50 Most Influential Business People of Color
This list aims to celebrate, document and showcase the plethora of professionals and executives of color making a positive contribution to the economic and social fabric of the region. Our honorees, selected by a seven-member committee from over 200 nominations, work and/or sit on a board for a business or nonprofit that is physically located in Newton, Needham, Wellesley, Waltham, Watertown, Natick and Framingham.
Executive VP, Century Bank
Algere is an executive vice president and group manager of the Healthcare/Education/Not-for-Profit Group at Century Bank, which has branches in Wellesley and Newton. For nearly two decades, Algere’s leadership
CEO, International Data Group
An immigrant from Guyana, Ali is among the most well-known names in the predominantly white local tech industry. As CEO at IDG, Inc, Ali oversees a world-leading technology media, events
Founder/CEO, Prepped and Polished
Avila founded Prepped and Polished tutoring and test preparation in 1999. Headquartered in South Natick, the company helps elementary, secondary, college-level
Artistic Director, New Repertory Theatre
Bobbitt came to Watertown’s New Repertory Theatre in 2019 after serving as the artistic director for Adventure Theatre in Maryland since 2007.
Asst. VP of Diversity Recruiting & Advising, IES Abroad
A former public affairs officer at NASA, Cook-Anderson currently leads diversity and inclusion-related marketing outreach for a large global nonprofit,
CEO, Jewish Family Service of Metrowest
Covarrubias is the chief executive officer of Jewish Family Service of Metrowest, an organization that provides vital social, health and human services to over 5,000
VP Department of People & Culture & Chief Diversity Officer, Wayside Youth & Family Support Network
A steadfast and transformative leader, DeCarvalho has been an agent of change at Framingham’s Wayside Youth & Family Support Network, a 500+ employee
Chief Medical Officer, Remedy
A healthcare leader for 20+ years, Dr. Dixon is an innovator for chronic disease care and management. In 2011, he founded Healthcare 360 Inc., a logistics-driven
Senior VP, Global Head Organizational Development, TJX Companies, Inc
For 30 years, Dr. Edgehill has been a transformational leader, integrator of large-scale change strategies and a stabilizer for the next stage of organizational change
Chief of Hospitalist Service , BID-Needham
El Akiki is the chief of hospitalist service at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham. She received her medical degree from Lebanese University, School of
Founder & Principal, STUDIO ENÉE architects
An accomplished architect with over 25 years of design and construction expertise, Espada is the founder and principal of STUDIO ENÉE architects in Needham.
President & CEO, Shades of Success
In addition to serving as a force for inclusionary social change, equity and stronger team productivity through her coaching and leadership advising business, Shades
Founder & CEO, MORE Advertising
Gittens left a successful broadcasting career at WCVB-TV to pursue her long-time passion for launching a boutique media and marketing firm to promote critical
VP Development, Northland Investment Corporation
Gonzales’ leadership and consensus building has brought transformative housing and economic development to our region. For over four decades, he has managed,
Chief Legal Officer, Staples
In her role as Staples’ chief legal officer, Gonzalez oversees all facets of the Framingham-headquartered office supply company’s legal department including
Chair, Board of Trustees, Lasell University
A Needham resident and managing director of the global investing firm Cambridge Associates, Holmes has been an effective long-time community leader. As chair
Director of Public Affairs & Community Services, WCVB
Holmes Ward is an award-winning broadcaster and executive producer whose career has spanned four decades. At WCVB, she is the host and executive producer of
Managing Partner, Bunker Hill Capital
Hurd is a co-founder and managing partner of Wellesley-based Bunker Hill Capital with over 23 years of experience working as a principal with middle market
Executive Director, Suzuki School of Newton
A leader in the arts who has had a substantial impact on music education, Isihara has served for over 20 years as the director of the Suzuki School, a community arts
Founder & CEO, InnoPsych
A Harvard-trained psychologist with 20+ years of experience, Dr. Jackman is dedicated to breaking down stigma and increasing access to mental health services for
Realtor & CEO, UNION Real Estate
A Venezuelan immigrant of Chinese descent, Lau is the owner of a boutique real estate firm headquartered in Newton that focuses on residential and investment
Pastor, Greater Framingham Community Church
For three decades Rev. Dr. Lloyd has been pastor of the Greater Framingham Community Church, an interdominational Christian church that is the largest
VP of Marketing and Corporate Business Diversity Officer, Tufts Health Plan
A native of Medellin, Colombia, Waltham resident Lopera leads business development, marketing and community relations for Tufts Health Plan’s public plans
Senior VP, President, Life Sciences Solutions and Laboratory Products, Thermo Fisher
A dynamic corporate leader, Lowery has spent over 20 years launching innovative products, developing operating teams, overseeing acquisitions
Associate Chair, Department of Surgery, Newton-Wellesley Hospital
Pacesetter. Change agent. Thought leader. All are well deserved descriptors for Paranjape, who also serves as Chief, General and Acute Care Surgery
Founder & Principal Consultant, Equity & Expectations, LLC
Patrick is the owner of Equity & Expectations, a consulting firm that does anti-racism training and awareness building; the founder of Natick Families of Color
Founder & CEO, LiveWire Collaborative
A Newton resident and entrepreneur, Pitter is a digital marketing guru, mentor, speaker, master networker/connector and tireless champion for small businesses.
CEO, Pope Productions, Inc.
An award-winning TV journalist and entrepreneur, Pope founded her Natick-based digital content media firm to tell stories that often go under the radar, especially those featuring people of color.
Price, owner of the SpeedPro franchise at the border of Needham and Newton for over 10 years and a Wellesley resident, is an engaged and active member of the local business community.
CEO & Founder, 1854 Cycling Company
Randolph is the co-founder and former executive director of Project: Poverty, a nonprofit that aims to design, create and implement innovative strategies to reduce poverty.
Co-Founder, Amplify Latinx
Román is a Latina breakthrough champion and connector at a local and national level. For over a decade, she has been a risk-taking entrepreneur, providing a breadth of legal services for her clients through the boutique legal practice she founded.
Lead Pastor, NewCity Church
Founder of a new church in Newton that seeks to draw in people who are unhappy in their faith journeys, Rev. Scott is known for his energy, leadership, community building, and commitment to social and racial justice.
President & Managing Partner, Catalyst Ventures Development
A serial entrepreneur, Newton resident Settles established Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen in Boston and moved on to real estate development.
Owner, French Press Bakery
Spencer has been a leading champion of the economic vitality of downtown Needham for more than a dozen years. After eight years owning and operating the Petit Robert Bistro in downtown Needham
Mayor, City of Framingham
Spicer was sworn into office on January 1, 2018, becoming not only the first mayor of Framingham but also the first African American female to be elected mayor in Massachusetts.
Provost, Lasell University
Turner brings his unique background as head of the Mass State Lottery, senior executive of State Street Bank, and managing director of the New England CEO Network
Director & Owner, Applied Behavioral Learning Services (ABLS)
A Venezuelan immigrant, graduate of Harvard Medical School, Vargas-Irwin is the founder and director of ABLS, a company serving children diagnosed with ASD (autism spectrum disorder)
VP for Learner Success Babson College
Becoming the chief student development officer at Babson College just this past summer, Ward establishes and implements institutional priorities