Scott Rechler is a leading real estate developer in New York City, the Long Island region and throughout the state. His role as chairman of the Regional Plan Association gives him a voice in some of the most transformational transit-oriented projects impacting Long Island residents. A native of Long Island, Rechler was named a partner for the Nassau Hub project with BSE Global, which is one of the most anticipated developments in Nassau County.
The 2019 Long Island Power 100; 6 - 35
The 2019 Long Island Power 100; 6 - 35
As the head of the Long Island Association and co-chairman of the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council, Kevin Law is a key advocate for Long Island business interests and a strong ally of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He used his political prowess to help bring the region’s most transformative projects over the finish line – including investments in the Long Island Rail Road, the development of a bi-county research corridor and the development around the Nassau Hub.
As president and CEO of the state’s largest private employer, Michael Dowling oversees 66,000 employees, 23 hospitals, 6,675 hospital and long-term care beds and more than 700 outpatient physician practices. Northwell announced a Long Island-based pilot detox program to prevent relapses and overdoses connected to the opioid epidemic. A native of Ireland, Dowling previously spent 12 years in New York state government.
The commutes of hundreds of thousands of Long Islanders rest in the hands of MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye. The Port Washington resident, who regularly rides the Long Island Rail Road into New York City, can relate to customers’ frustrations with delays and fare increases and has promised to reform the rail system. He was an important advocate for congestion pricing and plans to designate some of those funds for improvements to the LIRR.
New York’s junior senator and presidential hopeful did not start out as a Long Island favorite, but she has won over the region since she first took statewide office in 2009. Over the past 10 years, Kirsten Gillibrand has become a champion for Long Island issues from clean drinking water to protecting the Long Island Sound. Earlier this year, she and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer announced $26 million in federal funding for local economic development projects.
Stuart Rabinowitz has been president of Hofstra University since 2001 and has helped make the school a holy ground for Long Island politickers as the only university in U.S. history to host a presidential debate in three consecutive cycles. As co-chairman of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Long Island Regional Economic Development Council, Rabinowitz has led the charge (along with co-chairman Kevin Law) to bring in $639.1 million for 791 regional job-creating projects.
As the owner of Long Island’s paper of record, Patrick Dolan holds the key to news and commentary in the region. He is a regular in Long Island’s political circles and has been recognized by the Press Club of Long Island, the Radio Television Digital News Association and the New York Associated Press. Meanwhile, Publisher Debby Krenek has become a key business development strategist, leading initiatives like Feed Me – Newsday’s new food magazine.
In his first year leading the Long Island Rail Road, Phillip Eng – formerly chief operating officer of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority – oversaw the completion of the long-awaited double track project, the approval of the third track project and an infusion of state funds for system improvements. Eng’s tenure also saw a fare hike and several train accidents, but he has committed to improving LIRR’s ability to innovate, solve problems and deliver transparency to customers.
Known on both sides of the aisle in Albany and Washington, D.C., as Long Island’s preeminent labor leader, John Durso serves as president of Local 338, a union representing workers in retail, health care and maintenance facilities, and the Long Island Federation of Labor, one of the largest central labor councils in the U.S. He’s a leading advocate for the region’s 300,000 union members and a supporter of infrastructure and public works projects.
A U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq, Lee Zeldin is becoming a leading voice on U.S. foreign policy and national defense. He serves on both the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. A supporter of President Donald Trump, Zeldin represents a district with slightly more registered Republicans (171,000) than Democrats (163,000), making his election cycles especially competitive.
Thomas DiNapoli has been serving Long Island since he was 18 years old, when he won a seat on the Mineola Board of Education – becoming the youngest person to hold political office in New York state. Decades later, he won his third term as state comptroller with more than 64% of the vote, demonstrating his ability to reach both sides of the aisle. He has gained respect throughout the state for stabilizing and growing the state pension fund.
As the board chairman and CEO of Long Island’s only Fortune 500 company, Stanley Bergman oversees more than 22,000 employees as well as the company’s international operations. An expert on international trade, Bergman recently became outspoken on the issue of immigration, framing it as vital to economic growth. Henry Schein was named to Fortune’s list of companies that are “changing the world” – an honor Bergman said reinforces its “commitment to improving the health of people in need.”
Coming in at No. 44 on Forbes’ 2019 billionaires list, James Simons puts his wealth to good use funding Long Island’s top institutions. He’s a loyal supporter of Stony Brook University, where he once served as chair of the mathematics department, and a trustee of Brookhaven National Laboratory. Stony Brook’s medical school was recently renamed the Renaissance School of Medicine, after the company founded by Simons, in recognition of generous donations from Renaissance employees.
Kathleen Rice broke into Long Island politics in 2006 when she was elected district attorney in Nassau County, becoming the first woman to hold that post. Now representing New York’s 4th Congressional District, Rice is leading the opposition against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which has left her at odds with some establishment Democrats. But she has remained focused on issues important to her constituents, like airport jet noise and immigration.
Hailed as the “dean” of the recently empowered “Long Island Six,” Todd Kaminsky has gained notoriety in the state Legislature. His newfound influence has put him in the limelight on issues surrounding the Long Island Rail Road and the property tax cap. As chairman of the Environmental Conservation Committee, Kaminsky supported this year’s landmark environmental legislation, including a bill banning the sale of toys containing dangerous chemicals and a new food scrap recycling program.
