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2024 Power 100: Meredith Harris

A woman brown hair and blonde highlights stands with folded arms wearing a black, white, and tan color blocked dress. Photo I Courtesy of Marlborough Economic Development Corp. Meredith Harris
Meredith Harris Title Executive director Company Marlborough Economic Development Corp. Employees: 4 Residence Marlborough Colleges University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, University of Massachusetts Boston Read all the Power 100 profiles here
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When you’re leading economic development in a bustling hub like Marlborough with ideal highway access and plenty of amenities, you can afford to be picky. For Meredith Harris, adhering to a vision is the driving force, and the efforts pay off in real results.

Making the right calls is the challenge in a city drawing major corporate headquarters like life sciences firm Boston Scientific and retailer BJs Wholesale Club. The Marlborough Economic Development Corp., a quasi-public nonprofit established in 2007, is independent but collaborates closely with the City of Marlborough to work with investors, developers, and business owners supporting their growth through a variety of tools. These include expedited permitting, financial support, and even rental assistance.

Harris, the MEDC’s well-connected leader who seemingly knows every important official and serves in capacities such as on the board of corporators for Marlborough-based Main Street Bank, is quick to offer any assistance to businesses looking to invest in the city.

MEDC’s high-profile accomplishments in the last year included working on tax-break agreements leading to investments of $350 million by Cambridge pharmaceutical company Moderna and $100 million by Germany-based life sciences firm Sartorius North America, resulting in the addition of more than 300 jobs.

Harris must invest an annual budget from the City of Marlborough economic development fund – $715,000, according to a 2022 filing with the Internal Revenue Service – to support strategic development. Its focus isn’t limited to large corporations; in 2023, MEDC awarded $90,000 in grants and loans to six small businesses.

Harris pointed to the Alta-Marlborough housing development under construction as a prime example of finding the right project for Marlborough. The 276-unit luxury apartment and retail project at Lincoln and Mechanic streets, which includes improvements to the Assabet River Rail Trail, will help revitalize the inner core of the city. 

Read all the Power 100 profiles here.

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