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Betsy Taylor, MassDOT Board of Directors and MBTA Retirement Fund Board, is Guest Speaker at WTS-Boston’s Annual New Year’s Reception

February 21, 2016 10:00 AM
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Photo credit: www.frankmonkiewicz.com

By Alexandra Kleyman, AICP, Boston Region MPO, Central Transportation Planning Staff

Photo credit: www.frankmonkiewicz.com

Thursday, January 28th marked the start of an exciting 2016 for WTS-Boston with our Annual New Year’s Reception. The reception was well-attended by over 150 members, special guests, and dignitaries. In addition to reconnecting with friends and colleagues, the highlight of the evening was Ms. Betsy Taylor, former Director of Finance and Treasury at Massport and current member of the MassDOT Board of Directors and the MBTA Retirement Fund Board, and the Massport Retirement System. WTS-Boston President, Rachael Sack, started the evening by taking a moment to recognize the generosity and support of the WTS-Boston 2016 Sponsors and the many transportation leaders in attendance. Sam Sleiman, Massport’s Director of Capital Programs and Environmental Affairs, introduced Ms. Taylor. He informed the audience that she has been described by the Bond Buyer as a “Trailblazing Woman in Public Finance.”

In her current roles with MassDOT, the MBTA, and Massport, Ms. Taylor helps to oversee all of MassDOT’s operations, the MBTA’s $1.59 billion pension fund, and the day-to-day operations of Massport’s retirement system. When appointed by Governor Baker to the MassDOT Board, Ms. Taylor described that she wanted to focus on three initiatives: 1) maintenance matters, 2) long-term solutions, and 3) the creation of a constituency for good management.

This prestigious designation came, in part, due to her impressive work in her previous role as Director of Finance and Treasury at Massport. During her 36-year career with Massport, Ms. Taylor played a critical role in budgeting, financial planning, treasury management, and project financing. In addition to establishing the Massport Treasury Department, she was responsible for issuing over $5 billion in revenue bonds, paying back half of that, and financing $5 billion in transportation infrastructure. Her strategic and deliberate work prepared a major authority-wide financing strategy and led Massport’s re-entrance into the bond market.

In her speech, Ms. Taylor focused on the importance of giving yourself credit for all of your accomplishments. She reflected that men are often described by their accomplishments, while women are more often described by their personalities. Ms. Taylor encouraged attendees not to wait until retirement to add up everything we have done in our organizations and chosen professions. It is our responsibility to speak up, make our impacts known, and help our audience understand what our influential accomplishments have been. “Indeed,” she stated, “we are worth a lot to our profession, and it is our job to explain that to people.”

 

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