Putting the Spotlight on Businesses: Palleschi’s OCABR Licensee Recognition Program Has Been a Tremendous Success

When Swampscott resident Edward A. Palleschi became the Undersecretary for the State Office of Community Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR), he wanted to shine a positive spotlight on businesses statewide.

Palleschi instituted OCABR’s Licensee Recognition program that aims to recognize and highlight businesses licensed or registered in Massachusetts that continue to reach high standards through their work and commitment to consumers.

State Undersecretary for the Office of Community Affairs and Business Regulation Edward A. Palleschi (right) is pictured with Colleen Toner, owner of Toner Real Estate, whose business received a Certificate of Excellence in OCABR’s Licensee Recognition Program.

Palleschi visited Lynn in November to recognize Toner Real Estate and owner Colleen Toner during an impressive award presentation ceremony at their Lynn offices.

Colin Codner, executive director of the Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce, and Amanda Schepici-Portillo, executive director of the Revere Chamber of Commerce, both praised the OCABR program headed by Palleschi.

“Any time there is an organization that is recognizing our businesses for the hard work they’re doing and the contributions that they provide to the community, we’re very much in support of that,” said Codner.

Schepici-Portillo, who took over the Revere Chamber in September, said RCC members are excited about the OCABR program.

“It’s a great way to recognize business owners and we hope to see one of our businesses recognized with this prestigious award,” said Schepici-Portillo. “What’s also so impressive was Secretary Palleschi personally reaching out to me to speak about how his office can help promote and advance local businesses.”

Bringing the Big Blue’s Winning Tradition to Government

The son of the late attorney Arthur Palleschi and Judith Palleschi, Edward Palleschi grew up in Swampscott and graduated from Swampscott High School in 1984. He played ice hockey and was the captain of the track team. He received his degree from Saint Anselm College. He later served two terms on the Swampscott School Committee.

“The house that my wife (Sheila Collins) and I bought, the house that my wife grew up in – I look out every day at the Clarke School where I went to kindergarten and I think, ‘I haven’t moved far, have I?’ But I love the town and I had a lot of fun along the way, and I’ve been given a lot of opportunities that I’m grateful for. I love Massachusetts and working for Gov. Baker. He’s done a tremendous job as the leader of the Commonwealth.”

Palleschi recalled his days in the Swampscott Little League when the town’s all-star team was a perennial contender for the state championship.

“My father coordinated the elementary school clinic, and he coached the Hadley School team,” said Palleschi. “[Future Major Leaguer] Matt Murray was on my brother Jeffrey’s team. Matt was a powerhouse in the 6-7-year-old clinic, and he was pitching the baseball to other kids. Because Matt was striking out the side every inning, they changed the clinic rules, so the coaches began pitching to the kids. That was the genesis of the coaches pitching to kids at that age level.”

Making his Mark for the Commonwealth

Palleschi previously served as the Deputy Chief Secretary in charge of boards and commissions in Governor Baker’s Office before being appointed by Gov. Baker to his current position. Palleschi’s immediate boss is Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Keanneally, who has been supportive of the program.

“We oversee five regulatory agencies, the Division of Banks, the Division of Insurance, the Division of Occupational Licensure, Division of Standards, and the Department of Telecommunications and Cable,” said Palleschi.

In the mission at OCABR, Palleschi helps protect and empower consumers through advocacy and education. “We’re a consumer advocacy organization,” he said.

Palleschi speaks pridefully about the Licensee Recognition Program that he implemented and the incredible success it has been become under his leadership.

“The idea behind the program was looking at some of our licensees and saying, ‘What more can we do help promote some of these businesses who are just doing the right thing – these good corporate citizens and terrific businesses that are reaching for the gold standard that we aim for with all of our licensees?”

Palleschi said he enjoys his visits to local businesses for the award presentations.

“We get to meet the owner, the families, the customers, and the Chamber of Commerce leaders, and it’s really just a nice thing,” said Palleschi.

There were 20 businesses recognition ceremonies in 2021. Palleschi said he hopes to increase the program’s reach this year.

“Our goal is to get to every corner of the state and recognize all kinds of businesses and have it be something that is a legacy program for the Baker-Polito Administration,” said Palleschi. “I’m confident that when all is said and done, it will be something that truly will live on beyond this administration and on to the next administration.”

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