Innovation: How Cambridge Changed America

Sun, 05/20/2012 - 2:00pm - 4:00pm

Learn about Cambridge's role as an unrivaled center of innovation at our Spring Benefit and help us continue to preserve the history of our city. 


From the vaccines you received as a child to the software on your computer to the eBook screen you read, you can't go through a day without using something that was invented in Cambridge.

The sewing machine, fire hoses, frozen orange juice, and venture capital all started here. "Innovation: How Cambridge Changed America" will explore the inventions, inventors, and dreamers that started in our city and how they changed the world.

We have been documenting this history for a year. Our work will culminate with a program and the launching of a new website. We hope you will join us and continue to support our work documenting the history of Cambridge.

Light refreshments will be served. Guests are encouraged to explore the remarkable interactive displays at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and learn about their work on the Human Genome Project, as well as the work to understand the molecular components of life.     

Our speakers will include:

Edward Goldfinger, Chief Financial Officer of Zipcar

Goldfinger, a seasoned CFO in charge of planning and managing all of those Zipcar doubloons, will talk about the innovative new car rental company that started in East Cambridge and is fueling the "New Urbanism" movement. Most recently, he was the CFO of Spotfire, a business intelligence and analytics software company, sold to TIBCO. This followed a successful run at Empirix, where Goldfinger held the CFO and then CEO position and led the company through significant growth. Earlier, he spent time at KPMG, nine years at PepsiCo, and held the CFO job at Sapient. He is a graduate of the Wharton undergraduate program at the University of Pennsylvania, and he was a CPA in Connecticut.

Michael D. McCreary, Deputy Chief Technology Officer of E Ink Corporation 

E Ink, which started in West Cambridge, has created a revolutionary electronic ink with a paper-like high contrast, ultra-low power consumption, and a thin, light form. Used in eBooks, eNewspapers, eTextbooks, watches, Smartcards, electronic shelf labels, battery/memory indicators, and public information and promotional signs, E Ink is a part of's Kindle, Barnes & Noble's Nook, Sony's Reader, and products by Casio, Citizen, Hanvon, Hitachi, Lexar, Motorola, Plastic Logic, and Samsung. McCreary is responsible for creating a portfolio of advanced technologies that will enable new generations of novel display products. A veteran of the imaging industry, he held a number of leadership positions with Eastman Kodak Company, including serving as the general manager of the Microelectronics Technology Division. McCreary earned a B.S. from Principia College and a Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry from MIT.  

Eric Freedman, Senior Director of Marketing at AeroDesigns, Inc,

AeroDesigns is revolutionizing how medicines and nutrients are delivered. Cofounded by Tom Hadfield and Harvard professor David Edwards, AeroDesigns is working to develop a new way of delivering food and nutrients using a novel aerosol delivery system. Eric Freedman will talk about this exciting new technology and distribute LeWiffs, or calorie free breathable chocolates.

Gavin W. Kleespies, Executive Director of the Cambridge Historical Society

Kleespies has been working with Katie MacDonald, a volunteer, for a year to document the history of innovation in Cambridge. They have created a new website that explores the history of thirty innovations that have roots in Cambridge. Kleespies will quickly review a selection of these innovations and how they have changed the world.