In the carefully chosen words of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts spokeswoman Tricia Wajda, it’s “an interesting time” for the organization to bring onboard a new president and chief executive.
To say the least.
The nonprofit is accustomed to political controversy, but its latest is particularly contentious: congressional investigations into how it handles fetal tissue after abortions.
Antiabortion groups accuse Planned Parenthood of selling the tissue for profit and say undercover videos prove it. Planned Parenthood denies the charges and calls the videos misleadingly edited, but also says it will no longer accept reimbursement for the costs of providing fetal tissue for medical research.
Amid that charged landscape, Dr. Jennifer Childs-Roshak (above) has been named PPLM’s new leader and proudly says this: “I have no qualms at all about being a vocal supporter of the importance of the work Planned Parenthood does, and I have 150 percent backing for the quality of that work.”
Roshak, 51, who lives in the Back Bay, is the first doctor to lead the Boston-based organization. She’s been a primary care physician for more than 20 years, including as regional medical director for Atrius Health (she’s based at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates’ Kenmore Square practice), Milford Regional Medical Center, Tri-County Medical Associates in Milford, and Family Health Center of Worcester.
Roshak, who begins her new job Nov. 23, succeeds Marty Walz, who resigned in January.
The hedge fund manager’s musical alter ego
By day, Peter Muller runs a $3.5 billion quantitative hedge fund in New York. By night, his alter ego Pete Muller, is a piano-playing singer-songwriter who’s taking the stage at the Berklee College of Music this Friday night.
He and an eight-piece band will be there to kick off his third album, “Two Truths and a Lie,” his first in a decade. The last one came out in 2004, when he was running a trading group inside Wall Street’s Morgan Stanley . He figured he’d be back in the recording studio soon, but then the markets went south.
“All of a sudden there was a quant crisis in 2007 and a financial crisis in 2008, and I found myself really focused on that and without any time to record,’’ Muller said in a phone interview.
By 2013, he had spun his trading group out as an independent firm, Process Driven Trading Partners . Now 52, he’s chief executive of PDT, a dad, a dog lover, and a crossword-puzzle-creating math whiz, who plays music whenever he can.
“I’ve always loved music, and I’ve always loved math and puzzles,’’ said Muller, a Berklee trustee. “When I’m passionate about something, I try to do that as much as possible.”
Proceeds from the Berklee show will go to nonprofits providing musical instruments and lessons for kids. Profits from the album will go to Charity: Water, which helps dig wells in impoverished nations.
Undercover Lego operation
Before deciding to bring his company to Boston, Colin Gillespie first had to go undercover. The president of Lego Education North America knew he wanted to move the firm from Pittsburg, Kan., to a place where it would be easier to hire talented workers and work more closely with educational partners. But he wasn’t sure where. So he checked out 27 different cities, and narrowed the search down to three. In those three, he introduced himself as “Tom from an education company.”
All signs pointed to Boston. He eventually settled on a 20,000-square-foot office at 501 Boylston St., coincidentally the location of MIT’s first home. The division of the Denmark-based toy maker, which works to integrate Lego products in classroom settings, plans to open its Back Bay office in March.
Lego’s pending arrival was first heralded by Mayor Martin J. Walsh, in a speech the mayor gave to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce last month in which he announced that the relocation would bring 75 jobs to Boston.
Moving to the Back Bay will put Lego Education’s division within an eighth of a mile of 30 other education companies, Gillespie said. He said that was all part of the plan: “We wanted an area that had a unique education ecosystem.” JON CHESTO
Raj Sisodia was a moderately disgruntled marketing professor at Bentley University , as he tells it, until he stumbled upon the concept of “conscious capitalism.”
In his 2007 book “Firms of Endearment” — oh yes, he went there — Sisodia wrote about businesses that have a purpose beyond profits, driven not by shareholders but by employees, customers, and communities. The book helped spearhead a movement, which inspired a magazine, and now a national tour, which lands Thursday night at Workbar, a shared office space in Cambridge’s Central Square.
The event will feature local speakers — including Sisodia, Natasha Lamb of Arjuna Capital , John Hilliard of Next Jump , Elizabeth Sheehan of Care 2 Communities , and Jason Talbot of Artists for Humanity — who will share stories of how they found meaning in their work.
There are 23 Conscious Capitalist chapters around the world, where business types work to spread the word about fulfilling workplaces and nonego-driven leadership, and the event will serve as a kickoff for the fledgling New England chapter. Several members of the chapter’s leadership will be there, including chairwoman Darby Hobbs of Social3 .
“Human beings are driven by self interest and caring,” said Sisodia, now at Babson College. “We built the entire institution of capitalism only on self interest. We left out the caring dimension.” KATIE JOHNSTON
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