By Stephanie Cronin, Executive Director of the Middlesex 3 Coalition
I remember the first time I met Richard Reed. It was about 10 years ago and town officials from around the area were meeting to create a regional economic development organization, which would later be called the Middlesex 3 Coalition.
We were discussing the value of creating this public-private partnership and I asked Rick a question. I don’t remember what it was and it really doesn’t matter. What I remember was this long pause…. I thought to myself, “Did he hear me?” ”Should I repeat myself?” “Is he just ignoring me?” Before I started to repeat my question, Rick provided a very detailed response, including the pros and cons, potential outcomes, long and short-term implications, etc.
He was not ignoring me. He was processing the question and providing a thoughtful and detailed answer. I have come to realize that this is not only Rick Reed’s style, but a reason that he has been such a strong and respected Town Manager in Bedford for so many years. Rick is a thought leader, who asks the questions and looks at the different views before moving forward. This has made the Middlesex 3 Coalition a stronger organization. If projects and decisions can get Rick’s approval, they must be justifiable.
Rick spearheaded the creation of the Middlesex 3 Coalition in 2012. I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that there would be no Middlesex 3 Coalition without Rick Reed. Rick knew better than anyone that municipalities need to work together and with area businesses to be successful. We can do more together than as individuals, and when your neighbor succeeds, you often benefit, as Rick likes to say “the rising tide lifts all boats”.
Rick was the first President of the Middlesex 3 Coalition and served for the first five years it was established. Under Rick’s steady leadership, the Middlesex 3 Coalition has grown from an idea with five municipal managers to a public-private partnership including a hundred business, municipal, educational, healthcare, real estate, financial, and nonprofit leaders throughout the area. These leaders work together to improve transportation, workforce development, permitting, and healthcare and to help market and promote the Route 3 area.
We owe a lot to Rick Reed and he has become a leader, an advisor, and a friend to all of us at the Middlesex 3 Coalition. We were fortunate to have a strong and thoughtful leader who truly cares about his community. I congratulate Rick on his retirement and all he has accomplished for the Town of Bedford and the Middlesex 3 region. I hope he enjoys his retirement, but I trust that we will continue to see him around town and at the Middlesex 3 meetings, as our newest Middlesex 3 Coalition Emeritus Board member, since we are not quite ready to say goodbye.