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Reframing Our Future: Building an Equitable Economic Recovery



Emerging from a pandemic to build an economy that is fair and equitable for all people requires creative thinking, a sense of urgency and a network of people dedicated to serving the community. Each was on full display during our Annual Meeting last week.


For those who joined us, we hope you felt the same sense of purpose and gratitude we did. For those who weren’t able to join, you can view the meeting here.


We were proud to recognize five people who exemplify the commitment to leading and supporting others: former Mayor and MassDevelopment CEO Dan Rivera; David Tibbetts Economic Impact Award winner Julia Silverio; and our Rising Star Awardees Joanna de Peña, Eddie Rosa, and Jorge Veloz.


We were also inspired to hear from our keynote speaker, Harvard Business School professor Rawi Abdelal, who offered a global look at the economic disparities facing the nation and strategies to counter those trends on a local level. Please click HERE to access his PowerPoint presentation.


Important work is ahead and we know we have the partners and resources to succeed.


Covid-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted the Lawrence community, highlighting existing systemic inequities and barriers to socioeconomic progress. 


Join The Lawrence Partnership at our annual event to celebrate the resilience of our community as expert guest speakers and community stakeholders discuss the challenges and opportunities to build a post-pandemic economic system that focuses on growth, justice, and equity. 


Rawi Abdelal

Herbert F. Johnson Professor of International Management

Harvard Business School (HBS)

Professor Abdelal is also the director of the school’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies; faculty co-chair of the Bloomberg-Harvard City Leadership Initiative, and faculty chair of the Harvard Business School/YPO Presidents’ Program.


During his 20 years on HBS faculty, Professor Abdelal has served in a number of leadership roles, including as course head for the core course Business, Government and the International Economy, and as chair of the MBA required curriculum. Professor Abdelal has chaired many custom executive programs for firms from around the world and has twice earned the Greenhill Award for service to Harvard Business School.


Professor Abdelal is an expert on globalization, geopolitics and political economy. Widely published, he has written about the global financial system, the international politics of post-Soviet Eurasia, the influence of multinational firms on world politics, and the transformation of energy markets in Europe and Eurasia. He is currently at work on two projects. One project, The Fragile State of the World, explores the interrelated challenges that undermined the first era of globalization, circa 1870-1914, and that threaten to destroy the current age of global capitalism. The second project, The Profits of Power, explores the geopolitics of energy in Europe and Eurasia.


An engaging speaker and lecturer, Professor Abdelal has won the HBS Student Association’s Faculty Award for outstanding teaching several times, as well as the Williams Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Apgar Award for Innovation in Teaching. Professor Abdelal is known for his ability to explain complex topics with elegant simplicity.


Professor Abdelal earned his doctorate in government from Cornell University, where he also received his master’s degree. He was a President’s Scholar at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he received a bachelor’s degree with highest honors in economics.


David Tibbetts Economic Impact Award

Economic Development is not a singular issue, nor are there simple and straightforward solutions to growing an economy, ensuring its resilience, and making it work for all members of a community.  And yet so many other social priorities—health outcomes, quality of life, social equity—hinge on a successful economic development strategy. 


In recognition of the vital role that economic development plays in our local, regional, and statewide destinies, the Lawrence Partnership recognizes leaders who have successfully promoted and implemented innovative economic development strategies.


Like those strategies themselves, recognized leaders have:

  • Persevered over time to fully develop and implement successful strategies

  • Rallied various constituencies to the cause, including policy makers, business leaders and community advocates

  • Committed to inclusive economic development strategies that prioritize shared prosperity for all


The award is named for its first recipient, David Tibbetts, a leader who has represented the ideals of this award through his life of service to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and native City of Lawrence.  

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We All Have an Obligation to Leave This World a Better Place Than the Way We Found It.


Julia Isabel Perez Silverio

Founder of Silverio Insurance Agency

2021 David Tibbetts Economic Impact Award Recipient

As a child Julia Silverio grew up in Santiago, Dominican Republic; she was inspired by her parents,  who instilled in her their entrepreneurial spirits and quest for knowledge. Although theirs is a humble story, both parents made sure their five daughters were educated in private schools until they came to the United States of America. A very unusual case for people of humble means.


Her father came to the United States in 1962 and was able to bring two of his daughters, Julia and Carmen, in 1969. Julia was 15 years old and dedicated herself to learning; she graduated from Salem High School with honors in the business track and a National Honor Society member. Soon after, she married her elementary school sweetheart, Jose Dario.


Julia pursued many areas of education while being married, having a daughter, and working full time. She has attended the American Institute of Paralegal Studies, NECC, Merrimack College, Northeastern University, and Cambridge College, where she pursued a Master of Management Degree. 

