Boston Unplugged: Mapping a Wireless Future

WED, FEB 15, 2006 (1:38:24)

In 2006, a panel convened to address wireless technology and affordable strategies to bridge the “digital divide”. They sought to pave the way for innovation and new tools to strengthen education, enrich civic participation and nurture community networks. Internet access is a critical tool for cities across the country and around the world that compete in the new economy driven by knowledge networks and information.

+ BIO: Paul Grogan

Paul Grogan is the president and chief executive officer of the Boston Foundation. Previously, Paul served as vice president for Government, Community and Public Affairs at Harvard University, where he oversaw all government relations for Harvard, relations with Harvard’s host communities of Cambridge and Boston, and the Harvard news office. He was also a Senior Lecturer at the Harvard Business School. While at Harvard, Paul also created a new national organization, CEOs for Cities, comprised of large city mayors, business leaders, university presidents and foundation executives. Paul has also served as President and CEO of the nonprofit Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the nation’s largest community development intermediary. During his term as president, LISC raised and invested more than $3 billion of private capital in inner-city revitalization efforts across America, channeled through local nonprofit community development corporations. He is a trustee of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, founder and a director of the for-profit company, the Community Development Trust, and a director of New Profit, Inc.

+ BIO: Richard M. Burnes

Richard M. Burnes is a founding member and general partner at Charles River Ventures, one of the nation’s major venture capital firms. He has been a venture capitalist since beginning his career in 1965, and co-founded Charles River Ventures in 1970, playing a major role in the firm’s development. His focus in recent years has been investment in the fields of communications and information services. He holds a BA degree from Harvard University, and a MD in Business Administration from Boston University. Among his other interests, he is a trustee of Boston’s Museum of Science, and Vice Chair of the Sea Education Association. Mr. Burnes is a past chairman of the board of the Middlesex School, and has been a major fundraiser for that institution. He is also a director of Concord Communications and Passport Corporation.

+ BIO: John Tobin

Boston City Councillor John M. Tobin, Jr. was elected as the District 6 representative to the Boston City Council in 2001. He was re-elected in 2003, 2005 and 2007. His district includes the neighborhoods of West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, and parts of Roslindale and Mission Hill. Councillor Tobin has focused on improving the quality of life for individuals and families in his district and across the city. He proposed increasing residents participation in the citywide recycling program, an idea that has been implemented on a pilot basis. Thanks to Councillor Tobin, the city’s building department now notifies abutters to new construction for as of right projects or jobs that don’t require zoning board approval. In 2005 he helped pass an ordinance that imposes fines on property owners who do not remove graffiti. Two years ago Councillor Tobin launched Slow Down Boston, a citywide public awareness campaign aimed at curbing speeding in the city’s neighborhoods. Councillor Tobin was born in Boston on August 31, 1969. He is the son of Jack and Kathy (Freeman) Tobin and is the oldest of six children. He grew up in Dorchester’s Lower Mills neighborhood and in West Roxbury where he currently resides with his wife Kate (Plunkett) and their sons Matthew and Daniel. He is a 1987 graduate of Catholic Memorial High School in West Roxbury and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

+ BIO: Geeta Pradhan

Geeta Pradhan is Director of the New Economy Initiative at the Boston Foundation and co-developer of the Boston Indicators Project. She co-authored the 2000 and 2002 Boston Indicators reports, The Wisdom of Our Choices and Creativity and Innovation: A Bridge to the Future. At the Boston Foundation, Geeta also developed and launched The New Economy Initiative a special five year effort that uses networking, constituency building and grant making to reduce the digital divide and to empower young people, adults and nonprofit organizations to compete effectively in the 21st century.

+ BIO: Michael Cudahy

Michael J. Cudahy is an entrepreneur, business executive and philanthropist. Along with Warren Cozzens, he founded Marquette Electronics in 1965 and served as chairman and CEO. The company went public in 1991. After starting with only $15,000 in capital, the company went on to have over $350 million annually in sales. His company put together the nation’s first central electrocardiographic system at Northwestern University Medical School. This machine has since become standard in hospitals throughout the United States. The company was also noted for having one of the first on-site day care centers in the nation. In 1982, he and Warren bought the failing Patient Monitoring Business Unit from GE (then known as General Electric Medical Systems Division) and combined it with the existing business (primarily diagnostic equipment). In 1998, he sold Marquette Electronics (by then known as Marquette Medical Systems) to GE. The company exists today as part of the Clinical Systems division of GE Healthcare, a subsidiary of the American conglomerate. After stepping aside at his company, Cudahy focused his energies on philanthropy and serving on the boards of other companies. In 2002 he told the story of the founding of Marquette Electronics in the book Joyworks.

+ BIO: Brian Worobey

Brian Worobey currently serves as the CEO and President of Brian has been involved in since before its formation. He co-authored the Boston Foundation report, “Boston Unplugged”, served on Mayor Menino’s Wireless Task Force and helped start up by participating in its advisory board/kitchen cabinet and serving as its COO before taking over as CEO in January 2009. Prior to joining OAB, Brian was Vice President and CIO of the Museum of Science, responsible for the creation and implementation of Museum-wide information systems strategy. Since he started at the Museum of Science in 1996, Brian was instrumental in creating strategic partnerships with leading technology companies, as well as providing strategic, architectural, and fundraising support for the Museum’s technological and educational initiatives. Prior to joining the Museum, Brian was the Director of MBA Technology Services at Harvard Business School and Assistant Director for Network Services at Boston College. Brian graduated from Clark University in 1984 with a B.A. in Management. He is involved in the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council and served on the steering committee for its Tech Trends events, and writes on wireless technology in education. In addition, he is a performing musician, playing saxophone in area R&B bands. Brian is the proud father of a 2-year old daughter.

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