For 10 years, New England electricity consumers have benefited from a champion on their side: Cindy Arcate, chief executive of PowerOptions.
But now, someone new will have to take over Arcate’s fight for energy cost savings. She plans to retire at the end of the year, to be replaced by Heather March Takle. Arcate has led PowerOptions for a decade, as long as it’s been a stand-alone nonprofit.
The Boston-based group uses its bulk-buying power to purchase electricity on behalf of its 450-plus nonprofit and government members. Arcate has grown her team from three to 10 and its budget from less than $1 million to $3 million. A former utility executive who also worked in state government, Arcate opted not to renew her contract with PowerOptions. She will do some part-time consulting and, maybe, play a bit more golf and go skiiing.
Takle says her biggest challenge will be filling Arcate’s shoes. “Being in the position she’s built over the past 10 years, it’s a great platform,” Takle says. “There’s loyalty [to her] from the team and the members. I need to go out and prove myself.”
Arcate says Takle has what it takes. After getting an MBA from Harvard, Takle went into consulting, working for the Parthenon Group (now part of Ernst & Young). Eventually, Takle decided she wanted to focus on renewable energy and she joined Ameresco, where she led mergers and acquisition work and strategic planning as the Framingham-based company’s corporate development director. Takle worked there from 2009 through 2015. After a two-year stint with Patriot Energy Group in Burlington, she launched her own energy consultancy, 2ndPath Energy.
A recruiter from Russell Reynolds Associates reached out earlier this year about Arcate’s job. Arcate and Takle had already known each other, through Takle’s work at Ameresco.
Arcate has been a voice for her members, and by extension, a voice for all electricity consumers in New England, in highly technical rate-setting procedures. “We understand the retail [electricity] market from a customer’s perspective, I think, better than anybody in the industry,” Arcate says.
New MIT for Nats fan
Former Federal Housing Administration chief Ed Golding says he had turned down opportunities at MIT twice before, and regretted doing so. He wasn’t about to make that mistake a third time.
So when Deborah Lucas came calling with a job opportunity, Golding jumped at the chance — even though it meant uprooting his life in Washington. Lucas runs the MIT Golub Center for Finance and Policy, and wanted Golding to be its executive director — essentially her No. 2.
Golding has been working at a think tank in Washington and teaching at Columbia University in New York since he was swept out of the FHA in January 2017 when the Trump administration took over. He has not lived here since graduating from Harvard College in 1976 but is looking forward to getting reacquainted with the area.
The Golub Center coordinates research into topics ranging from bank regulations to retirement savings habits to government-backed credit programs such as mortgage buyer Freddie Mac, where Golding once worked.
Until this past January, Golding lived for five years within walking distance of Nationals Park. The baseball enthusiast grew up cheering for the Cincinnati Reds, became a Baltimore Orioles fan during his earlier years in Washington, and eventually started rooting for the Nationals after the team moved to D.C. in 2005.
Will he switch allegiances again, and back another World Series champ, now that he will be able to walk to Fenway Park from his new apartment? Golding says he’s sticking with the Nats.
JPMorgan Chase banks on Aldsworth
To find new talent in the Boston area, JPMorgan Chase went to Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley Bank, that is.
JPMorgan’s commercial banking arm has launched an expanded initiative to focus on the business needs of the venture capital industry and has hired Pamela Aldsworth to lead the effort. At Silicon Valley Bank she led venture capital relationship management from her base in Boston. She will remain here.
“I’m excited by the breadth of J.P. Morgan’s broad platform and all that it offers to the entrepreneur and VC community, from early stage lending all the way to private banking,” Aldsworth said in a statement.
JPMorgan and Silicon Valley Bank both are based elsewhere (New York and California, respectively) but have long had a business presence in the Boston area. JPMorgan has also embarked on an aggressive campaign to open retail branches in Boston to go after the consumer market.
Aldsworth is one of four Silicon Valley Bank employees to make the move to JPMorgan. Dave Reich is now the company’s head of debt solutions for innovation companies, also based in Boston. Both Aldsworth and Reich will report to New York-based Melissa Smith, head of specialized industries for middle-market banking at JPMorgan’s Commercial Bank. The other newcomers from Silicon Valley Bank, Andy Kelly and Katie Taormino, will report to Aldsworth but be based in the San Francisco area.
Charity takes hold
When longtime buddies Kevin Murtagh and Ward Mooney last year started a charitable event aimed at bringing together the city’s corporate finance community, they didn’t know whether the concept would take hold.
After the successful second annual fund-raiser for More Than Words, which aims to empower teens by helping them run a used bookstore in the South End and a related online venture, Murtagh and Mooney no longer need to worry. The fund-raiser last month netted about $353,000 — slightly more than the first year —when it was held at the City Winery. Demand was so strong, Murtagh and Mooney needed to hold the event in a bigger spot – the InterContinental hotel. The group also honored Bill Mayer, head of equipment finance for Wells Fargo.
“We were so overwhelmed by the number of people who wanted to attend, we were forced to go to a bigger venue,” said Murtagh, a corporate finance lawyer at Riemer & Braunstein. “We were successful in raising more money, but our overhead was more.”
Mooney, a founder of business loan firm Crystal Financial, says about 25 percent of the roughly 450 people who attended came from outside Greater Boston.
“We’re really getting a lot of visibility,” Mooney says. “As it relates to the Boston corporate finance community, it has become the networking event that everybody wants to go to.”
Easy ride at Hill Holliday
It’s not every day when you come to work in the morning and find a motorcycle parked in your skyscraper office lobby.
But this wasn’t any ordinary day for employees at Hill Holliday. The ad agency had just won a big account: BMW’s US motorcycle business. In a gesture of goodwill, BMW gave the firm a 485-pound motorcycle, a 2019 BMW R nineT Scrambler, which arrived on Thursday via elevator at the 53 State St. tower.
Employees were called for a last-minute “all agency meeting” at 10:30 a.m. on Friday to see the bike, which provided a perfect photo opportunity for chief executive Karen Kaplan, who hopped on with her leather jacket. It’s now a fixture in Hill Holliday’s 35th-floor lobby.Can’t keep a secret? Tell us. E-mail Bold Types at firstname.lastname@example.org.