is important to all of us, including to my partner and me as we age.
FUN FACT: I fix all my home appliances by myself, whether it’s a TV or a toaster.
EMPLOYER: RE/MAX Executive Realty, Hopkinton
JOB: Real estate broker
My dad and my brother were both realtors, so it was natural for me to go into the business. I generally deal with buyers who are new to buying a house, and I enjoy making the process less stressful for them. On the listing side, I put my heart into getting the house ready. If I can sell it the first week, I feel like I’ve done my job — and luckily for five years I’ve mostly been able to do that. The majority of my clients are Indian, and the fact that I speak Punjabi fluently and share their culture makes them more comfortable. Most of my clients have become my friends. I’m so happy to provide them not just with a house but a home where they will make memories.
FUN FACT: I played Cindy Lou Who in our company’s holiday spoof of The Grinch.
EMPLOYER: Benchmark Senior Living, Adelaide of Newton Centre
JOB: Director of plant operations
I oversee the maintenance for a new memory care facility. I am a bit of a clean freak and take pride in keeping things sterile and organized. Even though I’m doing environmental work, I’m still face-to-face with residents every day and love hearing their stories. When COVID hit, it was all hands on deck. I helped the family of a resident spend their last minutes with him via a virtual connection, and when the granddaughter posted accolades about me on social media, Katie Couric picked it up on her Facebook page.
FUN FACT: I like going up to Vermont to hike in the mountains. It clears my mind to see the clouds and trees.
EMPLOYER: Rubius Therapeutics, Cambridge
I work on upstream development, helping to advance the process by which we manufacture our cellular medicines. The end goal of my job is to ensure we can make cell therapies at a lower cost. We are absolutely getting closer to this all the time, and there’s a lot of excitement and anticipation. Cancer is something that has impacted my family and friends. As a first-generation American born to Lebanese parents, I grew up with the mind-set that giving up is not an option. This drive continues today for me in the workforce and I am passionate about bringing better care to patients. A lot of lab colleagues have become close friends of mine.
FUN FACT: I de-stress by writing a crime novel.
EMPLOYER: VERC Enterprises, East Acton Mobil Mart
JOB: Team leader
I started as an overnight person, then became an assistant manager, and now team leader. The company took a chance on me, and, and since I have five kids, this helped me a lot. They’ve been very supportive through the ups and downs in life. Any questions or worries I have, I can go straight to the owner. Now, I have three family members also working for VERC. We have regular customers who come in, and I always treat them with respect, whether they want to buy a lottery ticket or a coffee. They say it’s not like being in a convenience store but like visiting family.
FUN FACT: I like to travel all over New England to try new restaurants.
EMPLOYER: Mimecast, Lexington
JOB: Traffic manager
Mimecast provides cybersecurity for companies, and I coordinate project management and improve operational efficiencies for our digital and creative teams. I serve as a bridge, connecting the dots with folks in different organizations. People do make jokes about my traffic manager title — ironically, I got into a car accident right before I started this role. I find management is very responsive, including during the current climate of civil unrest and racial injustice. I lead the People of Color Employee Resource Group and helped facilitate a powerful dialogue internally, raising awareness and having conversations. I have a voice here and love that I can make an impact in the company and beyond.
FUN FACT: I am a huge Frank Sinatra fan and can sing a handful of his songs verbatim for karaoke.
SHELLEY ROSENBAUM LIPMAN
EMPLOYER: PCI, Lexington
JOB: Systems engineer
PCI provides engineering support for the Air Force, and I develop air traffic control systems, specifically the user interface. Too often there are pain points because no one really thought about the end user. It’s a source of pride that what I’m developing is actually going to be useful to people. Because I’m also a general aviation pilot, this gives me a unique perspective. It’s important to me that Air Force pilots have the best environment in which to fly. It might sound like a cliché, but . . . PCI really cares about employees.
FUN FACT: As a volunteer for the Civil Air Patrol, where I am the director of aerospace education for kids, I worked to fill orders at the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency warehouse during the height of COVID-19.
EMPLOYER: Roche Bros.' Brothers Marketplace, Duxbury
JOB: Bakery manager
I start the day by saying bon dia to other employees in Cape Verdean Creole, my native language. I learned how to bake when I was very young, and when I came to the US, I went back to school and found my love was baking. I’m also a people person, so I make sure my customers are treated well. I’ve even made a last-minute wedding cake in three hours for a customer whose ceremony was postponed due to COVID and didn’t want to wait anymore. Everything I do is from the heart, and that’s why I also love working here. We are like a family.
FUN FACT: I like to dance the merengue; the rhythm is very fast and it makes me feel happy.
EMPLOYER: Celtic Angels Home Health Care, Weymouth
JOB: Home health aide
I want to make my clients' lives as satisfying as possible, whether it’s helping out with hygiene, taking them to appointments, preparing meals, or playing chess with them. I’ve even cleaned out gutters and spent 12 hours sorting through paperwork. I was in the Army National Guard, so I have a special connection with veterans. Not to sound like a fortune cookie, but in a dark world you can bring a little light. I received a Rising Star award from a health care alliance for being an everyday hero, but personally, I think I was just doing my job.
FUN FACT: I have three guinea pigs named Stacy, Stella, and Sadie and they are Instagram famous (@stacie_stella_).
*Interviews have been edited and condensed for clarity.