Stephen Pike (right) never forgot the satisfaction he received from public service work, learned as a staffer in then-Governor Bill Weld’s environmental team.
Pike left the public sector in 1995 to get a law degree from Boston University and pursue a career as a corporate attorney. But he eventually returned, by joining the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center as its general counsel in 2013. And now, after what amounted to a 14-month tryout, Pike is CEO, overseeing a 60-person staff and a $58 million budget.
Pike took over for Alicia Barton on an interim basis in September 2015 after Barton joined SunEdison. (She now works at the law firm of Foley Hoag.) Last week, Pike was able to drop the “interim” from his title after the clean energy center’s board approved him for the position.
His job won’t change much as a result, though he will get a pay raise, earning $195,700 a year as CEO. Among his challenges for 2017: helping to shepherd the state’s nascent offshore wind industry and encouraging growth in electricity-storage technology and usage.
As various aspects of the clean energy industry mature, Pike says his agency is paying more attention to how to wean companies off of subsidies and other kinds of assistance.
“We are a bit more focused on the end game,” Pike says. “We try to look to the future and try to figure out how to let other folks take over.”
Though technically a separate agency, the clean energy center essentially acts as an arm of the governor’s administration. Governor Charlie Baker’s energy secretary, Matt Beaton, chairs the board and recommended Pike’s candidacy to the rest of the directors.
“After a pretty thorough search, he really rose to the top,” Beaton says. “Sometimes the answer is right under your nose, and this is one of those times.”
— JON CHESTO
A different kind
of beer summit
of beer summit
Regular readers know there’s little love lost between Massachusetts brewers and beer distributors, who have fought bitterly over alcohol law reforms.
But earlier this month, the leaders of each faction — Rob Burns of the Massachusetts Brewers Guild and Bill Kelley of the Beer Distributors of Massachusetts — met privately in an attempt to restart a direct dialogue. After all, both ultimately want the same thing: more people drinking more beer.
“We’re interested in working together better,” Burns says. “It casts a bad light on craft beer when the two parties are non-stop [griping] at each other.”
Burns, who co-founded Everett’s Night Shift Brewing, was perhaps an unlikely peace emissary. In October, Night Shift launched its own “brewer-friendly” distributorship, a move Burns says was a rebuke of fusty, established distributors who “love the status quo.” Kelley responded with a delightfully sarcastic statement: “We are hopeful that one day [Night Shift Distributing] achieves sufficient growth and success to be considered for membership in this association.”
But Burns says he and Kelley laughed about that exchange at their meeting. While the two didn’t achieve any breakthroughs, Burns says they discussed “how we can make beer the hottest thing again,” following recent declines in consumption.
— DAN ADAMS
Wage equality, set to a beat
Who knew the gender wage gap could make such a catchy pop tune?
Berklee College of Music student Mina Alali’s new single, “22 Cents Less,” laments the 78 cents to the dollar that women make compared with men nationwide, all set to an irresistibly bouncy beat.
Alali, 19, who recently signed with a record label and has an album out soon, wanted to tackle the issue after learning about the size of the gap.
“I was pretty shocked to hear that it was 22 cents less,” says Alali, who calls herself a “huge feminist.”
“I immediately thought, that’s a great title.”
Alali has never held a real job — “I tutored French for a while but that was under the table” — and has never experienced the wage gap first-hand. But she says her 52-year-old manager and cowriter, Arlene Mordeno, once made exactly 22 cents less an hour than a man with the same job.
It’s nice to live in a state that just passed a pay equity law aimed at eliminating the gender wage gap, Alali says, but she knows there’s a long way to go.
“This is so much bigger than me as an artist; this is a movement,” she says. “It’s kind of ridiculous that it’s 2016 and it’s still a problem.”
— KATIE JOHNSTON
Doing good, just by ordering lunch at the office
Lori Mabardi, a vice president at the real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle’s Boston office, was looking for a way for her team to give back to the community. JLL has 870 buildings under management in the United States, including Rowes Wharf and One Post Office Square in Boston. That’s a lot of people she could potentially reach.
“We’re uniquely positioned to partner with our landlords and tenants to do something good,” she says. And while canned food drives in office lobbies are common during the holidays, Mabardi was looking for a more sustainable way of giving.
Through an introduction to ezCater, the Boston-based online marketplace for 45,000 corporate caterers across the country, Mabardi came up with the idea of CaterCares.
Starting this month, every time a JLL leaseholder in Boston orders a meal through the ezCater site, they can opt to donate a percentage of its cost to the Greater Boston Food Bank. JLL and ezCater will both provide financial match — the real estate firm will donate an equivalent of 1 percent of the bill, with ezCater matching 10 percent of JLL’s donation.
The program piggybacks on the pre-existing ezCater rewards program, which until now has let companies get Amazon gift cards or cash back. “If the company is willing to donate those points it’s an easy process to redirect them,” says Stefania Mallett, ezCater’s chief executive.
Mabardi says JLL plans to roll out the CaterCares program throughout the country in the coming months.
“The compelling part for tenants is it’s a corporate social responsibility program in a box,” she said. “We’re hoping this becomes an annuity with a constant stream of funds that can go toward this cause.” — JANELLE NANOSCan’t keep a secret? Tell us. E-mail Bold Types at email@example.com.