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Old City, New Ideas: Will GE’s Move to Boston Catalyze Further Growth?

Friday, Oct 14 2016 at 12:00 - 2:00 pm EDT

10 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA 02116
United States

GE’s move to Boston makes it the biggest company ever to relocate to the city. How will GE cement the region’s reputation as a magnet for innovation? All Yale alumni are invited to join Yale SOM’s Jeffrey A. Sonnenfeld, Senior Associate Dean for Leadership Programs & Lester Crown Professor in the Practice of Management, Josh Bekenstein ‘80 B.A., Co-Chairman, Bain Capital, Karen Firestone, President, CEO, and co-founder of Aureus Asset Management, Michelle Wu, Boston City Council President, Alex Dimitrief ‘81 B.A., SVP and General Counsel, General Electric, and Henry McCance ‘64 B.A., Chairman Emeritus, Greylock Partners for an open, off-the-record discussion about the long-range impact GE will have on the city and regional economy. Lunch will be provided.

Program 12:00pm: Registration/Lunch  12:30pm: Discussion   1:15pm: Q&A 2:00pm: Event Concludes

Cost: $20 per person

Please scroll down for more information about our speakers: 


  • Jeffrey A. Sonnenfeld

    Senior Associate Dean for Leadership Studies & Lester Crown Professor in the Practice of Management

    Jeffrey Sonnenfeld served as full tenured professor at Emory's Goizueta Business School for a decade and a professor at the Harvard Business School for a decade, and is currently the senior associate dean of leadership programs as well as the Lester Crown Professor in the Practice of Management for the Yale School of Management, as well as founder and president of the Chief Executive Leadership Institute, a nonprofit educational and research institute focused on CEO leadership and corporate governance. Professor Sonnenfeld's related research has been published in 100 scholarly articles which appeared in the leading academic journals in management such as Administrative Sciences Quarterly, the Academy of Management Journal, the Academy of Management Review, the Journal of Organizational Behavior, Social Forces, Human Relations, and Human Resource Management. He has also authored eight books, including The Hero's Farewell, an award-winning study of CEO succession, and another best seller, Firing Back, a study on leadership resilience in the face of adversity. At the same time, his work is regularly cited by the general media in such outlets as: BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, the Economist, the Financial Times, the Washington Post, CBS (60 Minutes), NBC (The Today Show), ABC (Nightline, Good Morning America), CNN, and Fox News, as well as PBS, where he is a regular commentator, and CNBC, where he is a regular commentator. BusinessWeek listed Sonnenfeld as one of the world’s 10 most influential business school professors and Directorship magazine has listed him among the 100 most influential figures in corporate governance. He is the first academician to have rung the opening bells of both the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Exchange.

  • Josh Bekenstein ’80 B.A.

    Co-Chairman, Bain Capital

    Joshua Bekenstein is co-chairman of Bain Capital and has many years of experience both as a senior executive of a large investment firm and as a director of companies in various business sectors. After graduating from Yale and earning an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, Mr. Bekenstein helped found Bain Capital, which has grown from its inception in 1984 into a private alternative asset management firm with more than 900 employees in ten offices in seven countries around the world. Prior to joining Bain Capital, Mr. Bekenstein spent several years doing strategic consulting at Bain & Company. He serves on the boards of Bright Horizons Family Solutions, BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products), Burlington Stores, Canada Goose, Michaels Stores and TOMS Shoes. Philanthropically, Mr. Bekenstein chairs the boards of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and New Profit Inc., and he is a member of the board of trustees of City Year. Prior to being named a Successor Trustee in 2013, Mr. Bekenstein served on the Yale Investments Committee and the School of Management Board of Advisors. He also served as an at-large member of the University Council, the co-chair of the Yale Tomorrow Campaign, and a member of the Yale Development Council. He also served as an at-large member of the University Council, the co-chair of the Yale Tomorrow Campaign, and a member of the Yale Development Council.

  • Karen Firestone

    President, CEO, and co-founder of Aureus Asset Management

    Karen Firestone is president, CEO, and co-founder of Aureus Asset Management, an investment firm dedicated to providing contemporary asset management to families and individuals. Previously, she spent 22 years at Fidelity Investments, most recently as a diversified fund manager of Destiny 1 Fund, the Large Cap Fund, Advisor Large Cap Fund, and several institutional non-profit and pension funds. Prior to that, Karen managed several sector funds, including the Leisure and Entertainment Fund, the Media Fund, Air Transportation Fund, Transportation Fund, Biotechnology Fund, and Health Care Fund. Karen’s Fidelity career began in 1983 as an assistant fund manager to Peter Lynch on Magellan Fund. Later, she moved to an analyst role in the research department covering numerous industries. She was twice named to the Institutional Investor Best of the Buy Side All Star team. Ms. Firestone received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics, magna cum laude, from Harvard College in 1977 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1983. She is the Chairman of the Board of The Commonwealth School. She has served on various committees and Task Forces for Harvard University. Ms Firestone is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston. Ms. Firestone’s book, “Even the Odds: Sensible Risk Taking in Business, Investing, and Life” was recently published by Bibliomotion. In addition, she is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review (HBR) blog and the Huffington Post. She has appeared many times on Squawk Box and Half Time Report, both on CNBC. She lives in Brookline, Massachusetts with her husband, David. They have four grown children, three grandchildren, and two Springer Spaniels. Karen is an avid runner, tennis and bridge player.

