Paul F. Matthews Phone: (774) 760-0495 ext. 105
Before being appointed Executive Director in the summer of 2005, Mr. Matthews had been serving since January 2004 as the Partnership's Public Affairs Program Manager. In that capacity, he directed the Partnership's advocacy activities, communications strategies, and public affairs; served as a liaison to municipal officials, regional employers, legislators, and state agencies; and coordinated initiatives on transportation, water resources, public policy, economic development, brownfields, permitting, and workforce development.
Mr. Matthews came to the Partnership with extensive experience in public policy, government affairs, communication, development, and municipal issues, after positions in government and non-profit associations. He served as then-State Representative Harriette Chandler’s Chief of Staff in the Massachusetts House of Representatives when she chaired the Joint Committee on Health Care. Mr. Matthews then went to the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, where he worked with legislative, municipal, and business leaders from across Central Massachusetts, and coordinated the public policy program for the state's chamber of commerce association. He has served on numerous boards and task forces on both a state and municipal level, and in 2009 was selected in a national competition to serve as a Ford Foundation Fellow on Regional Sustainable Development. In the summer of 2009, he earned his professional certification as a non-profit executive from the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Organizational Management (IOM), a four year course of instruction on non-profit association management.
He holds degrees from Colby College in Government and Biology, and was recognized by the Worcester Business Journal as a "Forty Under" award winner in 2001. Beyond his professional responsibilities, Mr. Matthews is active in a number of community organizations and has two young children.
Jessica Strunkin Phone: (774)760-0495 ext. 101
Jessica Strunkin joined the Partnership in January 2008, as the Manager of Public Policy & Public Affairs and now serves as Deputy Director. In this role, Ms. Strunkin is responsible for analyzing public policies, developing consensus on positions and responses, and implementing strategies to increase the impact of the Partnership's message to the state and federal government, municipalities, regional employers, the public and other key stakeholders. Additionally, Ms. Strunkin coordinates the Partnership's newsletter the Partnership Update, and Demographic Report, Strengthening Numbers, and organizes the Partnership's events such as State House Day and the Annual Conference. She currently serves on the Central MA Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Advisory Committee, the Water Management Act Advisory Committee, and MassDEP’s Advisory Committee for Regulatory Review.
Prior to joining the Partnership, Ms. Strunkin was the Director of Government Affairs at the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, where she managed various volunteer committees and was responsible for representing business community needs to state and local officials. During that time Ms. Strunkin also coordinated the state chamber association's legislative council agenda and meetings, and served on the Montachusett Joint Transportation Committee, which was responsible for making recommendations to the local MPO. While attending graduate school, Ms. Strunkin worked as an editorial assistant for the international journal, Diplomacy & Statecraft, in addition to her role as a research assistant on Andrew Bacevich's book, The New American Militarism.
Ms. Strunkin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. She received her Master of Arts in International Relations from Boston University in 2005, where she was honored with the Department Graduate Prize for Excellence in International Relations. She is married with two children.