New state development official to address Lynn business

LYNN – Robert Coughlin, newly appointed by Gov. Deval Patrick as state undersecretary for business development, will deliver a public address in Lynn on Wednesday, March 14.A former state legislator, Coughlin is now the second-highest ranking official at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, will be joined at the podium by James Cowdell, director of the Lynn Economic Development and Industrial Corp., and Hal McGaughey, director of the Lynn Office of Economic and Community Development.The presentation will be held at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 177 Lynnfield St., at 7:30 a.m., sponsored by the Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce (LACC).”It’s an opportunity to hear the state and city economic development update. Bob Coughlin will give an overview of the state’s economic development initiatives and how they impact the Lynn area,” said LACC Executive Director Kevin Donahue.Coughlin joined the state’s economic development team following years of experience in the business community. He formerly was a principal at MC Solutions and Susquenhanna Capital Management. From 1991 to 1999, he worked for Clean Harbors Environmental Services Inc., as an account manager, eventually becoming a regional sales and marketing manager.More recently, Coughlin served as a two-term legislator from the 11th Norfolk District representing part of Dedham, Walpole and Westwood. He was vice chairman of the Joint Committee on Revenue, which sought to bring stability to the tax code and worked on bills including the so-called Loophole Bill, Melanie’s Law, healthcare reform, and economic stimulus proposals. His experience also included efforts to streamline permitting.Coughlin was named Freshman Legislator of the Year by the Massachusetts Nurses Association, and was awarded Boston’s Top 40 Under 40 distinction by the Boston Business Journal in 2005. He earned a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in 1991, and remains a lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserve.Cowdell and McGaughey will confine their remarks to local initiatives.”I’ll focus on the waterfront where there are new developments, such as moving the power lines at the south end of the harbor and the opportunities that will present,” said Cowdell. “We’re moving forward, working with National Grid. Right now there’s an engineering study being conducted to make sure the lines can be moved. Those lines have been up for 45 years. Moving them is a significant undertaking that will take more time than we’d like, but it will happen. That’s the big news.”Plans for a pedestrian boardwalk from the Nahant traffic rotary to the Gen. Edwards Bridge is also part of the master plan under development by Sasaki Associates, he said.McGaughey will provide an overview of downtown economic development, including the 31 condominiums under construction in a former industrial building on Mt. Vernon Street.According to Cowdell, the city is also preparing for a springtime project on Munroe Street where a new road surface will be laid, sidewalks constructed, and decorative antique streetlamps installed.”This event is a great opportunity to show Mr. Coughlin what is happening in Lynn,” said Cowdell, noting that Daniel O’Connell, the state secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, visited Lynn two weeks ago. “Clearly there has been a lot of attention on Lynn since Gov. Patrick took office, and that only bodes well for us.”Tickets to the event include a breakfast buffet and are $20 for chamber members, $40 for non-members. For reservations, call the chamber at (781) 592-2900.

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