Business & Tech

Bold Types

Former Olympian Dara Torres retrains, for profit and for health

Dara Torres, then 41, capped her career off with a silver medal in the 50-meter freestyle at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press/File
Dara Torres, then 41, capped her career off with a silver medal in the 50-meter freestyle at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Chris Morris for The Boston Globe
Torres will become a barre instructor at Bar Method in Wellesley.

Dara Torres proved you can still compete in the Olympics in your 40s. Now Torres is finding out what it’s like to go back to school in your 50s.

The renowned swimmer completed training this month to become an instructor for barre, an increasingly popular form of exercise that incorporates ballet movements. She plans to become certified later this spring, to teach at the Bar Method franchise in Wellesley.

Torres took this side gig after buying a 50 percent stake in the franchise in September, alongside her business partner, Sarah Bauman. Torres, who moved to the Boston area in 2012, was already a regular visitor when the opportunity to invest came along.


“I completely fell in love with the exercise program,” Torres says. “I was finding as you get older it’s more difficult to put muscle on your body and it’s much easier to lose it really quickly. [But with barre], I worked muscles I didn’t even know I had.”

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Torres was originally going to be a silent partner in the franchise. But she went to a meeting of owners in California, where the Bar Method chain is based, and other franchisees suggested that she become an instructor, as well.

This represents a new phase of her career, though she still gives motivational talks and makes appearances. She’s talking with Bauman about opening another Bar Method franchise in Florida, where Torres used to live. “I’m such a believer in this,” she says.


Torres also has taken up boxing.
John Blanding/Globe Staff/File 2016
Torres also has taken up boxing.

Retired but not unplugged

Tony Pangaro has left the building.


Long one of Boston’s most prolific developers and a chief architect in the revival of Downtown Crossing, Pangaro quietly retired from Millennium Partners this month. In an e-mail to the Globe, Pangaro said he was stepping down from his role leading the Boston office of the New York development company to spend time with his family, focus on his work on the boards of several nonprofits and Berklee College of Music, and “engage in private real estate development.”

Pangaro cut his teeth managing the MBTA’s Southwest Corridor project in the 1970s, then shifted to private development and joined forces with Millennium about 20 years ago. Since then, the firm has spearheaded a string of projects that transformed what used to be known as the Combat Zone: from the One Charles condo tower to the new Ritz-Carlton on Avery Street to Millennium Tower — which then-Mayor Thomas M. Menino recruited Pangaro to revive when the project was but a festering hole in the ground.

Never an especially public figure, Pangaro has stayed well behind the scenes in recent years. He played little public role in Millennium’s latest skyscraper project, at Winthrop Square, with colleague Joe Larkin doing the talking for Millennium. Now Larkin and Kathleen MacNeil, who oversaw construction of Millennium Tower, will step into Pangaro’s role entirely, taking over the leadership of Millennium’s Boston office and its many projects. Pangaro said he plans to keep a hand in the development game, consulting on a few local projects that are currently in a “quiet phase.”

So we may not have heard the last of him.


New faces at Partnership


Welcome to the club, Marianne Harrison and Tom Kennedy.

The Massachusetts Competitive Partnership, a Boston-based exclusive coalition of top CEOs, just inducted two new members: Harrison, the chief executive at John Hancock, and Kennedy, Raytheon’s chief executive.

Kennedy’s appointment was long expected. Raytheon was already a Partnership member. Kennedy took over for Bill Swanson in the top job at the Waltham defense contractor in 2014, but Swanson remained on the Partnership’s board until the end of last year. In fact, Swanson had been the board chairman, a role he handed over to Bob Reynolds, the chief executive at Putnam Investments.

The Partnership also has been trying to diversify its ranks. So it makes sense the group would include John Hancock now that the Boston-based subsidiary of Manulife Financial Corp. is run by a woman.

Manulife promoted Harrison to the job last fall.

The 17-member partnership board now has three women; the others are Sheila Lirio Marcelo of and Abby Johnson of Fidelity Investments.

Michael Dell also joined, after his namesake company acquired EMC in 2016. Dell takes the seat that had been held by former EMC chief Joe Tucci.

Dan O’Connell, the Partnership’s president and CEO, anticipates a busy year. The group plans to work with MassChallenge on an initiative to promote financial technology startups — similar to a successful digital health project the Partnership launched about two years ago. Under Marcelo’s lead, the group is also looking at pay equity issues. And it plans to push for Governor Charlie Baker’s zoning overhaul bill.

O’Connell, meanwhile, isn’t going anywhere just yet. The group started looking for his replacement last year. But the board eventually asked O’Connell to stay in his job for another year, so he plans to stick around until the end of 2018.


Too few workers?

A lack of workers may be the biggest impediment to growth in Massachusetts in coming years, and baby boomers may be to blame, members of the nonprofit economic development group MassEcon have been told.

Northeastern University economist Alan Clayton-Matthews, featured speaker at the organization’s 2018 kickoff meeting, said Bay State employers that are expanding may have to turn increasingly to immigrants or to people moving here from other states to fill their needs if current labor trends continue.

“The key constraint Massachusetts will have in growing its economy is low labor force growth,” Clayton-Matthews told the gathering in Westborough. “People my age are leaving [the workforce] rapidly.”

Then, as if to reassure his audience at the morning meeting, Clayton-Matthews glanced at a clock and promised “I’ll stay here till at least 10.”


Reconnected, in a way

The next time the Massachusetts Health Connector board meets, Jean Yang will be in the room again.

But Yang — former executive director of the Connector — will be in the audience this time. She is the new president of Tufts Health Plan’s public plans division, which includes the 351,000 people who have Tufts insurance through MassHealth or the Connector.

Yang is very familiar with the state’s health insurance exchange — and its darkest days. She led the agency from 2013 to 2015, including the period when the Connector’s website failed and made it impossible for thousands of people to sign up for coverage.

The Connector eventually recovered from that debacle, and Yang moved on to other roles.

“I’m actually very pleased to see the stability of the Health Connector in Massachusetts, especially given the significant turmoil outside the state,” she said Monday.

Yang led an accountable care organization at Boston Children’s Hospital before taking her new job at Tufts Health Plan. (Earlier in her career, she held another job at the Watertown-based insurer.)

Yang says she’s looking forward to the new gig — and to working with the state agency she used to run.


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