Margaret E. Laforest is recognized as a purpose led, results driven dedicated leader with over 20 years of experience in government and non-profit roles. She is a member of the Baker-Polito Administration’s Executive Office Economic Development agency whose mission is to strengthen the economy and increase job growth throughout Massachusetts by providing businesses with a highly responsive, central point of contact that facilitates access to resources, expertise, and incentive programs. As a Regional Director for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of Business Development, she works with a range of companies, from start up to Fortune 50 all over the Commonwealth, applying the state’s economic development programs to specific companies looking to site and grow in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
As a Quincy City Councilor, she had direct oversight of a $300M budget, was particularly known for her communication with constituents and environmental, coastal infrastructure, and emergency management expertise. As an elected city official representing a district abutting the downtown redevelopment area, Margaret handled over $100 million in private sector gateway revitalization projects from small to large housing developments to commercial redevelopments transforming many blighted properties while protecting the integrity of the residential neighborhoods.
She previously served as the Vice President of the Quincy Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director of Discover Quincy. Her extensive knowledge on local business matters, and network have been a great resource in supporting and advocating for 450+ member businesses and promoting the Quincy region and over 90 partner organizations locally, nationally and internationally. She has authored and been awarded $500K in grants for local tourism attractions, arts and cultural affairs and over $2million in public projects.
A 2010 recipient of the “Stars Forty Under Forty” Award celebrating the South Shore’s emerging leaders, she continues to serve on the City of Quincy’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund, is President of the United States Naval Shipbuilding Museum and USS Salem, is active in the Quincy Rotary Club, and with many other local organizations.
Margaret and her husband, Jeff, a 25-year Verizon union employee, have two daughters; Kelsey and Krista, who are the sixth generation of Margaret’s family to live in Houghs Neck, Quincy. For recreation, Margaret enjoys skiing, boating, nature walks with their dog and spending quality time with family and friends.