top of page
Thank you for attending our
Annual Meeting!

THANK YOU for making 2019 and our 6th Annual Meeting successful


Event Recap

12/18/2019 10:30 am to 1:00 pm

IndusPad, 46 Stafford Street, Lawrence, MA 01841 

Despite mother nature's best intentions to intervene, hundreds of local, regional and state-wide leaders eluded multiple bouts of snow to celebrate continued momentum in Lawrence and our commitment to an inclusive economic development strategy at the Partnership's Annual Meeting. We honored long-time partner and inspiring business leader Bob Rivers, tasted some incredible flavors of Lawrence, and engaged in a panel discussion about economic development strategies that benefit local residents and businesses. The event played host to some exciting announcements about initiatives coming up in 2020 as well as the release of our recently completed strategic plan. 

LP-ANNUAL 2019-510.jpg

Big Reveals


The Annual Meeting had some exciting reveals for the coming year, including:

  • Expansion of the Revolving Test Kitchen to include a shared commercial kitchen servicing dozens of more businesses a year

  • Continuation of the Lawrence LEADS programming, with a new cohort of high impact leaders

  • Growth of the Advisory Council to be a more active and inclusive group re-branded as 'The Partnership Network'


David Tibbetts Economic Impact Award


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. 


The 2019 David Tibbetts Economic Impact Award will be presented at the Lawrence Partnership’s 6th Annual Meeting on December 3rd, 2019.

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.  

Robert F. Rivers

Chair and CEO, Eastern Bank


A 37-year community banker who started his career as a teller, Bob is Chair and CEO of Eastern Bank, America’s oldest and largest mutual bank and the largest independent community bank headquartered in Massachusetts with $11 billion in assets and over 120 locations. He is also Chair of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable and The Dimock Center.


Bob is involved extensively in the community, serving on the Board of Directors of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Jobs for Mass, and The Lowell Plan. He also is a member of the Board of Trustees of Stonehill College, the Board of Corporators of Lowell General Hospital, the Advisory Boards of the Lawrence Partnership and JFK Library Foundation, and is a member of the City of Boston’s Women’s Workforce Council, in addition to providing support and guidance to numerous other non-profit organizations. Bob has been named among the Top 10 “Most Influential People in Boston” by Boston Magazine, and to the Boston Business Journal Power 50 list for the last three years.


Named after the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Bob’s passion for advocating for social justice causes and sustainability issues is the result of a personal and professional journey that began early in his life. Bob has been recognized by many organizations for his work in championing diversity and social justice, including The Boston Globe, The Partnership, Get Konnected!, Color Magazine, the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), the Asian American Civic Association (AACA), Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA), El Planeta, the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, The Theater Offensive, and MassINC. 

Prabal Chakrabartisquare.jpg

Prabal Chakrabarti

Senior Vice-President, Regional and Community Outreach Department, Federal Reserve Bank Boston

Prabal Chakrabarti is Senior Vice-President at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in the Regional and Community Outreach department, with a mission to improve the economic well-being of low and moderate income people. He oversees a department that focuses on revitalizing smaller cities through the Working Cities Challenge, improving household financial stability, and increasing employment opportunities for all.

Previously, Prabal was at the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, where he led a research effort under Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter to measure economic competitiveness in America’s inner cities. He served in the U.S. Treasury in economic policy and he co-wrote a UNDP report Unleashing Entrepreneurship: Making Business Work for the Poor.

Prabal holds graduate degrees from MIT and Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar, and a B.S. from the University of Illinois, where he was a Truman Scholar. He serves on the boards of the Children’s Investment Fund and the Nellie Mae Education Foundation Board.


