New England Council President & CEO James T. Brett will be inducted into the Massachusetts Special Olympics Hall of Fame at a ceremony on Thursday, October 2, 2014. The ceremony will take place at the Yawkey Sports Training Center in Marlborough, MA, at 6:00 p.m. Brett will be inducted to the Hall of Fame along with a number of other Special Olympics athletes, families, coaches, and volunteers.

“The Special Olympics of Massachusetts is a wonderful organization that does tremendous work to improve the lives of people with disabilities in our region,” Mr. Brett said. “Advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities is a cause that is near and dear to my heart, and I am truly honored to be selected for the Hall of Fame.”

Mr. Brett, a Dorchester resident, has served as the President & CEO of the New England Council, a non-partisan business organization representing businesses throughout the six New England states, since 1996. Prior to joining the Council, he served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives for over 15 years. Throughout his career, Mr. Brett has been an outspoken and tireless advocate for people with intellectual disabilities. He was recently appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID). He served a two-year term as the Committee’s Chairman from 2011 to 2013, and previously served on PCPID from 2002 to 2006 under President George W. Bush. Mr. Brett also currently serves as the Chairman of the Massachusetts Governor’s Commission on Intellectual Disability, and President of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health. Mr. Brett is a member of the Board of Directors of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, the Rodman Ride for Kids. Mr. Brett serves as a member of the Home Base Program’s Leadership Council, and Bay Cove Human Services, Inc.’s Board of Advocates.

Mr. Brett’s advocacy work has been recognized by a number of organizations, including Easter Seals, the Disability Law Center, The Price Center, Bridgewell, Action for Boston Community Development, Massachusetts Special Olympics, and Community Resources for Justice. In 1996, Bay Cove Human Services of Boston named a new community home for disabled adults "Brett House" in named his honor. In 2009 and 2011, the Boston Red Sox invited him to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park in recognition of his national contributions in support of people with intellectual disabilities. Last year, the University of Massachusetts Boston established the James T. Brett Chair in Disability and Workforce Development, the nation’s only endowed chair in disability and workforce development.

The New England Council, the country’s oldest regional business organization, is an alliance of businesses, academic and health institutions, and public and private organizations throughout New England formed to promote economic growth and a high quality of life in the region. The Council is dedicated to identifying and supporting federal public policies and articulating the voice of its membership regionally and nationally on important issues facing New England. The NEC is also committed to working with public and private sector leaders across the region and in Washington through educational programs and forums for information exchange.

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