Somerville Chamber of Commerce 73rd Annual Dinner Gene Brune Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

By William Tauro

Regina Pisa, Chairman Emeritus of Goodwin, a leading Global 50 law firm with more than 1,200 attorneys, delivered the keynote address at the Somerville Chamber of Commerce’s 73rd Annual Dinner & Powderhouse Awards this past Wednesday November 6th.

Eugene Brune, Somerville Mayor Emeritus, was the recipient of the John W. Fitzgerald Lifetime Achievement Award and was joined by Powderhouse Award recipients for business, economic and community excellence.

The annual dinner is the foremost gathering of local business, civic, and community leaders. The Chamber was pleased to have Bunker Hill Community College as a major sponsor, along with East Cambridge Savings Bank as the opening reception sponsor and Adam Dash & Associates, Gentle Giant Moving, and Tufts University as centerpiece sponsors.

Mayor Joseph Curtatone and City Council President Katjana Ballantyne were also in attendance.  

Ms. Pisa was the first woman to lead an AmLaw 100 law firm in the United States and one of the youngest executives – at age 42 – to take the helm at the time of her appointment. During her tenure as Chairman and Managing Partner of Goodwin, she spearheaded a strategic plan that led the firm through an unprecedented period of growth and resulted in its expansion throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. 

Today, she is a recognized national business leader, one of the nation’s leading attorneys and a pioneer for the advancement of women.
In 2014, The American Lawyer recognized Ms. Pisa’s innovative leadership style and vision for big ideas, naming her one of the “Top 50 Big Law Innovators of the Past 50 Years,” and in 2017, it chose her as its Distinguished Leader of the Year, heralding her as a pioneer whose strategic vision and innovative style transformed Goodwin and the legal industry.  Ms. Pisa holds degrees from Harvard, Oxford and Georgetown Universities. She grew up in Somerville.

Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Gene Brune is an Army veteran who was part of the Occupational Forces in Japan at the end of World War II. He went on to be a project manager in the steel fabrication industry and then a Somerville Alderman in the 70s; Mayor in the 80s; Register of Deeds in the 90s, 00s and 10s; and a published author in 2013.  

He holds scores of honors, including the Somerville High School Field House and the Cambridge Health Alliance Adolescent Wing named after him.  He has two daughters, six grandchildren and five great grandchildren. 

Joining Mayor Emeritus Brune was Powderhouse Award recipients: Bergamot, Excellence in Dining & Nightlife; Don Hughes, Distinguished Service to the Chamber; Cindy Hickey, Distinguished Service Greater Somerville; YMCA, Non Profit of the Year; Remnant Brewing, Business Neighbor of the Year; Form Energy, Green Business of the Year; Bow Market, Small Business of the Year; and Howard Horton, Excellence in Public Service.

The Somerville Chamber is our community’s premier business and employer network. Led by a diverse and dynamic Board of Directors, the Chamber takes on issues that affect the local economy and urban quality of life, and advocates for business and community development. The Chamber has been deeply involved in the redevelopment of Assembly Square and Union Square, the Green Line extension project, and planning and zoning issues in and around the Innerbelt, Davis Square, McGrath, as well as along Somerville Avenue and Broadway. The Chamber’s Dining & Nightlife Group has been instrumental in the development of Somerville’s metropolitan appeal. Every year, the Chamber produces outstanding business community networking events such as the After Hours Series and Taste of Somerville. 

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