AS PREPARED:
Governor Deval L. Patrick
Professional Convention Management Association’s General Session Opening Remarks
Hynes Convention Center
Monday, January 13, 2014

Thank you and good morning. To all the Convening Leaders and the many members of the Professional Convention Management Association, I warmly welcome you to Massachusetts.

I was delighted to learn that the theme of your conference is Revolution. For both historic and contemporary reasons, you are in the right place at the right time.

Massachusetts has been a leader in revolutionary thinking since that day, 400 years ago, when a group of Boston citizens flaunted the British authorities and invented the Town Meeting. We've continued on that course over the years, leading the way in human freedom, from the American Revolution against the British monarchy through abolition, women’s suffrage, civil rights, immigration, and LGBT rights. 

Indeed, Massachusetts invented America. Because America is not organized the way countries are usually organized. We are not organized around a common language or religion, or a natural geography. Unlike any other nation in human history, we are organized around a handful of civic ideals. And we have defined those ideals, over time and through struggle, as equality, opportunity, freedom and fair play. That all started here. 

Along the way, Massachusetts has become home to some of America's icons: the nation's first university; the nation's first public school; the nation's first baseball franchise; the home of the industrial revolution, to name just a few. I hope you will have a chance to visit some of these and other historic sights on this or a future visit.

That same impulse for breakout thinking is at work in Massachusetts today.

We are growing our future now, by investing in education, in innovation and in infrastructure.

We invest in education because, with nearly 300 universities, research facilities and teaching hospitals within 90 minutes of where you're sitting right now, education is our calling card to the world.

We invest in innovation because there are a handful of high-growth industries -- industries like biotech and life sciences, clean tech, IT, precision manufacturing and financial services -- that depend on the kind of concentration of brainpower we have.

And we invest in infrastructure, the unglamorous work of government, because it supports everything else, because it's the public platform for private initiative and personal ambition.

That strategy for growth is why we are first in the nation today in student achievement, entrepreneurial activity, economic competitiveness, venture funding, health care coverage, energy efficiency, biotech and life sciences, and so much more.

We've won a Stanley Cup, an NBA championship, two World Series, and at least one perfect NFL season since I’ve been governor, too. Just saying ...

The serious point is that the same spirit of innovation, indeed of revolution, that spawned this Commonwealth and this country, inspires us right now. And I want you to know that as you consider where your next event ought to be.

The doors of this Commonwealth open to the world. Logan Airport welcomed a record number of visitors last year, including 4 million international arrivals. In addition to hundreds of other domestic and foreign destinations, we've opened up Massachusetts to new regions of the world through direct flights from Tokyo on JAL, from Panama City on Copa Airlines, from Istanbul on Turkish Air, from Dubai on Emirates Air and from Beijing on Hainan Airlines. We have many more in the works.  

We are expanding our convention and hotel space, here in Boston and elsewhere in the state. 

And, of course, we are blessed with sophisticated cities and charming towns, beautiful coastline, majestic mountains, the unparalleled countryside of western Massachusetts, and some of the most storied music, dance and museum destinations in the world.

As the saying goes, "it's all here." I hope you will enjoy it while you are here, and that you will come back with your families and your colleagues -- and lots and lots of conventioneers!

A revolution in thinking here in Massachusetts brought us a new nation, and then the life-saving use of ether and organ transplants, new treatments for multiple sclerosis, and a mixed blessing called the internet. Similar revolutions brought us advances in technology, business, medicine, education, the arts, and freedom itself that have improved the human condition. And still do so today. I welcome you to be a part of it.

Thank you. And have a great conference.