REACH Participates in Waltham Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting

On Friday March 2, REACH attended the annual meeting of the Waltham Chamber of Commerce. REACH has been a member for years and we value our relationships with the business community in this area. We are excited that a REACH Advisory Boardmember, President and Treasurer of Nelson Companies Doug Waybright, is the new President of the Waltham Chamber Board of Directors.

Executive Director Laura Van Zandt congratulates new Waltham Chamber Board President Doug Waybright, President and Treasurer of Nelson Companies (and REACH Advisory Board member)

Doug is a wonderful ambassador for REACH: he and his colleagues were helpful in our search for new office space and Nelson Companies is a faithful Reach for the Stars Gala sponsor. Doug and the Chamber – and the Waltham Rotary Club – are steadfast supporters of our Waltham organizing efforts (staffing the grill at the Fall Festival, volunteering at our office and shelter, saying Hi to neighbors, supporting community awareness efforts including the Waltham High peer leaders, and plenty of paper goods drives!).

At the luncheon, Doug hosted local leaders including Mayor Jeannette McCarthy, and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, who was the keynote speaker at the event.

In his address as the new Chamber Board President, Doug shared his commitment to the non-profits of Waltham, including REACH. He challenged the business community and the Chamber members in the room to think about where their interests and assets might be utilized. “Do you care about access to healthy foods? Check out Waltham Community Farms. Do you care about after school programs for kids? Check out the Waltham Boys and Girls Club. Do you care about preventing and ending domestic violence? Check out REACH.” Doug’s call to action is commendable at a time when all of us need resources and depend on volunteers to stretch the impact of our work. We were so pleased to sit with our friends and neighbors in the non-profit community and be recognized by the Chamber. We are excited to see how the members of the Chamber answer the call.

Executive Director Laura Van Zandt and Director of Development Jean Doliber with Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, keynote speaker at the Waltham Chamber of Commerce Annual Luncheon.

This is especially timely as the Lieutenant Governor is working to bring a national initiative here to the Commonwealth. At the luncheon, Polito spoke about the vibrancy and importance of an engaged business community and administration efforts to support growth and sustainability. She is also working to deepen the commitments from companies to supporting survivors of domestic violence as part of Move to End DV, a national initiative started in California by the owners of a small moving company. Today, through Move to End DV, companies who want to do their part to support survivors of domestic violence make a pledge to offer goods or services from their business. We look forward to partnering with Lt. Gov. Polito as she endeavors to make Massachusetts a leader in this effort.


State Representative and City Council member Tom Stanley with Executive Director Laura Van Zandt. Rep Stanley, a member of the REACH Advisory Board, sat with members of the Waltham Police Department and Bentley University Police, among others. REACH and the Waltham PD work closely on a Waltham based High Risk Team to prevent domestic violence homicide. REACH also works with Bentley University, training and supporting campus efforts to address sexual violence.