Newton, Mass. – Chuck Tanowitz, vice president of public relations at independent marketing and PR agency Eric Mower & Associates received the Newton-Needham Chamber RL Tennant Award—the chamber’s highest honor—at the 100th Annual Achievement Breakfast this week.
Tanowitz shared the award with Chris Steele, an economic development specialist with Investment Consulting Associates. Both played a crucial role in the establishment of the N2 Innovation Corridor—an area of Newton and Needham designed to attract innovation-driven companies.
The N2 Innovation Corridor stretches for nearly 500 acres along I-95 on the Newton-Needham line. It’s home to such companies as TripAdvisor, PTC, Big Belly Solar, Turbine, SharkNinja (formerly Europro), Verastem, CyberArk, and Karyopharm Therapeutics. Both Tanowitz and Steele were instrumental in guiding the Chamber’s board on the establishment of this community.
“Chuck Tanowitz is an amazing vision guy. He was instrumental in helping us think about the role that inner suburban communities can play in the innovation economy, but he’s also frank about the very real challenges we face,” commented Greg Reibman, president of the Newton-Needham Chamber. “He steered our branding effort, leading the conversation when we came up with the N-squared name. He helped us create programs, events and messages designed to grow awareness of this effort, and his impact is clear as the Corridor continues to succeed.”
Tanowitz and Steele have donated a significant amount of their professional expertise and passion to the success of this project. Because of their dedication, this is the first time the award is going to two members of the chamber.
“I believe that the Newton and Needham area can play a central role in the innovation economy of the greater Boston area,” Tanowitz said. “Of course, the work here is far from over. In fact, the N2 project continues with a research effort based on a $50,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to help establish the N2 Corridor as a live, work, play destination. Chris and I see this as a long-term effort that will yield results long into the future.”
“Steele is responsible for the application that lead to this recent grant,” Reibman continued. “Chris is the guy who had us roll up our sleeves and really think seriously about what needs to be done in the corridor, and how we get there. He’s been my mentor in understanding how businesses make location decisions and how business districts thrive.”
“I’m proud of the work we have done to enhance our communities’ profile in regional economic development,” commented Steele. “Our goal is to make the N2 Corridor part of a much larger effort to grow the entire metro-Boston region, which is why we’re also excited by the success of places like the Charles River Mill District. It’s gratifying that our work has helped demonstrate how the City of Newton and the Town of Needham are welcoming and supportive of innovation-driven businesses.”
The RL Tennant Award is the chairman’s award, presented in recognition of a Newton-Needham Chamber member’s outstanding contributions to the economic and/or cultural vitality of the communities. Recent honorees include Ken Brennan of the Village Bank, Dr. Michael Jellinek of Newton-Wellesley Hospital and Peter Smith of Green Newton.
Eric Mower + Associates recently combined with HB Agency—a Boston-based integrated marketing and public relations agency—where Tanowitz served as vice president before the combination.