Donor Spotlight: Jane Kaplan Peck

Jane Kaplan Peck is the Chief Operating Officer and majority owner of Kaplan Construction. Jane is responsible for the company’s day-to-day operations, ensuring Kaplan’s financial security and viability. In this role, Jane oversees business financial planning, working capital management, and budget development for the company. She controls all financial activities, which include maintaining banking, brokerage and surety relationships, and manages the information systems for both accounting and project management.

As the second generation of the Kaplan Construction family, Jane has been immersed in the construction industry since a young age and has acquired a deep understanding of the business. Jane’s previous roles at Kaplan include project manager and financial & administrative manager.

Jane is an officer on the board of the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (ABC) Workers’ Compensation Self-Insurance Group (SIG). She is also a member of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Boston and serves on the Board for the Brookline Center for Community Mental Health, where she also acts as co-chair of the Governing and Nominating Committee.

Jane shared with us the role of economic development corporations (EDCs) as essential partners in building sustainable communities.

Why do you support Dorchester Bay’s work?

As a contractor, we have always felt a civic responsibility to build in areas of disinvestment and improve the lives of people where we operate. We are drawn to community-oriented developers like DBEDC to fulfill this mission. DBEDC and Kaplan both share the idea that affordable, aesthetically pleasing, quality buildings are not mutually exclusive. The hugely successfully Bornstein & Pearl Food Production Center that we helped build is an example of this.

Kaplan Construction has partnered with Dorchester Bay EDC on development projects, and you’re also a donor. What aspects of DBEDC’s mission motivated you to go beyond a business partnership to directly support our work?

Relationships do not stop once the final nail has been driven. If we believe in your mission, we will continue to support it – it’s as simple as that! Dorchester Bay’s passion for economic development, in particular, is inspiring to us. Community development goes further than just building houses – we need to be focusing on job creation and economic growth in our local neighborhoods. The Bornstein & Pearl Food Production Center is the proud home to almost 50 independent businesses and has created nearly 150 new jobs since we helped build it in 2014. These are measurable victories that motivate us to support DBEDC, whether it’s through donations, event sponsorships, or fundraisers.

From your perspective, why are community development and organizations like Dorchester Bay an important resource to the communities they serve?

It is no secret that there is a lack of affordable housing in Boston and the country as a whole. Dorchester Bay is a tireless advocate to change this, and we need more CDCs like them to restore and sustain economic development and access to homeownership in our communities.

Is there anything in particular that you’d want people to know about you or Kaplan Construction that they might not be aware of or might be surprised to know?

That we are a Women Business Enterprise (WBE) and the majority of our work is done with nonprofits. Some also might not know that Kaplan is a family-owned business. It was founded in 1976 by my parents Ken and Cathy Kaplan, and they ran it for nearly 40 years before my husband and I took over in 2014. We pride ourselves in keeping a family atmosphere here, and we have a few other second-generation employees that have come on board!