It’s official: Sen. Boncore to step down next week to take MassBio post

MassBio Announces Joint Leadership Team with Joe Boncore selected as CEO

Kendalle Burlin O’Connell will continue serving as President and COO

Cambridge, MA – September 1, 2021 – After a seven-month search process led by a Board-level search committee with the help of an executive search firm, MassBio has selected Senator Joe Boncore to serve as its new Chief Executive Officer. Kendalle Burlin O’Connell, the President and Chief Operating Officer, who was elevated to President last year will work in partnership with Joe to continue MassBio’s mission to advance Massachusetts’ leadership in the life sciences to grow the industry, add value to the healthcare system, and improve patient lives.

The search committee determined that Joe was uniquely and preeminently qualified, deeply passionate about MassBio’s mission, and the best positioned for the new CEO role. The nationwide search, which began in February, and considered more than 150 candidates with diverse personal and professional backgrounds, started off with a listening tour to determine what the Board and staff members were looking for in a new CEO.

Joseph Boncore
Source: Sen. Boncore Facebook page

“With Bob’s departure, we had the unique opportunity to strategically focus on the future needs of the life sciences industry here in Massachusetts and what type of experience and background we want to continue MassBio’s success and strength,” said Pam Randhawa vice chair of the MassBio Board and co-chair of the search committee.  “We interviewed candidates with expertise in public affairs, communications, and the life sciences field and believe Joe to be the best suited to take on this role. Joe’s personal and professional background means he understands both the policy landscape and the patient experience.”

Kendalle Burlin O’Connell will continue to oversee membership, innovation services and programming, the MassBioHub Business and Conference Center, develop and enforce organizational policies and procedures, and oversee MassBio Edge, the organization’s leading purchasing consortium. Kendalle has held the title of President and COO since December of 2020 and will now collaborate with Joe as a new leadership team.

“MassBio launched in 1985 with six members as the first state biotech trade association, immediately establishing value for its members and the nascent industry through public policy advocacy and discounts through a group purchasing consortium,” said Kendalle Burlin O’Connell. “Thirty-six years later, Massachusetts is the best place in the world for the life sciences, with our members developing breakthrough therapies. I look forward to working with Joe to advance and sustain Massachusetts’ leadership in the service of our 1,400+ members who are working hard every day to improve the lives of patients.”

In his new role, Joe will manage MassBio’s federal affairs and state government relations, and take the lead on initiatives to sustain Massachusetts’ economic competitiveness focusing on issues around infrastructure, workforce, and digital health. Along with Kendalle, Joe will be the interface with the MassBio Board, shape the organization’s long-term strategic planning, and be the liaison with the business community.

“It’s an honor to join such a renowned organization and one where I am so passionate about the mission. I know firsthand how critical the research and development of the new treatments and cures are to the wellbeing of patients here and around the world. I spent more than four months in the NICU with my twins where I saw every day the power of this industry and the hope that innovation can provide. I understand how to advocate for policies that incentivize innovation, improve patient outcomes, and seek enhancements to healthcare delivery,” said Joe Boncore.

Joe will formally submit his letter of resignation to the Senate next week with an effective start date mid-September.

MassBio is eager to advance as an organization with two highly qualified and motivated leaders at the helm. Through their joint leadership structure, the organization will continue its membership growth trajectory and better serve their 1,400+ members through a new lens.

About MassBio

MassBio’s mission is to advance Massachusetts’ leadership in the life sciences to grow the industry, add value to the healthcare system, and improve patient lives. MassBio represents the premier global life sciences and healthcare hub, with 1,400+ members dedicated to preventing, treating, and curing diseases through transformative science and technology that brings value and hope to patients. Founded in 1985, MassBio works to advance policy and promote education, while providing member programs, events, industry information, and services. For more information, visit www.massbio.org.s

Statement by Boston City Councilor (District 1) and candidate for State Senate Lydia Edwards:

“I have been proud to call Senator Boncore a colleague and I am grateful for his friendship over these years.  

As I have said: Joe Boncore has been a steadfast partner in the Senate and has served the public with strength and a keen sense of right and wrong, using his moral compass and thoughtful advocacy to stand up for the residents of this district.

The skills that have served him well in the Senate will make him a great asset at MassBio. I know that his passion for their work and his personal drive to better the healthcare space is the start of a new investment in life sciences across Massachusetts. 

I have expressed my sincere congratulations to Joe, and I wish him and his family the best of luck as he begins this new adventure.”

Statement by Anthony D’Ambrosio, Revere School Committee member and candidate for State Senate:

“I want to thank Senator Boncore for his years of service to our district. I wish him and his family all the best in this next chapter.

At the same time, I look forward to bringing new energy and fresh ideas to the senate should I have the honor of being elected.”

Statement from Adrian Madaro, state representative and candidate for State Senate:

“I want to congratulate Senator Boncore and his family on the opportunity to lead MassBio. I am excited for the impact he will have on the life services industry in Massachusetts. I’m so grateful for his friendship and dedicated partnership throughout the years, and I wish him great success in his future endeavors.”

More from Boston.com and BostonGlobe.com.