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Investing in Diversity
This article originally appeared in the Bentley Magazine.
Joseph C. Antonellis ’82 MBA, vice chairman at State Street Corporation, was honored by the Black Professionals Group (BPG) for his outstanding support of diversity initiatives at the firm. One of the company’s largest employee networks, the BGP seeks to make State Street an employer of choice for black professionals.
Antonellis is particularly involved in an internship program sponsored by State Street and Bentley. The “dual shore” experience in the United States and China aims to identify, recruit and foster the development of talented young professionals from diverse backgrounds.
His other commitments include chairing the nonprofit Boston Partners in Education, which grooms volunteers to help Boston Public School students gain academic skills and self-esteem. The alumnus also lends support to Year Up, a nonprofit program that provides workplace skills and development for 18- to 24-year-olds in Boston, Cambridge and other urban areas across Massachusetts. At State Street, Antonellis has been a valuable mentor to several members of the BPG over the course of their career.
“It’s astonishing to be honored for something that should come naturally to all of us,” Antonellis said in accepting the award, presented in September 2007 during the BGP’s third annual Evening of Recognition.
“It’s imperative to surround yourself with the very best people you can, so that you can succeed,” he added. “The spirit of the BPG model is for the betterment of the company and for everyone who works for the company – not just themselves. . . . It is good business practice to invest back into the community.”
Speakers at the event, which took place at the State Street Financial Center in Boston, included Ronald E. Logue, State Street chairman and CEO; and Marsh Carter, chairman of the New York Stock Exchange and a former CEO of State Street. The evening’s emcee was NBC-TV reporter Dawn Hasbrouck; Bentley President Gloria Cordes Larson attended as well.
In October, Antonellis earned additional recognition, receiving the Timothy B. Harbert Distinguished Alumni Award from his alma mater. The award’s namesake was a Bentley alumnus and trustee, as well as the chairman of State Street Global Advisors, prior to his death in 2004.
During the award presentation at Alumni Weekend, college vice president Bob Minetti praised Antonellis’s role in educating Bentley students.
“Recognizing diversity as a business imperative for the 21st century is central to the Bentley mission, and central to Joe’s ongoing involvement with the college,” Minetti observed. “Through his service on our Business Advisory Council, and in presentations on diversity to students and faculty, Joe has added immeasurably to the depth and breadth of a Bentley education.”
Antonellis calls diversity the foundation of globalization. “It creates a workplace environment and organizational culture that encourages learning from others,” he said. “Including everyone fosters respect for differences, thereby reaping the benefits of diverse perspectives. State Street will continue to further strengthen its commitment to attract and retain a diverse global work force.”
Antonellis lives in Belmont, Mass., with his wife, MaryLynn. The couple has three children.
Bentley University’s Co-Provost and Dean of Arts and Sciences Daniel Everett talked with us recently about a wide range of topics, including being featured in a new book by Tom Wolfe, two of his own upcoming books, the importance of studying the origins of language, and the value of a fusion approach to business education.