Chief Operating Officer Jane Kaplan Peck was featured in the September issue of Dorchester Bay Digest to weigh in on the importance of supporting nonprofit developers like DBEDC for local economic growth & community development.
Why do you support Dorchester Bay’s work?
As a contractor, we have always felt a civic responsibility to build in areas of disinvestment and improve the lives of people where we operate. We are drawn to community-oriented developers like DBEDC to fulfill this mission. DBEDC and Kaplan both share the idea that affordable, aesthetically pleasing, quality buildings are not mutually exclusive. The hugely successfully Bornstein & Pearl Food Production Center that we helped build is an example of this.
Kaplan Construction has partnered with Dorchester Bay EDC on development projects, and you’re also a donor. What aspects of DBEDC’s mission motivated you to go beyond a business partnership to directly support our work?
Relationships do not stop once the final nail has been driven. If we believe in your mission, we will continue to support it – it’s as simple as that! Dorchester Bay’s passion for economic development, in particular, is inspiring to us. Community development goes further than just building houses – we need to be focusing on job creation and economic growth in our local neighborhoods. The Bornstein & Pearl Food Production Center is the proud home to almost 50 independent businesses and has created nearly 150 new jobs since we helped build it in 2014. These are measurable victories that motivate us to support DBEDC, whether it’s through donations, event sponsorships, or fundraisers.
From your perspective, why are community development and organizations like Dorchester Bay an important resource to the communities they serve?
It is no secret that there is a lack of affordable housing in Boston and the country as a whole. Dorchester Bay is a tireless advocate to change this, and we need more CDCs like them to restore and sustain economic development and access to homeownership in our communities.
Is there anything in particular that you’d want people to know about you or Kaplan Construction that they might not be aware of or might be surprised to know?
That we are a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) and the majority of our work is done with nonprofits. Some also might not know that Kaplan is a family-owned business. It was founded in 1976 by my parents Ken and Cathy Kaplan, and they ran it for nearly 40 years before my husband and I took over in 2014. We pride ourselves in keeping a family atmosphere here, and we have a few other second-generation employees that have come on board!