October 26, 2012

Boston Celtics Co-Owner, Local Media Personalities, Prominent Community & Business Leaders to Serve as Sun Life Rising Star Awards Program Judges

Distinguished panel of experts to help award $110,000 in grants and scholarships tooutstanding students & nonprofit organizations in greater Boston

Wellesley, Mass. (October 26, 2012) – The U.S. business group of Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE:SLF, TSX:SLF) today announced that eight prominent Boston community and business leaders, including Boston Celtics Co-Owner Steve Pagliuca and local television anchors Jamison Coyle (NESN) and Liz Brunner (ABC), will serve as judges for the Sun Life Rising Star Awards program, the financial services company's signature national philanthropic initiative.

The Sun Life Rising Star Awards program recognizes nonprofits that redress low high school graduation rates and honors outstanding students who have overcome significant obstacles to succeed. The program also promotes financial literacy as a means to achieve life-long financial wellness and stability. The judges will help Sun Life award $110,000 in grants and scholarships to exemplary Boston students and nonprofit organizations committed to enhancing educational opportunities for under-served youth. Each winning organization receives a $50,000 grant and selects an exemplary student they work with to receive a $5,000 college scholarship. Since the program’s inception, Sun Life has granted nearly $3 million to 54 students and 47 nonprofit organizations across the country.

The distinguished panel is comprised of some of Boston foremost sports, education, community and business leaders. Judges include:

  • Liz Brunner, Anchor, WCVB-TV
  • Lisa Carrier, Media & Political Affairs Officer, Consulate General of Canada in Boston
  • Jamison Coyle, Sports Anchor, NESN
  • Jay Heaps, Head Coach, New England Revolution
  • Chris Mayer, Publisher, Boston Globe
  • Steve Pagliuca, Co-Owner, Boston Celtics and President, Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation
  • Heather Rowan-Kenyon, PhD., Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership & Higher Education, Boston College Lynch School of Education
  • Adalberto Teixeira, Deputy Chief of Human Services, City of Boston, Boston Centers for Youth and Family

“We are thrilled to have some of Boston’s foremost community and business leaders help us select this year’s Sun Life Rising Star organizations from the pool of outstanding applications we’ve received,” said Sun Life Financial U.S. President Wes Thompson. “Their keen understanding of the local education landscape provides us an invaluable resource to promote financial literacy by helping incredibly talented students, and the organizations that help them, embark on a path to a sound financial future.”

This year, Sun Life Financial expanded the program to seven cities from five in 2011, and will award grants and scholarships to outstanding students and nonprofit organizations in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix and South Florida.

Judges will evaluate applications and student nominations based on the following criteria:

  • Nonprofit’s commitment to developing and promoting skills that directly translate to educational engagement and matriculation rates for secondary school youth under the age of 21
  • Nonprofit’s demonstrated partnership with a secondary or post-secondary educational institution
  • Nonprofit’s documented ability to respond to the needs of specific groups of youth in a manner yielding measurable results
  • Student nominee’s plan to pursue post-secondary education, leadership qualities, commitment to his or her community, and a 750-word essay on how financial education contributes to future success

In addition to monetary support, the Sun Life Rising Star Awards program provides winning organizations with educational curriculum and resources to increase financial literacy among students. Sun Life recently partnered with dfree®, a movement developed by Dr. DeForest B. Soaries Jr. to galvanize the public to overcome the culture of debt and attain financial self-sufficiency. As part of the partnership, Sun Life and dfree® will provide Sun Life Rising Star Award students and organizations with the Breaking Free Workbook, which includes interactive activities and evaluation tools to encourage debt-free living using the program’s core principles and financial strategies. Soaries will also address winning organizations and students at a series of educational seminars in select Sun Life Rising Star cities throughout the fall.

Sun Life will surprise winning students with their $5,000 scholarships at a special presentation at the Boston Celtics vs. Washington Wizards game on November 7. The students will enjoy a meet and great with Celtics Guard Avery Bradley on the court, and will watch the game with friends and family from a suite.   

