Power Lists

The 2024 Queens Power 100

The movers and shakers who have the borough abuzz.

City & State presents the 2024 Queens Power 100.

City & State presents the 2024 Queens Power 100. Alex Potemkin

Move over baseball and tennis, Queens is quickly becoming the soccer borough. The youth of the city – and their parents – flocking to Long Island City for indoor soccer during cold weather are likely to be joined by a new Major League Soccer stadium in Willets Point. The state’s pending award of three downstate casino licenses will likely upgrade the Aqueduct racino to full casino status and Mets owner Steve Cohen eagerly wants to put a casino next door to Citi Field. It’s not just all recreation in Queens. Long Island City is developing a new comprehensive plan, Howard Beach gave a conditional yes to the City of Yes, both airports are getting gleaming updates and Woodside is on the move. See who are the most powerful goalies protecting the “World’s Borough” in the Queens Power 100.

1. Adrienne Adams

New York City Council Speaker
Adrienne Adams / William Alatriste, New York City Council

Adrienne Adams is quickly putting her stamp on New York City. The City Council speaker said she’s still friends with Mayor Eric Adams but has led lawmakers in overriding the mayor’s vetoes on the How Many Stops Act, solitary confinement and landmark housing voucher legislation. Tensions between the branches of city government have only increased as lawmakers lambasted the administration’s proposed budget cuts and the eviction of migrant families from city shelters. The speaker has also put her stamp on the council with a new majority leader and a committee chair reshuffle.

2. Michael Gianaris

State Senate Deputy Majority Leader
Michael Gianaris / Senate Photography

The last round of redistricting didn’t go so well for Democrats, who lost four competitive seats in New York in 2022, leading to a Republican takeover of the House. But Michael Gianaris believes his party will gain ground in the new map. This year, the powerful No. 2 senator is prioritizing a solution to the state’s housing crisis, closing budget gaps and eliminating anonymous lobbying on nominations after Gov. Kathy Hochul vetoed a similar bill last year. Gianaris also secured $650,000 for several Queens arts organizations.

3. Grace Meng

Member of Congress
Grace Meng / U.S. House

Grace Meng’s warning that Democrats ought to pay more attention to Asian Americans’ needs has been prophetic as AAPI voters have shifted rightward in recent election cycles. The veteran House Appropriations Committee member got President Joe Biden to sign hate crime legislation and applauded the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights for studying anti-Asian racism. More recently, Meng asked for $250 million to mitigate areas susceptible to flooding and got the U.S. Postal Service to investigate mail theft incidents in Queens. Meng also helped to deliver Queens votes for Rep. Tom Suozzi in his February special election victory.

4. Melinda Katz

Queens District Attorney
Melinda Katz / Lynn Savarese Photography

Last year, Melinda Katz fended off a challenge from her right in the Democratic primary for a second term as Queens’ top prosecutor by a far larger margin than she did when she defeated Tiffany Caban by 55 votes in 2019. She has overhauled the district attorney’s office by creating a Conviction Integrity Unit and advised Gov. Kathy Hochul on adjusting state bail policy. Katz indicted two brothers who amassed an arsenal of explosives in Astoria in a bust that may have saved many lives.

5. Joseph Addabbo Jr., Leroy Comrie, Kristen Gonzalez, John Liu, Jessica Ramos, James Sanders Jr. & Toby Ann Stavisky

State Senators
Joseph Addabbo Jr., Leroy Comrie, Kristen Gonzalez, John Liu, Jessica Ramos, James Sanders Jr. & Toby Ann Stavisky / State Senate Photography; Kara McCurdy; Courtney Harvier

Senate Labor Committee Chair Jessica Ramos has focused on issues including wage theft and getting migrants into the workforce along with proposing a workplace readiness week curriculum in state schools. Ramos has also been blocking legislation needed to place a casino at Citi Field.

Senate Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee Chair Leroy Comrie oversees the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and has weighed in on the future of Penn Station and called for limits on exemptions to congestion pricing. Comrie is also seeking to strengthen the state’s consumer protection law.

