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Patricia Begrowicz, president and co-Owner of Onyx Specialty Papers in Lee, was elected Thursday as chair of the board of directors of Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM), the statewide business association. 

A respected business and community leader in Berkshire County, Begrowicz has led the rebirth of a successful manufacturing company she acquired with a partner from MeadWestvaco during the great recession. She will become the second woman to chair the board of the largest business group in the Commonwealth and the first person from Berkshire County to lead AIM since 1953. 

Representatives of 3,400 AIM-member businesses elected Begrowicz during the association’s annual business meeting. Members also elected Donna Latson Gittens, principal and Founder of MORE Advertising in Watertown, as clerk of the corporation, and Gregory Buscone, executive vice president and senior commercial banking officer, Eastern Bank, Boston, as treasurer. 

“Our new leadership epitomizes AIM’s commitment to diversity in all its forms – racial, gender, geographic, industry and company size,” said outgoing board Chair Joanne Hilferty, president and CEO of Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries in Boston. “Pat Begrowicz is an accomplished entrepreneur and manufacturing executive who will be the perfect leader for Associated Industries of Massachusetts as it renews its commitment to helping businesses succeed.”  

Begrowicz bought the MeadWestvaco specialty papers business with partner Christopher Mathews in December 2009 and formed Onyx Specialty Papers. The company, which currently employs 150 people, provides skilled manufacturing jobs in a region that has seen many manufacturers downsize or close. Onyx produces highly engineered papers for technically demanding applications in global markets including automotive, medical filters, fine art, decorative surfaces and filtration.  

A native of New Jersey, Ms. Begrowicz earned a bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame and a master of Science in Paper Science and Technology from Lawrence University. She serves on the boards of directors for Power Options, 1 Berkshire, the Boys and Girls Club of the Berkshires and the Berkshire Business Roundtable. She also serves on the University of Notre Dame Engineering College Advisory Council.  

“I am honored to chair the board of directors of AIM at a time when the need has never been greater for business organizations to create a sense of collective purpose among employers,” she said. “We are proud that everyone involved in the legislative or business life of Massachusetts praises the professionalism, preparation and civility that AIM shows on behalf of employers and the jobs they create.”