Sun Life Rising Star Awards Program 2012 Boston Judging Panel

Liz Brunner

Liz Brunner is co-anchor of NewsCenter 5 at 6 on WCVB-TV, co-anchors the Friday edition of the 5PM and 11PM newscasts and serves as anchor/reporter for WCVB-TV’s major news coverage. She has also co-anchored the EyeOpener newscast. Brunner has won two national Gracie Awards as well as regional AP, Emmy and Edward R. Murrow awards. She is actively involved with the March of Dimes “WalkAmerica,” the American Heart Association’s “Heart Walk” and the Berkshire Hills Music Academy for Children With Williams Syndrome, the Home for Little Wanderers, Make A Wish, and many other charities.

Lisa Carrier

Lisa Carrier serves as Media & Political Affairs Officer at the Canadian Consulate General in Boston.  She previously served as Director of Communications in the office of Massachusetts State Senator James P. Jajuga. In 2008, the Irish Echo newspaper named Lisa to its annual “Top 40 Under 40” list for her work fostering cultural and trade relations between Canada, Ireland, and New England.

Jamison Coyle

Jamison Coyle is a sports anchor for NESN Daily nightly at 10 o’clock or following Bruins and Red Sox games. He also hosts Hockey East Face-Off Live and Overtime-Live for the networks coverage of college hockey. Coyle started at NESN in October of 2011 after spending the previous two years as a sports anchor at KSN-TV in Wichita, Kansas. Coyle is a native of Nashua, New Hampshire.

Jay Heaps

Jay Heaps is the Head Coach of the New England Revolution. Heaps played 11 years in Major League Soccer and was a legendary New England Revolution defender, earning him a spot in the New England Soccer Hall of Fame. As the sixth head coach in club history, he is the second-youngest active head coach in MLS. Heaps also played on the U.S. National Team for the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup, U.S. Under-17 and Under-20 National Teams.

Chris Mayer

Chris Mayer is publisher of The Boston Globe and president of the New England Media Group of The New York Times Company, positions he has held since January 2010. He serves as a member of The New York Times Company executive committee where he helps direct long-term strategy. Mayer is active in the Boston community serving on numerous boards including The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, The Center for Collaborative Leadership, and Community Servings.

Steve Pagliuca

Stephen Pagliuca is Co-Owner of the Boston Celtics, President of Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation and serves as Managing Director of Bain Capital. As a Managing Partner and Chairman of the Basketball Committee, he has focused on enhancing the development and improvement of the Celtics basketball operations. He is also a member of the NBA Board of Governors and the NBA Competition Committee. Pagliuca is currently the Chairman of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Chairman of the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation, Co-Chair of the Inner City Scholarship Fund and serves on the international board of The Right To Play.

Heather Rowan-Kenyon, PhD.

Heather Rowan-Kenyon, PhD. Is an Assistant Professor in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College. She specializes in a field of key interests to families of college-age students: college access and student success. Rowan-Kenyon, who taught for three years in the Student Affairs Practice in Higher Education Program at the University of Virginia, earned a doctorate in education policy and leadership from the University of Maryland. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Higher Education, Review of Higher Education, Career Development Quarterly, and the Journal of College Student Development.

Adalberto Teixeira

Adalberto Teixeira is the Deputy Chief of Human Services for the Boston Centers for Youth and Family. He has spent most of his years as an immigrant in the US working in community and public services, starting as an organizer with the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative in 1987. Teixeira has also served in many civic and community organization boards, including the Boston Human Rights Commission, Dorchester House Multi Service Center, Dorchester Bay EDC, Nativity Preparatory School, and the Boston Debate League.


About Sun Life Financial
Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth accumulation products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Chartered in 1865, Sun Life Financial and its partners today have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China and Bermuda. In the United States and elsewhere, insurance products are offered by members of the Sun Life Financial group that are insurance companies. Sun Life Financial Inc., the holding company for the Sun Life Financial group of companies, is a public company. It is not an insurance company and does not offer insurance products for sale in the United States or elsewhere, and does not guarantee the obligations of its insurance company subsidiaries. In the United States, Sun Life Financial provides a range of products and services to employers and their employees, including group and voluntary life, disability, dental and stop-loss insurance products. These products are issued by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada in all states except New York. In New York, these products are issued by Sun Life Insurance and Annuity Company of New York. Product offerings may not be available in all states and may vary depending on state laws and regulations. For more information please visit Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.


Media contact

Keith Gainsboro, elevate, 857-234-1481,

SLPC 24348 07/2012 (Exp. 07/2013)