  • Michelle Wu

    Boston City Council President

    Michelle Wu was elected to the Boston City Council in November 2013 at the age of 28, and is the first Asian-American woman to serve on the Council. In her second term she was unanimously elected as President of the City Council in January of 2016, becoming the first woman of color to hold that role. As a former restaurant owner, legal services attorney, and legal guardian of her younger sister, Councilor Wu understands firsthand the barriers that families and communities face. Wu was the lead sponsor in Boston's Paid Parental Leave ordinance and Healthcare Equity ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity -- both of which passed unanimously through the Council and were signed into law by Mayor Martin Walsh. Councilor Wu got her start in City Hall working for Mayor Thomas M. Menino in the Mayor’s Office as a Rappaport Fellow in Law and Public Policy, where she created the Restaurant Roadmap guide, which for the first time outlined in one place the city’s restaurant permitting process from start to finish, and was also a driving force to launch Boston’s food truck program. She later served as statewide Constituency Director in the U.S. Senate campaign of her former law professor, Elizabeth Warren. Michelle Wu graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. She lives in Roslindale with her husband Conor and her son Blaise.

  • Alex Dimitrief ’81 B.A.

    SVP & General Counsel , General Electric

    Alex Dimitrief was named Senior Vice President & General Counsel of GE on November 1, 2015. He oversees a global team of 5,000 professionals who are responsible for GE’s legal matters, compliance, governmental affairs and environmental health and safety in the 165+ countries where GE does business. Dimitrief serves on GE’s Corporate Executive Council and chairs GE’s Policy Compliance Review Board. Dimitrief joined GE in February 2007 as Vice President for Litigation & Legal Policy. He was responsible for litigation and enforcement proceedings against GE and all of its business segments in the U.S. and all international jurisdictions. He also oversaw GE’s worldwide compliance programs and served on GE’s Corporate Executive Council and Policy Compliance Review Board. Mr. Dimitrief was promoted to Vice President & General Counsel of GE Energy in November 2011. He oversaw the Legal and Compliance functions for GE Energy’s worldwide portfolio, including the Power & Water, Oil & Gas and Energy Management businesses, which employ more than 100,000 people and produce products ranging from gas turbines, compressors and pipeline and drilling solutions to energy data management, power conversion and flow technologies. Dimitrief was named Senior Vice President & General Counsel of GE Capital in November 2012. At that time, GE Capital provided financial products and services to businesses and consumers globally, employed more than 47,000 people in 50+ countries and held over $500 billion in assets. Dimitrief oversaw the legal functions in all of GE Capital’s business units and played an integral role in GE’s transformation and reorganization of its financial services businesses in 2015. Mr. Dimitrief came to GE from Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where he had been a trial lawyer in the Firm’s Chicago and New York offices since 1986. His practice spanned numerous industries and subject areas, including securities class actions and regulation, complex commercial disputes, intellectual property, mass tort and product liability claims, environmental matters and bankruptcy litigation. Mr. Dimitrief was a White House Fellow in the Reagan Administration's Office of Political and Intergovernmental Affairs and an Honors Intern at the Department of Justice. He graduated from Yale College in 1981 with a B.A. in Economics & Political Science and earned his J.D. in 1985 at Harvard Law School, where he was the Managing Editor of the Harvard Law Review. Mr. Dimitrief and his wife Jill have three children and are actively involved in supporting numerous charitable organizations in Fairfield County and New York City. He presently serves on the Boards of the Ronald McDonald House of New York City and the Westport Country Playhouse.

  • Henry F. McCance ’64 B.A.

    Chairman Emeritus, Greylock Partners

    Henry McCance joined Greylock in 1969. He focuses on the software sector while overseeing Greylock's strategic direction. Mr. McCance came to Greylock after serving for two years in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He was responsible for Greylock's early involvement in the software industry with his backing of market-leading firms including American Management Systems, Pansophic (acquired by Computer Associates), Cullinane (acquired by Computer Associates), McCormack and Dodge (acquired by D&B Software) and VM Software (acquired by Sterling Software, and now part of Computer Associates). Over the ensuing 40 years of his tenure, Greylock has raised a series of fourteen partnerships, with current committed capital in excess of $3 billion, and helped build approximately 300 developing companies. In recognition, Henry received the National Venture Capital Association's Lifetime Achievement Award in May 2004, and, along with Greylock's founding partners, the Harvard Business School Award for Alumni Achievement in 2003. In 2000, Henry was voted one of the country's 10 best VCs by Forbes. Mr. McCance also served on the board of and led Greylock's investment in companies such as Tellabs, Shiva Corporation (acquired by Intel), Manugistics, Trilogy, ABT Corporation (acquired by Niku), Narrative Communications (acquired by @Home), Gradient Technologies (merged with Entegrity Solutions), Information Resources, Epsilon (acquired by Relizon) and Gateway Design (acquired by Cadence). In addition he served on the Board of Directors of Continental Cablevision for 25 years. In 2010, Mr. McCance became a partner of Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Boston Red Sox, the Liverpool Football Club, 80% of NESN, and 50% of Roush Fenway Racing, a NASCAR team. He is a director of Cure Alzheimer's Fund, which he co-founded in 2006, a new non-profit which uses the venture capital model to fund breakthrough research on Alzheimer's Disease. Mr. McCance served as a member of the Yale Investment Committee from 2003 – 2011, as President of the Fishers Island Club from 2006 -2013, as Chair of Greylock Israel Advisory Committee from 2006 – 2013, and as a director of Cabot Corporation from 2005 – 2016. He continues to serve as a Director of New Profit and a Trustee of Florida Polytechnic University.