Betty Francisco

General Counsel, Compass Working Capital

Co-Founder, Latina Circle and Amplify Latinx

Betty Francisco is an entrepreneur, angel investor, business executive, attorney and community leader. Currently, Betty is the General Counsel at Compass Working Capital where she serves as the organization’s chief legal advisor. She has over 20 years of experience advising health and fitness businesses, life sciences, and technology companies in the areas of legal, compliance, risk management, operations, and human resources. Most recently, Betty served as the CEO and Founder of FitNation Ventures, a business and legal consulting practice focused on advising health and fitness companies, and which launched Reimagine Play, a startup that offers fitness programming for children and families in Greater Boston. Previously, she served as EVP, General Counsel for Sports Club/LA and Reebok Sports Club/NY, a fitness brand acquired by Equinox Fitness. Betty began her legal career as a Senior Business Law Associate at Edwards Wildman, one of Boston’s largest law firms representing start-ups, corporations and investors. Betty is also an investor with Pipeline Angels, a network of new and seasoned women investors focused on creating capital for women social entrepreneurs. 

Betty is also a dedicated community leader who has been involved with a number of non-profit and civic leadership organizations. She is the co-founder of Latina Circle/Amplify Latinx, a Boston-based social venture focused on increasing Latinx civic engagement and leadership representation. She serves on the boards of directors of Beth Israel Lahey Health, Roxbury Community College, YMCA of Greater Boston, and the Board of Corporators of Eastern Bank. She is also a member of the Investment Committee of Boston Impact Initiative Fund and the Advisory Council of The Capital Network. Betty obtained her J.D. and M.B.A. from Northeastern University, and her B.A. in History from Bard College. You can learn more about Betty at

Juana Matias Profile Pic.jpg

Juana Matias


Juana Matias, joined MassINC in 2019, as Chief Operating Officer. In this capacity, Juana oversees the development, marketing and policy efforts of the organization, while supporting President, Lauren Louisan Grogan, with the overall management of the organization.

The Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth (MassINC) is a rigorous nonpartisan think-tank and civic organization. We focus on putting the American Dream within reach of everyone in Massachusetts using three distinct tools; research, journalism, and civic engagement. Our work is characterized by accurate data, careful analysis, and unbiased conclusions. The measure of our success is the extent to which our efforts affect the direction and development of public policy in Massachusetts.

Prior to joining MassINC, Juana served as the State Representative for the 16th Essex District, becoming one of the first Latina immigrant women elected to the Massachusetts State House. During her time at the State House, Juana sponsored key legislation to make college affordable, protect immigrant rights, promote access to minority owned and women owned businesses, address inequities in our public school systems, and expand opportunities for working class Americans. During her time as a State Representative, Juana launched a congressional race and became the first Latina to run for Congress in Massachusetts.

Juana graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2009, with Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Criminal Justice. In 2014, she received a Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School. After graduating from law school, Juana dedicated years of her career to public service by enlisting in AmeriCorps as a Justice AmeriCorps Legal Advocate. There she sought humanitarian based immigration relief for unaccompanied children in removal proceedings. Prior to her service with AmeriCorps, Juana served the Merrimack Valley region as a social worker, where she assisted families and children who had suffered abuse and neglect by providing them with a wide range of support and social services. This experience further instilled in her, that through service to others, she could have a positive impact in the lives of ordinary people, especially those in need.

Juana believes we need to continue to fight to elect servant leaders who represent people over politics, and country over party. Her commitment and passion lies in working to eradicate racial, social, and economic inequities and ensure that every person has an opportunity to achieve the American dream. 

Lane Glenn - Headshot_edited.jpg

Lane A. Glenn, PhD

President, Northern Essex Community College

Dr. Lane A. Glenn is President of Northern Essex Community College (NECC), with campuses in Haverhill and Lawrence, Massachusetts.

Dr. Glenn is focused on student success and is passionate about finding ways to help students achieve their educational goals, especially students who are underprepared for college.  In addition, he is a strong advocate for colleges and universities as engines of economic and workforce development—particularly in Massachusetts Gateway Cities.

