December 22, 2021

21 Things to Celebrate in 2021

And just like that, 2021 has drawn to a close. In a year that brought trials and tribulations, new innovations and collaborations, and opportunities to both reflect on the past and plan for the future, we are happy to highlight 21 causes for celebration we experienced in 2021.

  1. Awards and Recognitions: we celebrated the many clients and friends who were recognized for outstanding leadership, service, and achievements. TFC Financial Management was recognized by CNBC, earning a spot on its Top 100 Financial Advisors list. Dr. Aisha Francis of Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology and Leon Wilson of the Museum of African American History were each named “Movement Makers” as members of this year’s Boston Business Journal’s Power 50 while Jenny Holaday of Encore Boston Harbor was recognized as a Woman Who Means Business by the Boston Business Journal.

  2. Our own Denterlein team had a strong year – both in the office and broader community. We brought on seven new team members, and even welcomed two babies to the extended Denterlein family! Our Vice President Jayda Leder-Luis was named one of Ten Outstanding Young Leaders by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and our Senior Advisor Peter J. Howe was named President of the New England-Canada Business Council.

  3. A definite highlight was returning to a (hybrid) office, enjoying the familiarity of in-person brainstorms and conversations in the kitchen. We came together for picnics in Post Office Square, visited the New England Aquarium, competed for the title of “best baker” and tried our hand at the dart board at Flight Club Boston. We gathered virtually for important conversations; co-hosting a conversation surrounding issues of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with the Wayside Equity Training Center, hosting a FUN in Boston event where panelists discussed the importance of ethical storytelling, and our own In the News event with experts discussing the outcomes of a historic mayoral election season.

  4. This year reinforced the impact of community engagement. Members of the Denterlein team volunteered with the American Red Cross Food Pantry in Boston, serving 793 Massachusetts families in need. In support of Rosie’s Place and the Pine Street Inn, we donated 574 supplies for the winter ahead. And over the course of the year, Denterlein made charitable contributions to dozens of community orgs serving the vulnerable, including matches to those non-profits supported by our teammates.

  5. We relished the opportunity to join the larger Boston business community at in-person events such as Spectacle on Spectacle with Boston Harbor Now and the Norman B. Leventhal Awards with A Better City. We also played roles in organizing a mayoral forum – Building Boston’s Economic Future for Everyone - hosted by A Better City, the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, and CommonWealth Magazine.

  6. In 2021, we saw incredible strides for a better transportation network in Greater Boston. Buses became more accessible with three dedicated fare-free bus lines and an inaugural center bus lane on Columbus Avenue. ITDP campaigned for international Cycling Cities to become more bike friendly. And we supported transit advocates from across the state as they came together on behalf of the workers, commuters, and residents to state that Transit is Essential in the face of unneeded service cuts. We also saw a brighter future for I-90 and the western gateway to Boston through MassDOT’s selection of the all at-grade solution for the Allston Multimodal project.

  7. Milestones were celebrated for several real estate projects across the city. Samuels & Associates made progress in its construction of a major air rights project over the Mass Pike at Parcel 12 and celebrated the groundbreaking at Washington Village in South Boston. And the Rose Kennedy Greenway, with support of the Greenway Business Improvement District (BID), prepared to welcome Boston’s newest park space with the groundbreaking of the future North Meadow on The Greenway (formerly known as Parcel 2).

  8. The pandemic reinforced that healthcare innovation never sleeps. The Museum of Science hosted vaccine clinics and introduced the new “Project Vaccine” exhibit to their visitors. Beth Israel Lahey Health clinicians and researchers contributed to the science behind one of the approved COVID-19 vaccines and invested in equitable distribution of the vaccine across the region. The Texas Medical Center was a national leader in sharing regional COVID-19. The Mass League of Community Health Centers, under the new leadership of Michael Curry, worked closely with the communities of Boston to deliver much-needed care.

  9. Organizations and institutions from across the Commonwealth welcomed new leaders; like Matthew Stephens at Mount Auburn Cemetery, Jenny Holaday at Encore Boston Harbor, Aisha Francis at Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, and Dr. Meredith Bailey, DMD of Massachusetts Dental Society.
  10. We celebrated life beyond 50, as Friends of the Public Garden, the New England Aquarium, Cambridge College, and the Italian Home for Children each celebrated 50th Anniversary milestones.

  11. Professionals across Boston learned how to work in a hybrid office, while some stayed at home, others commuted to their cubicles. Elizabeth Lowrey of Elkus Manfredi Architects and Jim Tierney of Jones Lang Laselle established themselves as experts in the return to the physical office, sharing advice with NECN and other publications.

  12. Appreciation for the arts was paramount in 2021. A public Art Walk was established in The Fenway, stunning murals were commissioned by Oxford Properties in Chinatown, a provocative and participatory public art installation sponsored by the Friends of the Public Garden asked “What Do We Have in Common?” in America’s first public park, and Sea Walls came to the New England Aquarium. We also celebrated unique performing arts like the Puppet Showplace Theater.
  13. We came together to pause, reflect, and honor moments in history often overlooked in the Greater Boston area. We celebrated the return of the Shaw 54th Regiment Memorial on the Boston Common following a $3 million restoration project and the dedication of the Middle Passage Port Marker, honoring the enslaved Africans and Indigenous people who arrived and departed from Boston Harbor.

  14. From hunting for invasive bugs, generating awareness around endangered plants, and even attending plant graduation – yes, a commencement ceremony for plants – our work was at the core of climate change, community science, and strengthening people's relationships with nature, including with the Arnold Arboretum.
  15. We supported mobility advocates in advancing aspirational and impactful ideas like the North Atlantic Rail network and creative street projects, supported by the Barr Foundation, that put people and community building at the center of placemaking throughout the pandemic.
  16. 2021 was the year of the advocate. The Mass Dental Society secured critically needed access to COVID-19 vaccines for dental teams. BARCC continued to lift voices of survivors through their forum, Conversations for Understanding, Healing, and Social Change.
  1. We supported our local small businesses throughout the pandemic. Throughout the pandemic, we saw organizations across the Commonwealth help small businesses navigate the devastating impact of COVID-19. Nutter joined the Small Business Strong Steering Committee giving legal advice to minority-owned businesses. MassINC unveiled the blueprint for successful entrepreneurs of color.

  2. We gathered and uplifted the unsung heroes among us; at the inaugural Heroes Breakfast hosted by the American Red Cross of Massachusetts. Mass-ALA recognized the dedicated Unsung Heroes that provide care every day to their assisted living residents throughout the Commonwealth. The Edward M. Kennedy Institute Award for Inspired Leadership was presented to the CEOs of Moderna and Pfizer for the innovation and change they’ve brought to our greater communities.

  3. As we look to a greener future, we were inspired by those enacting change for tomorrow. GZA secured a “Brownfield to Brightfield” solar energy project in Rhode Island while Solar Design Associates successfully commissioned a one-of-a-kind solar energy installation in historic Harvard Square.

  4. We celebrated the future of our city, embodied by a new generation of leaders: Acting Boston Mayor Kim Janey served as the first woman and person of color to hold the role. Only a few months later, Michelle Wu was the first woman and person of color to be elected as Mayor in the City of Boston.

  5. Though the big moments get the spotlight, it is the collegial, collaborative relationships that we have with our colleagues and our clients that make each day meaningful. By lifting up the voices of our clients and partners, Denterlein plays a role in the conversations and actions shaping the future of the region. And that is truly a cause for celebration.