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Newton, Needham, Watertown, Wellesley

‘Business Leaders of Color’ list to be released May 19

‘Business Leaders of Color’ list to be released May 19

Greater Boston’s inner western suburbs aren’t often celebrated for their diversity. But on May 19 the Charles River Regional Chamber in collaboration with Colette Phillips, and her companies Colette Phillips Communications and Get Konnected! will shine a spotlight on the often unnoticed and overlooked business people of color and the companies that are making a difference there.

The two organizations will publish a list of “50 Most Influential Business Leaders of Color in Greater Boston’s Western Suburbs” as well as “20 Emerging Leaders of Color,” focused on those under 40 working in the same footprint.

The report will be an updated -- and expanded -- version of the original list first published by the collaboration in 2020.  The list became an essential resource for corporations and nonprofits looking to hire, looking for board members, looking for expert commentators, and looking for thought leaders across the region.

To qualify for either the “50 Most Influential Leaders”” or “Emerging Leaders” lists, honorees have to work and/or sit on a board for a business or nonprofit that is physically located in Newton, Needham, Watertown, Waltham, Wellesley, Natick or Framingham.

The list was culled from close to 200 nominations from area businesses and individuals and selected by a prestigious panel of judges, including:  
“This year's lists are truly remarkable and unprecedented,” said Phillips, president & CEO of Colette Phillips Communications and founder of Get Konnected!  “By honoring 50 of the ‘Most Influential Business Leaders of Color’ in Greater Boston’s western suburbs and 20 ‘Emerging Leaders of Color,’ we as a community are actively joining together to amplify and celebrate the positive and impactful contributions people of color are making to our Commonwealth.

“Rather than their success going unnoticed, lists like these are deeply impactful and demonstrative of the diversity, equity, and inclusion that exists in our western suburbs. I applaud the Charles River Regional Chamber for this bold initiative and partnership,” Phillips added.

Charles River Chamber President Greg Reibman said the publication will serve as both update and -- just as importantly -- a progress report.

“Greater Boston’s western suburbs are often dismissed for their homogeneity. But the truth is, it’s a region that draws people of all ethnicities from all points of the globe.  This project aims to showcase the individuals and employers who are making a positive contribution to our economic and social fabric but also measure where we come up short,” said Reibman.   “We are deeply grateful to the team at Get Konnected!, our remarkable judges and everyone who took the time to submit nominations.” 

This initiative is made possible thanks to the generous financial support from Direct Federal Credit Union as well as Insource Services Inc., The Village Bank, Eastern Bank, Fidelity Bank, MORE Advertising, the UMass Foundation and Mark Development.

Both lists will be released May 19 and published online at and in a special printed publication.  The Chamber and Get Konnected will partner on events in the months to come spotlighting the honorees and opportunities and challenges surrounding nurturing a diverse workforce.
About the Charles River Regional Chamber
The Charles River Regional Chamber is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) organization funded by memberships, sponsorships and programming revenue. Our members represent everything from multigenerational family businesses and multinational companies to start-ups, educational institutions and other nonprofits. They’re based in villages and town centers, commercial districts, office parks and home offices throughout Newton, Needham, Watertown and Wellesley. They come from other communities too, choosing to belong to this chamber because they see opportunities here.

About Get Konnected!
Founded as a DE&I social impact venture, Get Konnected!™ is Boston’s premier cross- cultural business networking event series. It brings together professionals, business and civic leaders and entrepreneurs from all cultures across industries and sectors. The mission is to curate meaningful cross-cultural business and social connections, enrich professional development, facilitate business and career opportunities, and support an organization’s employee and consumer engagement and retention, while helping to make Boston a more welcoming and inclusive city. Named by Boston Magazine as Boston’s Best Networking Group in Best of Boston 2022 [] and 2020 [], Get Konnected! is also the creator of a series of specialized lists that celebrate, document and showcase the contributions people of color are making to the economic, civic and social fabric of Boston and Massachusetts. These lists include the historic GK100, Boston’s first comprehensive list of the 100 Most Influential People of Color;  Boston’s Most Impactful Black Women 2021The 50 Most Influential People of Color in Higher Ed;  The GK 50, Boston’s Most Influential People of Color in Healthcare and Life Sciences;  The GK25, Boston’s 25 Most Influential Millennials of Color; The GK50 Attorneys, Boston’s 50  Most Influential Attorneys of Color; GK25LGBTQ+, The 25 Most Influential LGBTQ+ People of Color and the 2020. 
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The University of Massachusetts Foundation

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