She has always committed herself to improve the City of Lawrence through her dedication to the Immigrant population. After moving to Lawrence in 1973, she began providing services to the immigrant community from her home. These services ranged from translations to taking people to doctors’ offices. In 1984 she opened her office, Julia’s Consulting Agency, which is now Silverio Insurance Agency and concentrates in the service of property and casualty insurance.

Julia has served in various positions to contribute to the advancement of the citizens in the City of Lawrence and surrounding areas.  She first ran for City Council in 1995 and later in 1999, being the first Latina to be elected to the Lawrence City Council and the First Dominican Woman to ever hold an elected office in any branch of government in the United States. Julia served as the President of the Budget & Personnel Committees during her tenure as a City Councilor. Julia is also co-founder and has also served on the Semana Hispana Board. She has also participated in The Board of Trustees for Central Catholic High

School, The Eartha Dengler History Committee, St. Mary’s of the Assumption

Church Finance Committee, Lawrence Partnership, Lawrence Alliance for Education, and many other local organizations.

Julia was awarded the Immigrant Entrepreneur Award for Business Growth by the Immigrant Learning Center; she has been the Tribute to Women Award recipient in 1984 and 2020. The Asociación Dominicana de Mujeres Empresarias have recognized her in the Dominican Republic and the Dominicanismo Award in Lawrence, MA.


Julia Isabel Perez Silverio is married to Jose Dario Silverio and the proud mother of Yarel Silverio Marshall, Aliali Silverio Belkus, and Evan Dario Silverio. She is the grandmother of nine children.  She is the founder of the Silverio Insurance Agency.


Julia continues to be a beacon of light in encouraging education for all, particularly the children of immigrants, and continues to be a role model for all immigrants. She believes everything is possible whenever one sets their mind to achieving it. It takes hard work and dedication, but it is achievable.

Rising Star Awards

Strong economies and healthy communities are built with the same fundamental building blocks: resilient, connected, and committed people.  These assets make Lawrence such a unique place and the rationale for the Lawrence Partnership’s ‘people-first’ strategies that uphold our work.  


In addition to connecting, celebrating, and coordinating with leaders throughout the city and the region, the Partnership is deeply committed to creating opportunities and setting the table for emerging leaders that having a significant impact today, ensuring that we realize our community's highest potential. These leaders bring a different perspective, set of relationships, and expectations to build an inclusive economy and represent our most hopeful visions of the future. 

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Joanna de Pena, M.Ed

Joanna is a role model and an inspiration for young people and professionals. She is the founder of Top Notch Scholars, a non-profit dedicated to leadership development, providing workshops and motivational speaking engagements for high school students.  With a particular focus on leadership topics, confidence-building and interviewing skills, networking techniques, and career advancement. 

Joanna has reached over 16,000 students and young professionals through Top Notch Scholars. She is heavily involved in her community by volunteering with local nonprofits, food pantries and engages in city clean-ups.

El Mundo has recognized Joanna in its 30 under 30. She has been awarded the YWMCA Tribute to Women award and has been recognized as a Gateway City Leader by Mass Inc. for her dedication to leadership development and community engagement.

Author, Motivational Speaker, and Founder of Top Notch Scholars, Inc.

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Eddie Rosa

Eddie, a born and raised Lawrence Kid who discovered his passion for community development while working as Latino Outreach Coordinator for The Center and working on the Greening the Gateway Cities program. 

Eddie served on the Lawrence Conservation Commission and the Resilient Lands Initiative and is a member of the Lawrence Redevelopment Authority. 


Since the pandemic struck, Eddie has been working diligently to help meet the community's immediate needs. At times, that means answering calls from families in need to driving over gift cards for food. 

Eddie is the chair of the Community Outreach and Education group and continues to work on a significant project aimed at redesigning the City of Lawrence recreational parks. 

Community Engagement Director, Groundwork Lawrence

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Jorge Velez

Jorge is a young entrepreneur and community leader. With the launch of his first formal venture in 2016—Aurea Vestes, an urban clothing line with an e-commerce platform—Jorge learned trade abilities that helped him realize the impact he could make by providing technical assistance to other small business owners. As a result, he launched Pentagon Studios to provide digital marketing solutions to companies and organizations

As the gas explosions impacted our city, Jorge the business stabilization outreach team and leveraged his expertise to help impacted small business by providing hands-on workshops, discussing topics like social media management, online presence, and digital marketing as mediums to help them maneuver through the hardships resulting of the explosions on their businesses. 

The Rivera administration recognized Jorge as a Community Champion for assisting small businesses through the explosion’s disaster. He has also been recognized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for creating positive impact in the local small business community. 

Most recently, Jorge continues to support small businesses with his latest venture, Locay, a platform that facilitates the purchasing of food orders for both restaurants and customers in a covid-safe way.  

Founder of

Pentagon Studios & Locay









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