Eric Kriss bigraphy, stories - Founders

Eric Kriss : biography

1949 -

Eric Arthur Kriss (born 1949) is a musician and business executive who served as Secretary of Administration and Finance in Massachusetts Governor Romney's cabinet (January 2003 – October 2005), and as assistant A&F secretary under Governor William Weld (January 1991 – February 1993). Kriss is currently the Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Miami.

In 1976, Kriss produced and performed on Mike Bloomfield's , nominated for a Grammy Award. He launched the instructional book and record division of Guitar Player Magazine and also co-founded Inner City Records, voted the Record Label of the Year in the 1979 International Jazz Critics Poll.

In 1984, Kriss helped launch Bain Capital, which now manages over $65 billion in assets. He was CEO of MediQual Systems (1993–98), a healthcare information company, and founder/CEO of MediVision (1983–1989), a network of eye surgery centers.

Open Formats

In early 2005, Eric Kriss, as Romney's Secretary of Administration and Finance, was the first government official in the United States to highlight the importance of open formats and public records: "It is an overriding imperative of the American democratic system that we cannot have our public documents locked up in some kind of proprietary format, perhaps unreadable in the future, or subject to a proprietary system license that restricts access."

At a September 16, 2005 meeting with the Kriss raised state sovereignty as the overriding issue surrounding public records. While supporting the principle of private intellectual property rights, he said sovereignty trumped any private company's attempt to control the state's public records through claims of intellectual property.

Subsequently, in September 2005, Massachusetts became the first state to formally endorse OpenDocument formats for its public records and, at the same time, reject proprietary formats such those used in Microsoft's Office software suite.

Notes

Massachusetts Turnpike

In August 2006, Governor Romney and the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority board asked Kriss to lead a comprehensive review of the Turnpike following the ouster of Chairman Matthew J. Amorello and the collapse of a portion of the roof of the Ted Williams Tunnel. On October 19, 2006, Kriss recommended to the board that all tolls, except on airport tunnels, be eliminated. The board then voted to remove tolls west of the 128 toll plaza by June 30, 2007, the first step in dismantling the Authority's original mission begun in 1952.

In June 2009, Governor Deval Patrick signed legislation to formally end the Turnpike as a stand-alone authority on November 1, 2009.

Municipal Turnarounds

On September 11, 1991, the Massachusetts state legislature approved Governor William Weld's emergency request to appoint a state receiver to take over the City of Chelsea's bankrupt municipal government, the first state-designed municipal receivership in U.S. history. Weld named Jim Carlin, a businessman and former state Secretary of Transportation, to become the Chelsea receiver, reporting to Eric Kriss, who, as the assistant Administration and Finance secretary, had drafted the Chelsea legislation.

Chelsea, directly across the Mystic River from Boston, had long been in economic decline with a spiraling fiscal crisis. Carlin and Kriss immediately undertook a broad municipal turnaround, with a focus on labor negotiations with the local Firefighters union. Boston University, already involved in local education, took over school administration.

Within two years, Chelsea's budget was balanced, a restructured firefighters contract was negotiated, city operations were streamlined, and new school construction was underway. As the Receivership achieved stability, a charter change in 1995 implemented a new efficient council-manager form of government. Increased emphasis on economic development and capital improvement led to an influx of new business, and, as the turnaround reached maturity in 1998, Chelsea was named an All-American City by the National Civic League.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine