Man and Woman of the Year: Diane Modica Full of Energy to Improve Quality of Life Here

Diane Modica

Diane Modica

Anyone who knows former Boston City Councilor and two-term East Boston Chamber of Commerce President Diane Modica knows she a dynamo filled with energy and a commitment to improving the quality of life in Eastie.

For this reason Diane Modica is the East Boston Times 2013 Woman of the Year.

This past year has been a busy one for Modica and the Chamber. While she supported Suffolk Downs’ efforts to place a casino in Eastie she had her own vision of how Eastie should progress.

Modica successfully guided the Chamber this year to release its own Prosperity Agenda study.

The study, while showing the endless possibilities a Host Community Agreement could have meant for Eastie, Modica argued the study should be implemented regardless if Suffolk Downs built a casino here or not.

The study is now more poignant after the referendum for a casino was voted down in Eastie in November.

The plan calls for a repositioning and place branding campaign that will attract visitors, cultivate tourism and increase spending in Eastie shops, restaurants and neighborhood businesses.

“While we welcome and expect cross marketing programs and connectivity with resort guests, we want to develop a professional East Boston branding campaign as a stand alone imitative that showcases all that our community has to offer,” said Modica of the study this year.  “We need to pull it all together in one package and stay on message in a sophisticated and compelling campaign. A campaign designed to increase our visibility and create a more vibrant image. By   integrating these assets into a formidable East Boston brand we can provide significant employment and entrepreneurial opportunities that create and expand markets for our local businesses.”

The second proposal by the Chamber is to form a Capacity Building Program that commits resources to Eastie businesses that will strengthen and build capacity for them.

The third part of the plan calls for resources dedicated to improving and enhancing the infrastructure and street appeal of Eastie’s four business districts–Maverick Square, Central Square, Day Square and Orient Heights.

In the end, Modica stated time and time again over 2013 that the agenda should be something explored part and parcel of a casino.

“We want visitors and residents alike to see and enjoy all that East Boston has to offer,” said Modica. “We believe these recommendations are a way to protect the interests of our business community and ensure prosperity.”

Lopes Continues Tradition of Excellence at EBNHC

He grew up in East Boston’s Jeffries Point neighborhood and is a local success story. Manny Lopes began working at East Boston Neighborhood Health Center and quickly climbed the ladder there to become the CEO of one of the largest employers in Eastie.

For this Manny Lopes is the 2013 East Boston Times Man of the Year.

More than two decades ago, Lopes joined the health center as an 18-year-old researcher, working with Dr. Jim Taylor on a blood pressure study. In the ensuing years, Lopes went on to hold positions in the Human Resource and Operations Departments. Lopes later served as the Health Center’s Vice President and Chief Information Officer, providing organizational vision and leadership with an eye for technology and collaborative innovation.

In 2010, Manny assumed the role of Deputy Chief Executive Officer and began working closely with EBNHC President Jack Cradock as part of the health center’s strategic succession plan.

Anyone involved in the EBNHC knows that Lopes is a dedicated leader and one of the most recognizable figures in and around town.

So it came as no surprise in October when Cradock and the Health Center’s Chairwoman Rita Sorrento announced Lopes as the new CEO of EBNHC. “Manny’s breadth of experience at EBNHC provides him with an unparalleled understanding of the health center, our community, and the vital importance of providing high-quality health care to those we serve,” said Cradock of Lopes appointment. “This extraordinary insight, combined with Manny’s expertise and leadership acumen, means that we’re in excellent hands. Please join us in congratulating Manny on his spectacular achievement.”

Lopes appointment to CEO was the culmination of a strategic succession planning process that involved senior management and the health center’s Board of Directors over the past several years.

Lopes’ ascension is a story that embodies EBNHC’s mission and commitment to the community.

“He has seamlessly adopted increasing responsibility and has proven his readiness to take over at the EBNHC helm,” said Sorrento of his appointment.

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