Devin Cole, Program director at Boston World Partnerships


Photo: MICHAEL DISKIN

Devin Cole is a player and a coach. In January, he was tapped to join Boston World Partnerships (BWP), a nonprofit chaired by no less than Mayor Thomas Menino, to help brand Boston as a city filled with top-tier talent in every field, and as a desirable market for eager young professionals looking to live and work in a hub of innovation. He oversees the work of BWP's "Connectors," a Who's Who-style collection of experts in numerous fields, who are ready and willing to use their resources and contacts to help budding entrepreneurs in the business, arts, and technology sectors, among others. And this isn't some antiquated white pages of a white-haired old boys' club: BWP has a strong focus on cultural diversity and on seeking out young leaders. That approach should really flourish under Cole, who came to BWP after four years managing ONEin3 Boston, an organization that creates business-development, networking, and civic-engagement programs for 20- to 34-year-olds. (They constitute one-third of the city's population. Get it?) One of its recent initiatives is GrabADesk.com, a clever resource that pairs "homeless" start-up businesses with host office space. Cole is a rare form of team player - the type who has access to hundreds more.