past event
Employment and Jobs

Launch of the Good Companies/Good Jobs Initiative

We apologize for the technical difficulties that occurred during our livestream. To enjoy the introductory video that was shared with our in-person audience (starting around 0:26:00), please click here.

Audio (MP3)

To download, click here.


About this Event

The Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program is thrilled to announce a new initiative and a new team member! The Good Companies/Good Jobs Initiative at the Aspen Institute looks to sectors that have the potential to house good companies and good jobs, including health care and manufacturing, as well as retail, hospitality, and other service industries. It also explores tools to better align capital deployment to firms with good jobs outcomes. Mark Popovich, former vice president for The Hitachi Foundation’s Good Companies@Work program, has joined EOP to direct this initiative.

Funding for Good Companies/Good Jobs comes to EOP as one of three final gifts in The Hitachi Foundation’s legacy. This event features examples of companies that intentionally provide jobs that are good for workers and good for companies. We also shared more information about the interrelated goals of all three of The Hitachi Foundation legacy gifts, including to the MIT Sloan School of Management and Investors’ Circle.


Featured Speakers

Maureen Conway @conway_maureen
Vice President for Policy Programs, The Aspen Institute @AspenInstitute
Executive Director, Economic Opportunities Program @AspenWorkforce

Maureen Conway serves as Vice President for Policy Programs at the Aspen Institute and as Executive Director of the Institute’s Economic Opportunities Program (EOP). Ms. Conway founded EOP’s Workforce Strategies Initiative (AspenWSI) and has headed up workforce research at the Aspen Institute since 1999. Ms. Conway’s previous experience includes consulting for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris and work for the U.S. Peace Corps, where she advised on the design, management, and evaluation of the organization’s economic development programs in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union. Maureen has an M.B.A. from Columbia University, a Masters in Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina, and a B.A. in economics and mathematics from Holy Cross College.

Barbara Dyer @BDyer_MIT
Executive Director, Good Companies, Good Jobs Initiative at MIT @MITSloan
Former President & CEO, The Hitachi Foundation @HitachiFdn

Barbara Dyer recently joined MIT’s Sloan School of Management as Senior Lecturer & Executive Director of the Good Companies, Good Jobs Initiative. Dyer arrives following 18 years as president & CEO of The Hitachi Foundation where she shaped the focus on business at the intersection of people and profits. The Foundation has been influential in spreading good-jobs business practice and in launching award-winning national initiatives including: SOURCE: Solutions from Our Country’s Entrepreneurs ; Jobs to Careers; and the National Fund for Workforce Solutions. Ms. Dyer’s extensive public policy career includes service as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the United States Department of the Interior; and posts with the National Academy of Public Administration, the National Governors Association the Council of State Governments Western Regional Office. She is a graduate and former Trustee of Clark University.

Steven Kase @StevenKase
Managing Director, ASK Power @AskLugs

Steve Kase is the Managing Director at ASK Power, a manufacturer of electrical connectors that are used in the automotive, electrical utilities and telecommunications industry. In his 30 years at the helm of ASK Power, Steve has incorporated state-of-the-art manufacturing production systems to compete with the nation’s largest connector competitors. To this day, he continues to spur innovation on his shop floor and within employee training. In addition, he has been the member of a number of industrial associations. Before ASK, he was General Manager of FMC’s Corporation Equipment Division in Venezuela. Kase holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard’s Business School, where he graduated with distinction. He graduated with a BA from Yale University, where he swam for their nationally-ranked swimming and water polo teams.

Evelia Cruz
Automation Team Leader, ASK Power @AskLugs

Evelia Cruz is an automation team leader at ASK Power. In her 15 years at ASK Power, Evelia has set the standard for top performance. Evelia joined ASK Power in 2002 as a machine operator and has since served in many other positions in the production process, assuring the development of high quality products. She also helped shape ASK Power’s Knowledge Worker Program. Evelia’s success created an environment where others on the ASK Power team were able to learn new skills, advance their careers, and increase their productivity.

Dr. Robert S. Eden
Physician, Anne Arundel Health System

Robert Eden, M.D., is a pioneer in a redesigned patient care model based on primary care patient medical home and that engages medical assistants in expanded roles. His approach including improved supports and engagement for the medical assistants is integral to a more team-oriented approach. Dr. Eden’s practice demonstrated high physician and staff satisfaction, improved patient care outcomes, and higher productivity. It became a core element of the strategy under development within the Anne Arundel Health System’s project in the Hitachi Foundation supported Care Team Redesign Initiative. Dr. Eden is a native of Richmond, Virginia, and attended Duke University and received his medical degree from Duke University in 1980. After serving on the clinical faculty for one year at Duke University, Dr. Eden moved to Annapolis, Maryland, where he is in his 33rd year of practicing family medicine.

Mary Leone
Certified Medical Assistant, Anne Arundel Health System

Mary Leone has served as Site Coordinator of Annapolis Primary Care for the past three years, where she is primarily responsible for coordinating clinical aspects of the office, as well as overseeing and training the medical assistants on staff. She has worked in the healthcare field for 19 years, of which the last 13 have been within primary care offices. In summer 2016, Mary became certified as a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant with the National Healthcare Association. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her two children (ages 6 and 14) or learning more about healthcare and medicine.


This event is part of the Working in America series, an ongoing discussion series hosted by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program that highlights an array of critical issues affecting low- and moderate-income workers in the United States and ideas for improving and expanding economic opportunities for working people. For more information, visit




Keep the conversation going on Twitter with the hashtags #gcgj and #talkgoodjobs.

Event information
Thu Jan 26, 2017
12:00pm - 1:30pm GMT+0000
The Aspen Institute
One Dupont Circle, NW Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036