Thomas N. O'Brien
Founding Partner and Managing Director,
Secretary of Transportation
For Immediate Release: April 12, 2021
Contact: Abbie Goodman, Chief of External Affairs, 617-305-4112
Email: email@example.com; Web: www.engineers.org
TECET Leadership Celebration acknowledges the Contributions of HYM Investment’s Founding Partner and Managing Director Thomas N. O’Brien and former Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack, along with a pair of scholarship awards to engineering students.
Boston, MA - The Engineering Center Education Trust (TECET), an organization serving engineers, land surveyors and related professionals from across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts honored Tom O’Brien and Stephanie Pollack at a virtual Leadership Celebration held on February 2, 2021.
Beginning in 1998, TECET has held an annual leadership celebration event honoring individuals who, through their leadership, have made a difference in the built environment and for their contributions to society. TECET has consistently honored engineers, land surveyors, academicians, public officials and private industry leaders who exemplify how engineering and land surveying expertise improves the quality of life for everyone.
Our 2021 Leadership Celebration was a visionary, forward-looking event that highlighted the themes of diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as resiliency during an extremely challenging time in our history. Over 200 people participated in this year’s celebration which was hosted by TECET Board of Trustees Chair Ko Ishikura, President of Green International.
The Board of Trustees wishes to again thank the fifty-five firms and organizations that supported this year’s event. The lead sponsors included Donovan Hatem (www.donovanhatem.com) and VHB (www.vhb.com).
Highlights of the evening included:
Each year, TECET offers a $5,000 merit scholarship awarded over two years to a Massachusetts high school senior who plans to attend an ABET-accredited engineering, pre-engineering or land surveying program. Even faced with the challenges of remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, many outstanding applications were reviewed. For 2021 after a careful and thorough review, the TECET Board of Trustees selected Melanie Sola, a graduate of Boston’s Madison Park High School as this year’s recipient. Melanie is currently a freshman studying mechanical engineering at Northeastern University. She expressed her gratefulness to TECET for the scholarship; it has helped support her through the extra challenges she and her fellow students are facing with remote learning.
TECET also recognized last year’s awardee, Aiman Najah, a Columbia University student studying mechanical and civil engineering. He provided an update on the progress of his studies over the past year. Aiman graduated from the Pioneer Charter School of Science in Saugus, MA in 2019 and he talked about how the scholarship is helping support his passion for problem solving and innovation. He noted that his schoolwork has been affected by the pandemic; his work has included supporting the design of both face shields and respiratory devices.
Girls Inc. of Lynn Donation
TECET Board member Reed Brockman shared his perspectives on the work of Girls Inc. of Lynn in inspiring their students to focus on STEM careers. A group of their members produced a home-made video to help the attendees better understand all that this organization offers. To help support their mission, the TECET Board of Trustees made a donation of $5,000 directly to Girls Inc. of Lynn.
The Rossiter Family Scholarship
Bill Rizzo, a past chair of the TECET Board of Trustees, presented The Rossiter Family Scholarship (on behalf of William J. Rizzo, Jr.) for women and minority students currently studying civil and environmental engineering in undergraduate or graduate programs.
Bill introduced Al and Selina Rossiter and Juliana Monts, the 2020 scholarship winner. Juliana is a UMass/Amherst engineering student from Springfield, MA. She used the opportunity to talk about her recent water resources internship experience that has helped her accomplish her goals.
TECET’s 2021 Rossiter Family Scholarship winner (a $10,000 scholarship) was awarded to Yaneliz Garcia Ruiz. Yaneliz, a graduate of Salem High School in Salem, New Hampshire, is a UMass/Lowell sophomore engineering student who moved to New England from Puerto Rico when she was nine years old. At UMass/Lowell, Yaneliz is focusing on structural engineering. Notably, Yaneliz is shouldering the full cost of her college education, and in addition to working 30 hours per week, she has held four other part time positions. She spoke about the challenges she has faced this year and spoke about her commitment to completing her engineering education.
Leadership Awards (there were two awards in 2021)
The TECET Board of Trustees recognized Thomas N. O’Brien of HYM Investments for his Leadership and Dedication to Sustainable Economic Development in Massachusetts. He spoke about the great need for increasing diversity and equity in the city of Boston, the Commonwealth and in industry. He highlighted the importance of hiring and mentoring black and brown people in metro-Boston and he urged the attendees to actively work towards creating home ownership for minorities. Tom then spoke about the need to continue to plan for and invest in infrastructure with a focus on what’s next including constructing the planned West Station in Allston, connecting the MBTA’s Red and Blue lines, electrifying the commuter rail system, and reconnecting the Charles River to Allston as part of the planned Mass. Turnpike improvements. Lastly, he challenged the attendees to engage in the on-going civic discussion around these and other important projects to our collective future.
Stephanie Pollack was recognized for her Leadership in Public Infrastructure Management. She was the first woman Secretary of Transportation in the Commonwealth and for the last six years she has led the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Stephanie has recently been named Acting Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration in Washington, DC. She said she was accepting this award on behalf of her many colleagues at MassDOT.
During her remarks, she spoke about a number of MassDOT’s accomplishments over her six-year tenure. She focused on addressing transportation solutions that are more successful and more customer-focused. Stephanie described a number of the Commonwealth’s transportation successes including the Burns Bridge between Worcester and Shrewsbury, the implementation of all electronic tolling and associated improvements on the Mass. Turnpike, the replacement of the Whittier Bridge on I-95 in Amesbury and MassDOT’s focus on the reliability of the infrastructure system. She also cited the growing success of MassDOT’s Complete Streets initiative.
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The Engineering Center Education Trust (TECET) is an educational and charitable nonprofit trust and owner of One Walnut Street in Boston. Since October 1989, TECET has fostered education of engineers, surveyors, and allied professionals with an emphasis on life-long learning. TECET provides a home for professional and technical meetings, public outreach, and society management.
Education within and about our community is a core part of TECET’s mission. It is why we are here. TECET educates professionals, students, and the public about engineering and land surveying. TECET’s mission is simple: enhancing the Massachusetts engineering and land surveying community's impact.
A portion of the proceeds from the February 2, 2021 TECET Leadership Celebration support our ongoing education and outreach efforts. Many of the programs we support are aimed at promoting activities to raise the level of interest of young students in the STEM fields.
Proceeds from this celebration also support the day-to-day operations of our headquarters on Beacon Hill, known as The Engineering Center, located at One Walnut Street. This building is home to our three sponsoring organizations: the American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts (ACEC/MA), the Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section/ASCE (BSCES) and the Massachusetts Association of Land Surveyors and Civil Engineers (MALSCE).
TECET also cultivates an atmosphere for learning and professional camaraderie through technical meetings, educational and professional development programs, a library, web site, grants, and events to inspire increased public awareness of our professions. TECET provides a permanent home for our engineering and land surveying associations and professional societies.
In 1998, TECET dedicated the first floor of One Walnut Street to Dr. Harl P. Aldrich, Jr., in recognition of his significant leadership and generous contributions in the creation of The Engineering Center. Today, the rich historic legacy continues. Through the Aldrich Center, The Engineering Center Education Trust serves the engineering community and other industries, catering to diverse professional meeting needs.
A 12-person Board of Trustees (consisting of four representatives from each of the following sponsoring societies) governs TECET:
For more information on The Engineering Center Education Trust, go to www.engineers.org or contact Elizabeth Tyminski, TECET Executive Director or Abbie Goodman, TECET Chief of External Affairs at 617-227-5551.
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