Chris Gabrieli 2007 Passion for Action Leadership Award Recipient

Lead Sponsors
  • Emerging Leaders Award Sponsors
  • The Jenzabar Foundation
  • Shawmut Design and Construction
  • Anonymous (2)
  • Larry & Atsuko Fish
  • Ted & Beedee Ladd
  • Robert A. Lincoln
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  • Education Equals Prosperity Sponsors
  • Anonymous
  • Keena & Chris Clifford
  • Tufts Health Plan
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  • Full Sponsor List

Chris Gabrieli is an entrepreneur in business, nonprofit organizations, and public policy. His passion for leading a life of purpose and meaning, dedicated to the greater good, is admired by all who know this remarkable man. These qualities, combined with a deep commitment to education and universal opportunity, qualify him as a role model for generations to come.

Chris was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1960, the son of Hungarian immigrants, Elmér and Lilla Elizabeth Gabrieli. After graduating from Harvard College, he was forced to drop out of Columbia University's medical school to save his family's business, a healthcare system software company, from bankruptcy.

After bringing GMIS to great success, he joined Bessemer Venture Partners. Throughout his 15 years as a partner with Bessemer, Chris worked to help other entrepreneurs start and grow their companies. Chris's firm invested over $1 billion in start-up high-tech and biotechnology companies, helping to create more than 100,000 new jobs. Chris remains active as a Senior Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, focused on biotechnology.

Chris is a committed participant in the civic life of Boston and Massachusetts. In 2000, he Co-founded Massachusetts 2020, an educational nonprofit focused on expanding the economic and educational opportunities for children and families across Massachusetts. He was the Founder and Chairman of Boston's After-School for All Partnership, a $26 million collaboration of the City of Boston and 12 foundations, universities, and corporations, aimed at expanding and improving after-school opportunities for children. Due in large part to the Partnership's work, Boston has doubled the rate of participation of children in after-school programs. Chris now serves as Chairman of Boston After School & Beyond, the permanent public-private partnership aimed at the same goals

From 1996 to 2002 Chris served as Chairman of MassINC, a non-partisan, independent policy think tank. He serves on a number of non profit boards including The Boston Foundation, The Boston Plan for Excellence, The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, the Boston Public Library Foundation, and both the Harvard School of Public Health and the Boston University School of Public Health. In 2002, Chris won a three-way primary to become the Democratic Party nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts.

Chris is currently CEO of the Ironwood Equity Fund, a Small Business Investment Corporation (SBIC) that provides growth capital to expansion and later stage businesses in the Northeast. Ironwood focuses on the healthcare, value-added manufacturing, business services, consumer products, and retail industries.

Chris lives in Boston with his wife, Hilary, and their five children: John, Abigail, Polly, Lilla, and Nicholas.

  • Event Leadership:
    • Trish Karter, President and CEO, Dancing Deer Baking Co.
    • Ranch C. Kimball, President and CEO, Joslin Diabetes Center
    • Edward "Ted" Ladd, Director and Chairman Emeritus, Standish Mellon Asset Management
  • Honorary Event Chairs:
    • Governor Deval L. Patrick and First Lady Diane B. Patrick
  • Honorary Committee:
    • Senator Edward Kennedy and Mrs. Victoria Reggie Kennedy
    • Senator John F. Kerry and Mrs. Teresa Heinz Kerry
    • Congressman Michael E. Capuano
    • Attorney General Martha Coakley
    • Senate President Therese Murray
    • Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi
    • Mayor Thomas M. Menino
  • Host Committee:
    • Judith and Robert Anderson
    • Henry Becton, Jr.
    • Edward J. Benz, MD
    • Sandy and Ted Bowers
    • Ellen Burnham
    • Maureen and Ed Coakley
    • Grace Fey
    • Larry Fish
    • Carol Fulp
    • Paul S. Grogan
    • Barbara and Steve Grossman
    • Frank Hayes
    • Tina and Bill Helm
    • Philip W. Johnston
    • Hubie Jones
    • Robin and Tripp Jones
    • Wendell J. Knox
    • Gloria and Allen Larson
    • Elizabeth and Paige L'Hommedieu
    • Robert A. Lincoln
    • Frances and Monroe "Bud" Moseley
    • Thomas P. O'Neill III
    • Tom Payzant
    • Colette A.M. Phillips
    • James Roosevelt, Jr.
    • Barbara and Robert Sallick
    • Jim Scott
    • Barry R. Sloane
    • Jonathan G. Sloane
    • Meg Vaillancourt

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