Tom Bent to receive Lifetime Achievement Award, MassChallenge founder John Harthorne to keynote Chamber of Commerce Dinner



Photo by Kulbako Photography


The 2013 recipient of the John W. Fitzgerald Lifetime Achievement Award – named for the founder of Ames Safety Envelope Company, now Ames Business Park, and the first Chair of the Somerville Chamber of Commerce – will be Thomas Bent of Bent Electrical Contractors. The award will be presented at the Chamber’s 67th Annual Dinner on Wednesday, November 6, at the Holiday Inn.

Tom Bent was chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors from 1990 to 1997.  He has served as the Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee Chair since 1998.  In addition to his central leadership roles in shaping and guiding the 21st Century Chamber, he has served as Mayor Joseph Curtatone’s representative to the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) since 2007.  During his tenure as MPO representative he has been instrumental in bringing to Somerville the: Assembly Square Orange Line transit station; Green Line extension; I-93 Fast 14 bridge replacement project; and the streetscape projects in Magoun Square, East Somerville, and Somerville Avenue. 

Also slated to receive a Powderhouse Award at the dinner are:

Green Business Award — GreenTown Labs

Business Neighbor of the Year — Flatbread

Small Business of the Year — Brooklyn Boulders

Non Profit of the Year – Walnut Street Center

Excellence in Public Service – Somerville Fire Department

Excellence in Dining & Nightlife – Johnny D’s

Distinguished Service to the Chamber – Rod Laurenz, Laurenz Financial

Excellence in Economic Development – John Harthorne, MassChallenge


The keynote address will be delivered by John Harthorne, founder and CEO of MassChallenge — a startup accelerator and competition designed to catalyze a startup renaissance by connecting high-impact startups from around the world with the resources they need to launch and succeed.

The Chamber is Somerville’s premier business organization.  Led by a diverse and dynamic Board of Directors, it takes on local and state issues that affect the local economy and advocates for businesses large and small.  It has been deeply involved with the redevelopment of Assembly Square, the Green Line extension project, and planning and zoning issues in and around the Innerbelt, McGrath, Union Square, Boynton Yards and Somerville Avenue.  The Chamber’s Dining & Nightlife Group has been instrumental in the development of Somerville’s metropolitan appeal.   Throughout the year, the Chamber produces outstanding business community networking events such as Business After Hours, Innovation Tours, and the Taste of Somerville.

The dinner, which is the foremost annual gathering of local business, civic, and community leaders, will be held Wednesday, November 6th at the Holiday Inn, 30 Washington Street.  The Chamber is pleased to have Bunker Hill Community College as a major sponsor, along with East Cambridge Savings Bank which will be sponsoring the opening reception.  Additional sponsorships are available.

The reception will begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m..  Tickets are $100 per person for Chamber Members, or $800 per table of eight guests.  Non-member tickets are $150 per person, or $1200 for a table of eight guests.  Reservations are being accepted on the Chamber website or by contacting Joanne Haley 617-776-4100,



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