Martha Samuelson takes on new challenge at Boston Medical Center

Martha Samuelson.
Martha Samuelson.(Chris Morris for The Boston Globe)

It turns out Elaine Ullian knew what she was doing nine years ago when she invited Martha Samuelson to visit Boston Medical Center, which Ullian ran at the time, for a tour.

The chief executive of Boston consultancy, the Analysis Group, Samuelson says she was “knocked over” by the breadth of services that she witnessed firsthand at the city hospital. It didn’t take long before she agreed to serve on BMC’s board of trustees.

“I’d rather give my time and financial resources to help people [who] don’t have the opportunities that I’ve had in my life,” Samuelson says. “That felt like that’s what this hospital was trying to accomplish.”


Now, she’s taking her service to BMC to a new level: Samuelson was just elected chairman of the BMC board, succeeding former TJX Cos. chief executive Ted English .

As a board member, Samuelson has already helped guide the hospital through some big tasks, including a leadership transition from Ullian to current chief executive Kate Walsh and merger talks with Tufts Medical Center that were ultimately ended without a deal.

The new role will mean more juggling as Samuelson balances it with her day job running the Analysis Group, which provides heavy-duty economic and business advice and strategy. The full BMC board only meets four times a year. But there are plenty of additional time commitments —events, emergencies, e-mails and the like. Samuelson expects to devote at least 20 hours a month to the board. For her, the sacrifice is worth it, an opportunity to apply her business acumen to a nonprofit that provides valuable services to many of the city’s disadvantaged residents.


An optimistic horizon for Camp Harbor View

When Kool & the Gang urges the audience to “celebrate good times” at Camp Harbor View’s annual Beach Ball this Saturday night, Jack Connors will have plenty of reasons to do exactly that.


After all, the adman-turned-philanthropist says he is on track to raise more money this year for the charity he founded, Camp Harbor View, than the $5.5 million he raised in 2015. And, you may remember, last year the summer camp on Long Island in Boston Harbor had a whole new set of expenses after the city closed the dilapidated Long Island Bridge, forcing campers and counselors to get there by boat.

Connors put his extensive Rolodex back to work again this year, with the help of event co-chairs, Bank of America vice chair Anne Finucane, and Brigham and Women’s Health Care president Betsy Nabel.

The primary expense is the camp itself, which accommodates 900 urban youth each summer. But the Camp Harbor View Foundation also aims to provide services at other times of the year. For example, president Sharon McNally says the nonprofit just leased 2,000 square feet of space on Washington Street in Roxbury, primarily to provide after-school programming starting with the new school year.

McNally also says the foundation is about to embark on an ambitious campaign to raise at least $30 million for its endowment, to make the camp self-sustaining or at least less reliant on an annual fund-raiser. The goal: a celebration to last throughout the years.


Pops to pay tribute to Staples founder Stemberg

The celebrity headliner at Wednesday’s annual “President at Pops,” a Boston Symphony Orchestra fund-raiser designed for companies and their clients, will be show business legend Mandy Patinkin (better known to “Homeland” lovers as CIA agent Saul Berenson and to “Princess Bride” lovers as Spanish fencer Inigo Montoya).


But a local business celebrity of sorts will also be recognized at the concert: Staples founder Tom Stemberg, a former BSO trustee who died of cancer in October at age 66.

At the concert, the Boston Pops and conductor Keith Lockhart will perform a musical tribute to Stemberg, with each piece having special significance.

The “Blue Danube” by Johann Strauss II, for example, was chosen because Stemberg’s parents were Austrian immigrants and he spent much of his childhood in Vienna.

Jazz musician Artie Shaw’s “Concerto for Clarinet” was picked because Stemberg played clarinet as a child and was a big fan of swing music. And “My Girl” and “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” both by the Temptations, are a tip of the hat to Stemberg’s love of Motown songs.

“This was a great opportunity for us to say thank you posthumously,” said Dennis Alves, director of artistic planning for the Pops, “and make a public tribute to a great man.”


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