Daniel Eichhorn oversees the Long Island Power Authority’s electric grid for PSEG Long Island, keeping the lights on for 1.1 million customers. Since taking over as head of the electric utility, Eichhorn has worked to upgrade the electric system, elevate substations and install more storm-resistant utility poles and wires. Making clean energy a priority, Eichhorn is coordinating LIPA’s efforts to meet the state’s Clean Energy Standard goals, with plans to reach 50% renewable energy by 2030.
Alan Guerci worked with Catholic Health Services for 20 years as a cardiologist and head of several individual hospitals before becoming president and CEO of the health system. Catholic Health Services, which is the largest faith-based health care system on Long Island and operates under the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre, has a workforce of over 18,000. It recently opened Good Shepherd Hospice Center, a $5 million, 8,400-square-foot inpatient facility at Mercy Medical Center.
Doon Gibbs leads a research institute that’s home to some of the world’s most influential scientists and rare tools like the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider for studying the early universe – one of only two such instruments in the world. With funding from Empire State Development, Brookhaven National Laboratory recently broke ground on a new building that will house two new electron microscopes, a project that is expected to bring jobs and cutting-edge research to the region.
John Bruckner oversees natural gas service to 2.3 million customers, 600,000 of whom live on Long Island. He’s been busy in Albany supporting a new 24-mile gas pipeline underneath New York Bay, which was designed to provide an additional 14% in gas capacity to the region. The controversial project was criticized by environmental groups and recently rejected by state regulators. In response to the rejection, Bruckner told Newsday, “We are not processing new applications for any new customers.”
One of Long Island’s biggest public employers, Broadridge is currently planning a $126 million investment in its Suffolk County factories, and it plans to add 262 jobs over the next five years. Richard Daly is a major player in regional economic development and a recognized national thought leader on shareholder engagement. He is a frequent guest on CNBC’s “Mad Money,” where he discusses the importance of retail investors using their voice to drive company decisions.
As senior managing executive, chief administrative officer and general counsel at Canon USA, one of the region’s largest private employers, Seymour Liebman wears many hats both inside and outside the office. He serves on the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council, on the board of the Long Island Association and on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Life Science Advisory Board. With 3,000 patent awards in 2018, Canon is a leader in innovation both regionally and nationwide.
Brett Yormark is juggling a range of projects on Long Island. As the operator of Nassau Coliseum, BSE Global will play a major role in the newly revived plans to build a mixed-use development – a partnership with RXR Realty that will include housing, entertainment and retail – on the 72 acres surrounding the venue. BSE is also working to restore the famed Paramount Theatre on the Long Island University Brooklyn campus.
Stony Brook plays a key role in Long Island’s economy, generating an estimated $4.7 billion annually in regional economic impact and $160 million in revenue from research – and Samuel Stanley is working to raise its profile even higher. An accomplished biomedical researcher, Stanley is chairman of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity and board chairman of Brookhaven Science Associates, which manages Brookhaven National Laboratory. He serves on the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council.
Hailed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as an “outstanding champion for Long Island with an unparalleled record of bringing Democrats together to win historic victories,” Jay Jacobs now serves as the state Democratic Party chairman. It’s his second time in the role. He is also chairman of the Nassau County Democratic Committee – the longest-serving chairman in county history – and has been credited with helping elect leaders like Laura Curran, Nassau County’s first female county executive.
A longtime staple of Long Island politics, Rich Schaffer began his career in the Suffolk County Legislature and now holds the distinction of being the longest-serving supervisor in Babylon history. Schaffer, who is also chairman of the Suffolk County Democratic Committee, is credited with helping the town recover from Superstorm Sandy. But he’s drawn criticism for making deals allowing Republicans to stay in power in the state Senate, causing some ire among progressives.
Until last year’s elections, John Flanagan was the state Senate majority leader, and in this capacity he fought to provide tax relief to New Yorkers and small-business owners by enacting a property tax cap and repealing the MTA payroll tax for 80% of businesses. Flanagan, who represents Smithtown and portions of Brookhaven and Huntington, has been an advocate for budget reform, economic stability and providing state aid to improve school safety.
Thomas Suozzi has represented parts of Long Island since 1993, first as mayor of Glen Cove and later as Nassau County executive, building a reputation as a problem-solver dedicated to eliminating corruption. The second-term Democratic congressman is a member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee and is vocal on immigration and government reform issues. But his eagerness to compromise with Republicans could make him a target for a primary challenge in 2020.
As head of a new global affairs and politics institute launching at Cornell University this year, former Rep. Steve Israel will draw from his experience in national security and foreign policy to forge connections and foster dialogue among political and business leaders, civil society and academia. Israel is an accomplished author and a thought leader on national defense and the inner workings of U.S. politics.
With Wayne Grossé and Linda Armyn in charge at Bethpage Federal Credit Union – New York’s largest credit union, with $8.6 billion in assets – the institution maintains a voice in banking services and economic development policy. A community-focused financial institution founded in 1941, the credit union maintains ties to the Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach on Memorial Day weekend and Bethpage Ballpark, home of the Long Island Ducks.
As head of the largest home building trade association in New York state, Mitchell Pally is a familiar voice on economic development on Long Island. Until recently, he was the Suffolk County representative – and only Long Islander – on the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, a position that afforded him some influence on big-ticket items, including congestion pricing, the construction of a third track and the East Side Access project.