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Top Places to Work

Ten workers from the state’s Top Places to Work on why they love their jobs

From a scientist to a police officer, these people are passionate about what they do.

From left: James Mailloux of the VA Boston Healthcare System, Brockton; Jennie Li of Definitive Healthcare; Gilberto Pina of bluebird bio; and Eric Bullen of Aqueduct Technologies. Photos by Jonathan Wiggs/Globe staff


Employer: Slalom, Boston

Job: Consultant

I’m an engineer and consultant on the application development team. When I started here, I was the only woman on a team of 15 engineers; now 20 percent of the team is female. I started the women in tech group to accelerate women in technology; now we’re rolling it out to all our different offices. I feel a sense of responsibility to do my best and help other women realize their potential. I love the entrepreneurial spirit here. Slalom has given me room to work on the things I’m passionate about, especially supporting diversity in tech. This is a very authentic place and I love what I do.


Fun fact: I have my black belt in karate. I practiced Kensho-Ryu Kenpo for 10 years.


Employer: Darling Consulting Group, Newburyport

Job: Quantitative consultant

I build and validate statistical models for banks and other financial institutions that quantifies the risk of granting a loan. I was talking to one banker about a new accounting standard for estimating losses. He got that ah-ha look when he understood the new mathematical approach, and that is very rewarding. I take that same analytical approach as a Pokémon master, and this job gives me the flexibility to juggle work while also traveling to Pokémon tournaments. My colleagues came to cheer me on at the Pokémon world championships in Boston in 2015.

Fun fact: When I recently became a US citizen [Chen is also a citizen of his native Taiwan and of Canada], my co-workers gifted me a giant US flag at a company party.


Employer: Beam Therapeutics, Cambridge

Job: Senior scientist, head of DNA platforms

I am so excited to continue developing genome editing CRISPR/Cas9 technologies to help patients suffering from debilitating illnesses. We are trying to take these molecular machines and improve them and make them more efficient. This is a startup and everything is very high velocity, as well as collaborative and stimulating. Everyone here has a common drive and is passionate about genome editing technologies — we are here for no other reason. I’m honored and privileged that my job is to bring this technology to the world. I loved this job from day one, and continue to have a deeper and greater appreciation of what is possible. Nothing can replace that sense of purpose.


Fun fact: I’ve been playing the flute since I was in fourth grade and now perform in a jazz and wind ensemble.


Employer: VA Boston Healthcare System, Brockton

Job: Police officer

The Brockton VA campus is like a small town with its own [rules] and regulations. I run patrols and monitor the buildings and grounds, along with three to five other officers on duty. We see our fair share of action, and often encounter veterans suffering from medical and psychological trauma. Most of us are veterans as well, so there’s a camaraderie between us and those we serve. Recently, when a veteran overdosed on fentanyl, we administered Narcan, and thankfully, he was saved. There was so much relief and thankfulness in his girlfriend’s eyes. It’s a good feeling to be of service, especially to other vets.

Fun fact: I find it relaxing to go to the gun range.


Employer: Bluebird bio, Cambridge

Job: Manufacturing specialist

I provide technical support for gene therapy manufacturing runs; these are ongoing clinical studies carried out by contract manufacturing organizations. I try to maximize and optimize the process, looking for continual improvement. I manage the whole process from start to finish, making sure documentation is accurate and on time. Each batch is for just one patient, but there is still tons to oversee. It’s very rewarding, especially when I meet patients with severe genetic diseases whom we are trying to help. I’m doing something special, and there’s a ton of excitement that the company is getting close to being able to provide something curative.


Fun fact: I play the violin in the company’s in-house band and we recently won the Battle of the Biotech Bands.

From left: Wanda J. Walsh of Fidelity Bank; Sam Chen of Darling Consulting; Nicole Gaudelli of Beam Therapeutics; Jose Rivera of Peabody Properties; Aishwarya Bhadouria of Slalom; and Olivia Volante of Capo Restaurant and Supper Club. Photographs by Jonathan Wiggs/Globe staff


Employer: Fidelity Bank, Leominster

Job: Collections manager

One of my jobs is to call people who are delinquent with mortgages, car loans, or credit loans. But we are a community bank and aren’t going to just send you a demand notice if you’re three days past due. I’m able to talk to customers, find out what the situation is, and make some sort of payment plan if needed. They might be going through a hard place in life, and I know what that’s like, because I’m a single mom who lost my daughter a few years ago. That’s when I really discovered how special this bank is. They supported me and continue to help with charitable causes that keep my daughter’s memory alive.

Fun fact: I own a Belted Galloway cow named Ree; she’s black on the front and back and white in the middle, like an Oreo.



Employer: Peabody Properties, Braintree

Job: Service manager

I make sure that all maintenance requests at the Braintree Village apartment complex are done promptly and properly. I check on the grounds and make sure vendors are doing their work. We have 324 units on-site, with 27 buildings, and I live here. I like helping the tenants, and seeing results. I’m here to serve in any way, whether painting or fixing. I’m a hands-on guy and very handy when it comes to repairs. My English used to be not that great, but I’ve learned to express myself clearly and confidently. As soon as the music stops, it starts again. There’s always more to do.

Fun fact: As a Ping-Pong player, I got to the finals in the Caribbean league.


Employer: Capo Restaurant and Supper Club, South Boston

Job: Server

I started here two years ago as a food runner, bringing hundreds of meals from the kitchen to the tables. Oh my goodness, it’s crazy. I learned to master the three-plate carry — two plates on the left arm, and one with the other hand. I have small hands so it was tough at first. Now I’m a server, and really like how fast-paced it is. I meet all sorts of interesting customers. This job is helping me to pay for school at UMass Boston 100 percent by myself. And if I have a lot of schoolwork, the management is understanding about giving me time off to study.


Fun fact: I have a school record for the 60-meter indoor hurdles, 10.17 seconds, at UMass Boston.


Employer: Aqueduct Technologies, Waltham

Job: Service coordinator

I’m retired from the Air Force as an air controller, but here at Aqueduct, I’m directing traffic in a different way. We provide technology solutions for companies, everything from data migration to security. As service coordinator, I make sure IT requests are matched to the right team so technology issues are resolved quickly. Just as my role in the military required analysis and attention to detail, this role also demands efficiency. But there’s also work-life balance, which I appreciate. I have some service-connected medical injuries and have the flexibility to work remotely, which is very helpful. This company is all about people, and I feel lucky to be here.

Fun fact: I sing low bass in the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus.


Employer: Definitive Healthcare, Framingham

Job: Manager, sales and service operations

This was my first job after college in 2015. There were only about 50 employees. Now there are almost 300. [Back then]there weren’t many processes or systems in place to support our customers. I saw the need for a customer success operations role to support more strategic engagement. I walked into my manager’s office and asked to write my own job description and create my new role. He agreed, and was very supportive. That flexibility and trust is incredible. Since then, there’s been so much growth — and so much opportunity. I now support two teams and manage 10 employees. I love the problem-solving. Change and improvement is what drives me.

Fun fact: I geek out on craft stuff, like sewing quilts. I find it very cathartic.

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