GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt ’78 H’04 and Olympian Abbey D’Agostino ’14 were honored at the New Englander of the Year awards on November 1, 2016. The awards, which were presented at The New England Council’s Annual Dinner, honor residents and natives of New England for their contributions to their field of work and their impact on the region’s quality of life.
D’Agostino, a native of Topsfield, MA, is the most decorated Ivy League athlete in track and field and cross country running. During the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, while running the women’s 5,000-meter race, D’Agostino and New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin tripped over each other. When Hamblin couldn’t get up on her own, D’Agostino helped her up. When D’Agostino tried to resume the race, her torn ACL caused her knee to buckle, and Hamblin helped her to finish the race. This tremendous display of sportsmanship helped make D’Agostino uniquely qualified for the New Englander of the Year Award.
Immelt joined GE in 1982, just four years after graduating from Dartmouth with a degree in applied mathematics. Since becoming the ninth chairman of GE in 2001, Immelt has been named one of the World’s Best CEOs by Barron’s three times. In that time, GE has been named America’s Most Admired Company by Fortune magazine and one of the World’s Most Respected Companies by Barron’s and the Financial Times. As chair of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and a member of The American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Immelt has also given back to the community in myriad ways.
The New Englanders of the Year Awards are given out by The New England Council, the country’s oldest regional business organization. An alliance of businesses, academic and health institutions, and public and private organizations throughout New England, the Council was formed to promote economic growth and a high quality of life in the region.