Aviation industry veteran Shelley LaRose-Arken will be piloting the Long Island airport’s multimillion-dollar expansion, which will include plans to bring in more carriers – allowing the airport to more than double its capacity – as well as upgrade its terminals. With the eventual completion of East Side Access and the Ronkonkoma Hub, MacArthur Airport is expected to play an increasingly important role in regional transit. LaRose-Arken previously worked at airports in Westchester County, Kentucky and Missouri.
The 2019 Long Island Power 100; 66 - 100
The 2019 Long Island Power 100; 66 - 100
Since joining the eighth-largest Catholic diocese in the nation in 2016, John Barres has presided over a Catholic population of nearly 1.5 million, as well as its affiliated education, health care and social services organizations. A social media-savvy bishop who tweets every day, Barres credits sports with influencing his decision to pursue religious life. However, he has faced criticism for sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, including misconduct that allegedly occurred on his watch.
Elected last year as supervisor of Huntington after five years in the Assembly, Chad Lupinacci has worked to elevate the town’s visibility as a local destination by supporting the Huntington Village Hotel development and pushing for more parking. The town board recently passed several bonds for improvements to the Flanagan Senior Center, among other upgrades. In December, a former aide accused Lupinacci of sexual harassment and sexual assault.
With nearly 300,000 residents in 36 villages and hamlets, Oyster Bay includes some of Long Island’s major places of interest, including Bethpage State Park, Jones Beach and Sagamore Hill. Appointed in 2017 to replace former Supervisor John Venditto, who resigned amid corruption charges, Joseph Saladino is fighting to fend off interference from Albany in the form of a fiscal monitor designed to oversee debt largely inherited from the previous administration.
Laura Gillen presides over Long Island’s most populous town. An attorney who has participated in volunteer missions to China, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, Gillen is the first Democrat to lead Hempstead (population 760,000) in more than a century, and one of only two Democrats on the current town board. Her first year in office included bringing a lawsuit against the town board and former Supervisor Anthony Santino.
A graduate of Brentwood High School and former member of the Suffolk County Police Department, Phil Ramos was elected to the Assembly in 2002. Ramos is a longtime advocate for the Brentwood community and recently helped secure $20 million in state funding for a new community center, more law enforcement resources and youth programming. The initiative aims to bolster community resources and reduce the impact and recruiting power of MS-13.
Although she is still in her first year representing New York’s 3rd Senate District, Monica Martinez has demonstrated the potential to become a legislative powerhouse. Not only did she win in a district held by Republicans for over 10 years, she also became the first Latina and the first woman elected to the seat. She’s taken up issues like school governance and funding, transparency for the Long Island Rail Road and pushing back against the legalization of marijuana.
Last November, no one predicted Kevin Thomas’ electoral win against state Sen. Kemp Hannon, who had been in office 29 years. But Thomas eventually secured the seat – along with the state Senate majority – becoming the first Indian-American to win a seat in the state Legislature. Though Thomas didn’t receive much help from the state Democratic Party in the 2018 cycle, you can expect him to be a high priority in 2020.
Since he made history in 2002 as the youngest lawmaker ever elected to the Nassau County Legislature, Kevan Abrahams has prioritized the stabilization of property taxes, preventing gang violence and funding after-school programs. With an eye on public safety, he has called for legislation requiring background checks for hotel workers and safe gun storage laws. A former deputy finance director for the Nassau County Legislature, Abrahams is considered a potential primary challenger to Rep. Kathleen Rice.
Hempstead Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney has been, by turns, a partner and a foe to Supervisor Laura Gillen. King Sweeney, who has been on the town board since 2015, is the Republican majority leader in a town with a 5-2 split – meaning Gillen can’t accomplish much without her votes. Considering their complicated history, it’s noteworthy that they are now working together to halt the sale of recreational marijuana and pass ethics reforms.
With wind power becoming a political football on Long Island, Robert Catell is calling the plays like a champion. Catell is set to play a pivotal role leading Stony Brook University’s new research and development consortium, which has received $39 million in state and federal grants. The National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium “will keep the United States competitive at a critical time, taking advantage of expertise and wind potential,” he said last year.
Known as an accomplished businessman who went from early jobs as a busboy and taxi driver to owning a successful gasoline franchise with about 100 stations in New York City and Long Island, Harry Singh recently made the news as his Bolla Charity Foundation gifted a new wheelchair-accessible home to a veteran from Selden. He recently joined Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer in announcing an initiative to clean up the town’s 84 gas stations.
