There’s a new person in charge of the Partnership Inc., the Boston nonprofit that fosters the careers of minority professionals. But that person has a familiar face — and not just because he was promoted from within the organization.
The Partnership’s board just appointed Pratt Wiley to be CEO, taking over immediately for Carol Fulp, now that she has retired. Wiley had been working full time for the Partnership for the past year or so but joined the organization on a part-time basis after moving back to the Boston area from Washington in 2017.
His ties to the Partnership go back much further. His mother, Bennie Wiley, ran the group for 15 years. Wiley says he remembers an orientation for Partnership fellows taking place in the living room of his family’s Brookline home.
“When my mom first took over, a key business principle of hers was to employ as much child labor as she could,” Wiley jokes. “My sister and I, we earned our keep by stuffing envelopes and working registration desks, back in the day.”
But Wiley says he’s not taking the job because of nostalgia. Instead, he rattles off a number of initiatives to put his own stamp on the group.
He wants to expand the Partnership’s focus beyond big corporate employers to encompass small businesses and entrepreneurs. He hopes to continue his efforts to expand its work beyond New England, and to bring more executives of color from around the country to Boston for leadership training. He also wants to showcase some of the Partnership’s 4,000 alumni and share their success stories.
Wiley had been working as a corporate lawyer in Boston at Nutter, McClennen & Fish before joining President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012. He moved to Chicago and then headed to Washington in 2013 after Obama won. There, Wiley became the national director of voter expansion for the Democratic National Committee.
Wiley attributes his decision to return to Boston, in part, to Fulp, a mentor of his. Fulp had joined some members of the Partnership’s “next generation” program on a trip to D.C. in 2016. Wiley had been visiting with the entourage when Fulp took him aside.
“Carol Fulp grabbed my arm and said, ‘It’s time for you to come home,’ ” Wiley says. “What I didn’t realize at the time is she didn’t just mean Boston. She also meant the Partnership.” — JON CHESTO
Citizens Energy puts focus on renewables
Like many other energy companies, Joe Kennedy II’s Citizens Energy has shifted its focus from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
That was quite evident on Thursday, when Citizens Energy and Kennedy, the nonprofit’s chairman, held an event in Revere to showcase their new community-shared solar program for low-income residents.
The announcement was made at the home of Nancy DiGaetano, a grandmother who is the program’s first participant, and drew House Speaker Bob DeLeo and Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo.
Citizens Energy, through a for-profit arm, is building five solar arrays on capped former landfills across the state: in Ashland, Ayer, Bridgewater, Spencer, and Springfield.
Together, these five solar projects will generate 16 megawatts of electricity, making it the largest low-income, shared-solar community initiative in the state.
Like similar initiatives, this program gives renters and others who wouldn’t otherwise be able to directly benefit from solar power an opportunity to do so.
Participating low-income households get electricity at roughly a 50 percent discount through the sale of credits related to the power generated by the solar panels, saving them $150 a year.
Citizens Energy needs to sign up at least 3,500 low-income customers to fully benefit from the reimbursement rates for these kinds of programs established by state regulations.
To do so, chief executive Pete Smith says, Citizens will launch a marketing campaign on its social media channels and reach out to nonprofit partners it has worked with in the past to drive potential customers to the website, at citizensenergy.com.
For now, there won’t be any ads on TV for JOE-4-SUN like the JOE-4-OIL spots, Smith says. Citizens’ heating oil assistance program ended four years ago, when Citgo stopped donating the fuel. — JON CHESTO
New capital, new staff for Cybereason
When Cybereason chief executive Lior Div moved his company here from Tel Aviv in 2014, he had a bold ambition: Build the biggest cybersecurity company in the world and base it in Boston.
Div isn’t there yet. But he just got one step closer: On Tuesday, the company announced a $200 million funding round led by the Japanese investment group SoftBank.
Cybereason currently employs about 500 people, including 180 who are at 200 Clarendon (formerly the Hancock Tower). Div says the new infusion of capital will help the company add another 100 people in Boston over the next 18 months.
— JON CHESTO
Dynatrace IPO isn’t just about the cash
The main goal of an initial public offering is to raise money. Sell stock, get cash.
But there is a secondary benefit, too, one that Dynatrace Inc. is looking to capitalize on: increased public awareness.
Until its IPO last week, the Waltham company had kept a relatively low profile — maybe because the cloud-computing software firm has had a somewhat unusual ownership history. It was acquired by Compuware, then bought by the private equity firm Thoma Brova as part of its acquisition of Compuware, then spun out as a separate company, all within the span of less than a decade.
With its IPO, Dynatrace becomes something else: the first Massachusetts tech company to go public in more than a year. (The stock did well on its first day, by the way, rising nearly 50 percent.)
About 100 employees from the 2,000-person company trekked to the New York Stock Exchange to celebrate on Thursday. Among those on hand for the opening bell: the CEO, John Van Siclen; founder Bernd Greifeneder; the chief marketing officer, Mike Maciag; and the chief financial officer, Kevin Burns. — JON CHESTO