Discover more Boston Speaks Up at Boston Business Journal’s BostInno: www.americaninno.com/boston/boston-speaks-up/
Larry Gennari is general counsel for a wide range of Boston-based businesses. He has a reputation throughout New England as a trusted and beloved business advisor to public companies, venture-backed companies, early-stage ventures, entrepreneurs, investors and board members. Many in the Boston innovation community rely on Gennari for expert legal counsel on financing strategies, partnerships, and mergers and acquisitions. He is a founding partner of Gennari Aronson Law Partners, which has consistently been named a New England Super Lawyer for mergers & acquisitions, securities and corporate finance. Having served as a corporate and transactional lawyer for more than two decades, Gennari’s work includes countless mergers and acquisitions, private offerings, venture capital financings, joint ventures, and public offerings as well as SEC compliance for public companies and their directors and officers. He’s also an Adjunct Professor at Boston College Law School, and developed one of the Law School’s newest courses, Project Entrepreneur, a student-led business fundamentals bootcamp for entrepreneurs with criminal records, many of whom were previously incarcerated.
Where did you grow up? Marlborough, MA, right off of Rte 495. Marlborough was a former industrial city and in the past, home to many shoe companies and middle class families.
How would your family members describe you as a child? Classic middle child who enjoyed being the center of attention.
What was the first career you remember wanting to pursue? I always wanted to be a lawyer; I loved history, writing, and the idea of working with people.
Who has been your most important mentor? As a young lawyer, I could not have had a better mentor than Attorney Dennis O’Connor, a lawyer, entrepreneur, and visionary for growth companies and founder of one of the first law firms on Rte 128.
What drove you into corporate law? I can’t say I was “driven” to corporate law. Like most people, I ended up here through serendipity. The term corporate means essentially “of or shared by a whole group and not just of a single member.” That definition seems to fit my perspective and work now.
What is the most unique challenge you’ve faced as general counsel to a business? The most unique challenge for those in this practice is understanding the aspirational goals of the business and the specific needs and personalities of the team. A “cookie cutter” approach won’t work by any stretch.
Why are you so inspired to help entrepreneurs with criminal records through Project Entrepreneur? I’m someone who believes in second chances and more specifically, that we are all more than the worst thing we’ve ever done. These are entrepreneurs with unique and formidable barriers and I’ve always enjoyed helping first time entrepreneurs, especially underdogs!
- Special Note: Enjoy the video below from the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department documenting the success story of a Project Entrepreneur participant.
What do you love most about your Adjunct Professor role at Boston College? Interacting with students and engaging with their questions, especially the questions directed at the established practices: “So, why is it done that way anyway?”
How would you describe your Authors & Innovators initiative? A community based business ideas and innovation forum.
As Chair of the Board at American Student Assistance — the national non-profit focused on middle schoolers, innovation and the future of work — what is your goal? To help kids — before they finish their high school careers — to know themselves, to know their options, and to make thoughtful choices about college or career.
What new initiative or project are you most excited for heading in to 2020? Building up different and new opportunities around Project Entrepreneur and engaging new authors and innovators for our Authors & Innovators ideas event next Fall.
Fill in the blank. The future of Boston will be… inclusive, diverse, and vibrant if we pay attention and make the right decisions around economic policy and investment
What would you change about the world? I.E., What problem facing the world would you most like to see solved? Economic inequality and the poverty that results — the idea here is that everyone has a chance to live a good life. I think that racial and economic justice are inextricably linked. MLK said in Memphis: “It’s a crime in a rich nation for people to receive starvation wages.” More often than not, he put social justice in an economic framework. That strikes me as incredibly astute and important.