The Nature Conservancy relies on Kevin McDonald to liaise with the region’s leaders, whether he is working to update septic systems, build new sewer lines or advocate on behalf of Long Island’s many bodies of water. He recently weighed in on the tax implications of new grants for septic system upgrades – telling Newsday that it is key to have “the smoothest running program possible.” McDonald has also been instrumental in protecting Long Island’s wildlife.
Kristen Jarnagin is charged with growing Long Island’s $5.9 billion tourism economy, which generates $722 million in state and local tax revenues and supports 81,700 local jobs. According to the state’s Economic Impact of Tourism report, Long Island ranked second in traveler spending after New York City, making Jarnagin an important asset in the region. Under her leadership, the tourism bureau commissioned a survey to identify ways to attract even more tourists.
The Red Cross is one of Long Island’s most vital disaster and emergency response organizations. With Neela Mukherjee Lockel at the helm, it has been among the first to respond at the scene of several home fires and accidents on the Long Island Rail Road. The organization has also taken a proactive approach, with an effort to install 2,000 fire alarms in homes across Nassau County’s and Suffolk County’s most vulnerable communities.
Conversations about race and equity are not new to Long Island, but with Theresa Sanders heading the Urban League of Long Island more people seem to be listening. This year, she joined Nassau County officials to discuss a report by County Comptroller Jack Schnirman, “Black Economic Equity,” as well as the cost of segregation to the local economy. She is among the region’s leading voices on income disparity, economic independence and empowerment for marginalized communities.
As head of an organization dedicated to promoting Long Island’s economy and its environment, Laureen Harris is a powerful advocate and knowledgeable resource on everything from property tax reform to transit-oriented development and renewable energy initiatives. She is a partner in the Uniondale-based law firm Cronin, Cronin, Harris & O'Brien and a founding member of the Institute of Real Estate at Hofstra University. Recently she’s led the charge to stiffen enforcement of the school surplus limit.
With Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s aggressive new agenda for pursuing renewable energy goals in New York – including a wind power goal of 9,000 megawatts by 2035 – Ørsted U.S. Offshore Wind stands to gain quite a bit. Jennifer Garvey oversees government relations on Long Island, helping secure support for Sunrise Wind, an offshore project located 30 miles from Montauk Point. The company is collaborating with Suffolk County Community College on a green energy job training center.
Black Enterprise Media dubberd Phil Andrews “Mr. Economic Empowerment,” a nod to his ongoing work to recognize and promote minority-owned small businesses on Long Island. A former president of 100 Black Men of Long Island – an organization dedicated to fostering educational and economic opportunities – Andrews has spent much of his career serving his community. He is on the board of the Interfaith Nutrition Network, which serves hungry and homeless Long Islanders.
Dubbed “Long Island’s top realtor” by the Long Island Press, Deirdre O’Connell oversees an organization with $3.5 billion in annual sales, 950 sales associates and 27 offices spanning Long Island and Queens. O’Connell, who has worked in real estate since 1991, started and successfully ran her own real estate company until it was acquired by the Huntington-based real estate giant. She credits her mother with teaching her the value of entrepreneurship and hard work.
After 19 years in New York state government, former Assemblyman and state Sen. Michael Balboni is now using his political experience to counsel clients like the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Nassau County and Northwell Health. Balboni is executive director of Greater New York Health Care Facilities Association, a member of the New York Power Authority’s board of trustees and chairman of the Cyber and Physical Security Committee, among other roles.
With all the development happening on Long Island, John D. Cameron Jr. always seems to have his hands in some of the region’s top projects, including the Nassau Coliseum renovation, the medical and business schools at Hofstra University and the Hagan School of Nursing at Molloy College. His firm was recently tapped to redesign the areas near the Inwood and Lawrence Long Island Rail Road stations as part of an effort to develop walkable neighborhoods around the train stations.
Regulars in Long Island’s political circles, Martin and Laurie Scheinman do it all – supporting local causes, serving on boards and solving problems in the region. Martin was recognized by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for helping the city and 380,000 union employees agree to contracts. Laurie is known as a philanthropist, entrepreneur and one-time congressional candidate. In 1996, the husband-and-wife duo founded the Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution at Cornell University.
