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New Leaders Set Direction for AIM Board of Economic Advisors

Posted on August 16, 2021

The Associated Industries of Massachusetts Board of Economic Advisors, which oversees the monthly AIM Business Confidence Index (BCI), has new leadership as the Index marks its 30th anniversary.

Sara L. Johnson, Executive Director of Global Economics at London-based IHS Markit, has been named Chair of the 13-member Board of Economic Advisors. Michael A. Tyler, CFA, Chief Investment Officer at Eastern Bank Wealth Management, will serve as vice chair.

Ms. Johnson takes over from Raymond C. Torto, Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, who recently stepped down after leading the Board since the inception of the Business Confidence Index in July 1991. Mr. Torto will remain as a member of the Board of Economic Advisors.

The Business Confidence Index measures employer sentiment across multiple industries in Massachusetts and is widely reported in the news media. Business confidence is a valuable indicator of economic trends, measuring the willingness of employers to expand, hire and make capital investments.

“We are delighted to have Sara Johnson and Michael Tyler lead this this group of distinguished experts who oversee the Business Confidence Index and advise AIM about public-policy issues affecting the economy,” said John Regan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Associated Industries of Massachusetts.

“At the same time, we are deeply grateful to Ray Torto for helping to develop the confidence index and for providing insight and wisdom to AIM for three decades.”

Ms. Johnson co-authors IHS Markit’s Global Executive Summary, manages the Executive Strategy Council, and presents the economic outlook to international conferences. She previously served as North American research director and chief regional economist with Standard & Poor’s DRI and managing director of global macroeconomics with Global Insight.

Ms. Johnson is a former director of the National Association for Business Economics and the NABE Foundation and was named an NABE Fellow in 2014. She is past president of The Boston Economic Club and a member of the American Economic Association.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Mathematics from Wellesley College and a Master of Arts in Economics from Harvard University with concentrations in Finance and Macroeconomic Theory.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to Ray Torto for building the Board of Economic Advisors into a distinguished group of scholars and business economists. I now look forward to working with Michael Tyler and the full board to find new ways to provide useful and accurate economic analysis to AIM and its 3,300 member employers,” Ms. Johnson said.

Mr. Tyler sets investment policies and structures asset allocation strategies for client portfolios at Eastern Bank Wealth Management, a unit of Boston-based Eastern Bank. As the primary spokesman for the firm’s investment services, Mr. Tyler develops and disseminates economic and financial market viewpoints. He is also responsible for selecting and overseeing providers of investment services.

Prior to joining Eastern, Mr. Tyler enjoyed a successful career as a partner at Boston-based Wellington Management Company LLP and a boutique investment firm advising private equity and hedge fund managers.

Mr. Tyler holds an MBA with highest honors from Harvard Business School and a BA with honors from Princeton University.

The membership of the Board of Economic Advisors includes:

Alan Clayton-Matthews, Ph.D., Senior Contributing Editor, MassBenchmarks and Professor Emeritus of Economics & Public Policy,Northeastern University
Edward H. Pendergast, Managing Director, Dunn Rush & Co.
Elmore Alexander, Dean Emeritus, Ricciardi College of Business, Bridgewater State University
Nada Sanders, Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain Management, Northeastern University
Michael D. Goodman, Ph.D., Professor of Public Policy, UMass Dartmouth
Katherine A. Kiel, Ph.D., Professor of Economics, College of the Holy Cross
Suzanne Dwyer, President, Massachusetts Capital Resource Company
Jim Sibley, Regional Commissioner, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Barry Bluestone, Ph.D., Professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs (retired), Northeastern University
Raymond G. Torto (Emeritus), Ph.D., CRE, Harvard Graduate School of Design
John R. Regan, President & Chief Executive Officer, Associated Industries of Massachusetts