As a researcher, author and consultant, Dr. Glenn has also helped advance community colleges through his involvement on numerous regional and national boards. He is the chairman of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s Task Force on Statewide Assessment; was appointed to the STEM Advisory Council by the Massachusetts governor; and chairs the International Advisory Board of the Chair Academy, an organization that provides leadership development programs for college and university leaders around the world.

Dr. Glenn has been described as “optimistic thought leader” who actively promotes the community college mission in a number of publications, on social media, and through his blog, “Running the Campus.”  In 2018, he was named the “Pacesetter of the Year” for his higher ed advocacy efforts by the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations.

He holds a PhD in Theater from Michigan State University, a master’s degree in Speech from Oklahoma State University, and a bachelor’s in English from Northeastern State University.   He is proud to say he started his education at Rose State College, a community college in Midwest City, Oklahoma.

JT smiling (1)_edited.jpg

Julieann M. Thurlow 

President and CEO, Reading Cooperative Bank (RCB)

Julieann M. Thurlow is the president and CEO at Reading Cooperative Bank (RCB) in Reading, Mass. She joined the bank in 1993 and rose through the lending ranks to become its president in 2006. At that time, the bank had four branches and $237.6 million in total assets. It now has assets of $580 million and eight branches. Thurlow is responsible for the strategic direction and management of the Bank. In 2014, Julie was named to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Community Advisory Council. She is a former trustee for the Cooperative Bank Employee Retirement Association and the Massachusetts Bankers Association’s Federal Liaison Committee.  She is a board member of the American Bankers Association and presently serves on its government relations council and membership council, having previously served on its professional development council, mutual advisory council and the financial task force for regulatory reform. She serves the local banking industry as a member of the board of the Cooperative Central Bank, and is chair of its finance and audit committee. Thurlow is also a director at Atlantic Community Bankers Bank, which provides correspondent and other innovative services to banks and credit unions. She was a founding member of BancAlliance, Inc. In 2014 and 2017, she was named by American Banker magazine as one of the top 25 Women to Watch in Banking. In addition, she  has earned a spot on the Commonwealth Institute’s Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts for the last four years running. Thurlow is the president of the Reading Cooperative Charitable Foundation and is active in identifying and supporting organizations and projects that improve the quality of life. In addition to receiving an MBA from the Charles F. Dolan School of Business at Fairfield University, Fairfield, Conn., she completed advanced studies at the Stonier National School of Banking, the Massachusetts School of Financial Studies and Harvard Business School’s Division of Continuing Education.


Café Azteca

At Cafe Azteca, they take pride in their exceptional, home-made, authentic Mexican cuisine. They travel to Mexico to bring back new recipes and techniques for your dining experience. They serve lunch and dinner or stop in and enjoy a refreshing margarita. Take-out and catering services also available.


Japu Restaurant

Japu it’s a family owned restaurant.  Their food is ‘Nikkei style’. The NIKKEI cuisine was born as a result of the fusion of Japanese recipes and traditions with Peruvian ingredients. You will find a complete menu including different ingredients and techniques. They also serve a variety of delicious cocktails.


Don Matias Fusion Cuisine

Don Matias Fusion Cuisine is a family restaurant, with a fusion of Caribbean flavors and a mix of different culinary cultures. Their Chef is an innovator that has worked in the development of many restaurants in NY City. The best experience of flavors of Latino dishes is at Don Matias Fusion Cuisine.


Tu Kasa Restaurant

Tu Kasa Restaurant is a family owned and operated restaurant. They serve all your favorite, authentic Dominican and Puerto Rican meals. They also bring in some South American and Caribbean flavors to their cuisine.  Go and  taste for yourself the Merrimack Valley’s best Caribbean food.  


Icelso Vegetarian Restaurant

Icelso vegetarian Restaurant is a place that offers the best quality to their customers. The food is completely healthy and free of preservatives. Everyone can enjoy their meals with natural and fresh ingredients. 


For information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Alexandra Nova at or 978-655-5824.  

bottom of page