The former Suffolk County executive – who established drug education, affordable housing and environmental programs in the county – has been busy leading the Suffolk County Water Authority board and overseeing a controversial rate increase. In 1982, Halpin became the first Democrat elected to represent Assembly District 11 in over a century. He has received the President’s Public Service Award from the Nature Conservancy and is a member of the Long Island Hall of Fame.
After SUNY Farmingdale saw its enrollment increase nearly 50% in 10 years, John Nader asked the state for $53 million to fund a new 40,000-square-foot academic building for applied sciences. “We are in growth mode, the college is thriving,” he told the Farmingdale Observer. Last fall, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul announced nearly $800,000 in funding for the college to develop new certificate programs with a focus on clean energy and smart-grid technologies.
As the new executive director for Habitat for Humanity in Suffolk County, Tracey Edwards is back to focusing on solutions for affordable and sustainable housing on Long Island. A lifelong Huntington resident, Edwards has served as a regional director for the NAACP, as a councilwoman in Huntington, and as vice president of the Elmwood School Board. Before jumping into politics, she worked for Verizon’s Long Island and upstate New York offices.
Russell Albanese, who heads the residential and commercial real estate development company founded by his father and his uncle in 1949, has been a significant player in Long Island’s real estate industry. He played a key role in the development of Garden City and has been active with the U.S. Green Building Council, the Nature Conservancy and Association for a Better Long Island. He received the 2014 Sustainability All-Star Award from Sustainable Long Island.
Elaine Gross is one of the region’s most passionate and effective champions of inclusion and racial equity in housing, education and health care. Based on a recent report that found that Long Island is one of the 10 most racially segregated regions in the country, it would seem Gross has her work cut out for her. But she is determined to build a “just” Long Island by promoting education and a better understanding of history.
Robert Creighton is leading Farrell Fritz into what he called an “exciting chapter” after the firm launched a new regulatory and government relations practice group and opened a new office in Albany last year, which will “connect our clients directly with key decision-makers in Albany,” Creighton said in a press release. Creighton, who has served as managing partner since 2016, has significant experience in corporate practice, with a focus on mergers and acquisitions.
Anne Shybunko-Moore is an enthusiastic champion of the Long Island region, telling Long Island Business News that “positive perception and destination awareness” play a key role in elevating the area’s visibility and promoting economic development. In addition to overseeing GSE – a U.S. defense manufacturer founded in 1971 – Shybunko-Moore serves on the board of the Hauppauge Industrial Association and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Long Island Regional Economic Development Council. She founded the Manufacturing Consortium of Long Island.
The Rauch Foundation is a longstanding asset to the Long Island community, providing millions of dollars for projects focusing on children and families, water protection and management, and regional leadership. Rauch Foundation board President Nancy Rauch Douzinas says the foundation’s famed Long Island Index, now called nextLI – and rebranded as a research entity managed by Newsday’s editorial pages – holds the key to understanding Long Island’s recent history, and charting its path forward.
D’Addario & Co. is a household name among musicians around the world, making more than 700,000 guitar strings every day at their Farmingdale factory. The D’Addario family started the business in Italy in the 1600s and moved it to New York in the early 1900s following an earthquake. Now overseeing more than 1,000 employees, Jim D’Addario has earned the respect of Long Island politicians, who seek him out to discuss the region’s manufacturing sector.
Lutricia “Pat” Edwards has her fingertips on the pulse of Long Island, where she works with service organizations throughout the region. She was appointed to the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council, serves as treasurer to the Long Island Housing Partnership and is an adviser to the Community Development Corporation of Long Island, among other groups. She’s leveraged her leadership position at Citigroup to give her community a voice where it counts.
Liuba Grechen Shirley gained a following in 2018 when she proved a worthy opponent to Rep. Pete King – who was ultimately reelected in New York’s 2nd Congressional District. She shot to national fame when she successfully petitioned the Federal Election Commission to allow her to spend campaign funds on child care, creating an opportunity for more mothers to enter politics. She recently started Vote Mama, a political action committee designed to encourage mothers to run for Congress.
Everybody who’s anybody on Long Island knows Gary Lewi. A public relations pro with a background in local government and broadcast journalism, the Rubenstein managing director is often the man behind the scenes advising clients on how to close a deal – and get it in the news. He played a key role in establishing both the Museum of American Armor at Old Bethpage Village Restoration and the American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport.