Gloucester Daily Times
Posted: Thursday, October 8, 2015 9:20 pm
By Ray Lamont Staff Writer
The highest-ranking woman in Massachusetts’ state government told those gathered for the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce’s annual businesswomen’s luncheon Thursday that their achievements are “an inspiration” to her, and a model for their daughters and other young women to follow.
Karyn Polito, the state’s lieutenant governor who was elected last November as running mate to Gov. Charlie Baker, was introduced by the chamber’s Ruth Pino as “a classic example for telling your daughters that you can be whatever you want to be.”
Polito recalled the importance of her own mother’s support for pursuing her goals and moving forward in her careers as a businesswoman heading a Central Massachusetts real estate business as well as a community leader.
“You have to have someone in your life who powers you up,” said Polito, who served on the Board of Selectmen in her hometown of Shrewsbury, then later as her district’s state representative. She is married and mother to two boys, ages 10 and 12 .
“All along the way,” she said, “I tried to always work hard on whatever I had in front of me. I found that, if you do that, you’ll find doors open for you along the way. But it’s important to identify that person who will always be there to support you — always be there as your whisperer reminding you that you can do what you want to do. Then, you have to listen to those whispers.”
Polito touted the strides the state’s administration has made, from reforming aspects of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to “fixing” Massachusetts Health insurance coverage and its Health Connector.
“There are a lot of things that we need to fix, and we are going to fix them,” she said. “We are going to fix the ‘T’, we are going to fix the Health Connector, we are going to fix the Registry of Motor Vehicles.”
She added, however, the key is to approach the state’s problems from a nonpartisan viewpoint. She noted the roles women are playing in administrative leadership, citing Kristen Lepore as Secretary of Administration and Finance, Marylou Sudders as Secretary of Health and Human Services, Stephanie Pollack as Secretary of Transportation, and former Gloucester Mayor Carolyn Kirk as deputy secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.
Polito also chairs the Seaport Advisory Council, of which interim Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken is a member. Polito said the panel has revised its focus toward offering more options for diverse waterfront development in coastal communities such as Gloucester.
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