Reflections On: 2015’s “Make it a Massachusetts Holiday” Open House and Tree Lighting

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With the Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs, Francisco Urena, and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito.

On December 1st, 2015, it was a pleasure to attend the “Make it a Massachusetts Holiday” Open House and Tree Lighting at the State House.

Prior to becoming the Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs for the entire state, Francisco Urena was the Lawrence, Massachusetts Director of Veteran’s Services from 2007-2011, and the Boston Commissioner of Veteran’s Services from 2011-2015.

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With Governor Charlie Baker, and his wife, Lauren.

Prior to becoming Governor, Baker was co-director of the Pioneer Institute, whose founder referred him to Governor William Weld. Governor Weld gave him Undersecretary of Health and Human Services before appointing him to Secretary of Health and Human Services, which he held from 1992 until 1994. He was later appointed Secretary of Administration and Finance, which he held from 1994 until 1998, under both Governor William Weld and Paul Cellucci. In 1998, he left state government and became CEO of Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates. In 1999, he was named President and CEO of Harvard Vanguard’s parent company, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. By 1997, Baker joined the board of trustees for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and has served on the Board of Directors for the Kenneth B. Swartz Center. Between 2004 and 2007, he served on the Board of Selectman for Swampscott, Massachusetts. In late 2006, he was named to the Budget and Finance Working Group for incoming Governor Deval Patrick’s Transition Committee. In 2010, he ran for Governor with former Senate Minority Leader, Richard Tisei.  After his defeat, he became an Executive in Residence for General Catalyst Partners, and a member of the Board of Directors for Tremont Credit Union.

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I first met Charlie Baker the same day I also met Congressman Seth Moulton, on September 8th, 2014, after he won the Republican Primary, and held a press conference in front of South Station. I had been walking to the station for use of their services before attending the Unity Breakfast at the Omni Parker House.

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His wife, Lauren, is the daughter of James P. Schadt, former CEO of Reader’s Digest and Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages. Charlie Baker graduated from Harvard College, before receiving his Master’s Degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, where he met Lauren.

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