A former New York City comptroller, state Sen. John Liu now drives education policy in Albany. Liu has called for postponing the extension of mayoral control of New York City schools until after the state Education Department completes a review of the policy. Liu has been critical of City Hall for pushing back on reducing class sizes.

Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee Chair Joseph Addabbo Jr. is at the center of the debate over downstate casino licenses. Addabbo is also pushing to legalize online gambling, saying the move is “inevitable” based on industry trends.

As chair of the Senate Internet and Technology Committee, Kristen Gonzalez aims to increase broadband access, calling it a “human right,” and she wants to enhance cybersecurity. She has also called for a ceasefire in Gaza and introduced legislation to make it easier to bring class-action lawsuits against the government.

State Senate Banks Committee Chair James Sanders Jr. was the sponsor behind the state’s new reparations study commission, enacted late last year, which now has a slate of members. He also passed laws to promote minority- and women-owned businesses and is working to develop plans to address street flooding.

For Senate Higher Education Committee Chair Toby Ann Stavisky, each new year brings a new fight over higher education funding. Stavisky is calling for an increase to the Tuition Assistance Program, saying it will open the door to college for more students.

6. Rick Cotton

Executive Director, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Rick Cotton / Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Queens airports are no longer the butt of travelers’ and Joe Biden’s jokes after Rick Cotton orchestrated the multibillion-dollar overhaul of John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport. The Port Authority completed a $4 billion renovation of LaGuardia’s Terminal B in January 2022 followed by a $4 billion makeover for Terminal C later that year, leading to an award for the world’s best new design by a panel of architects. At the same time, Cotton has led the $19 billion rehabilitation of Kennedy Airport. Cotton has been addressing issues outside of Queens, including a new bus terminal in Midtown and running the nation’s busiest seaport.

7. Gregory Meeks

Member of Congress
Gregory Meeks / Kristie Boyd, Official U.S. House Photographer

At an Association for a Better New York breakfast earlier this year, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries joked that Gregory Meeks was the “king of Queens” for good reason. The county Democratic Party leader helped encourage Rep. Tom Suozzi to run in the special election to reclaim his congressional seat after the expulsion of former Rep. George Santos. The top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Meeks has devoted time to considering solutions to the Israel-Hamas war and defending President Joe Biden’s approach after sponsoring a bipartisan resolution supporting Israel.

8. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Member of Congress
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez / Franmarie Metzler, US House Office of Photography

The country’s most prominent Democratic Socialist has walked a careful line condemning the Hamas attacks and chastising demonstrators for making antisemitic remarks while suggesting Israel committed war crimes and calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. Once a consummate outsider, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has grown her insider profile in Washington, D.C., taking on key committee and subcommittee leadership roles, expanding her foreign policy portfolio to push new policy solutions for violence in Cameroon and working to use legislation to address South American and environmental justice policy.

9. Donovan Richards

Queens Borough President
Donovan Richards / Queens Borough President's Office

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has sought to find creative solutions to the city’s most intractable problems. He has pressed City Hall to improve its coordination when sending asylum-seekers to Queens, visited the Creedmoor shelter to ensure the city met the needs of migrants and suggested using Nassau Coliseum as an emergency shelter – to the consternation of Long Island leaders. He also helped negotiate the return of street vendors to Corona Plaza and approved the Willets Point redevelopment plan, which includes a professional soccer stadium near Citi Field.

10. Khaleel Anderson, Jeff Aubry, Sam Berger, Ed Braunstein, Catalina Cruz, Vivian Cook, Jessica González-Rojas, Andrew Hevesi, Alicia Hyndman, Ron Kim, Zohran Mamdani, Stacey Pheffer Amato, Steven Raga, Jenifer Rajkumar, Nily Rozic, Clyde Vanel, David Weprin

Assembly Members
Khaleel Anderson, Jeffrion Aubry, Sam Berger, Ed Braunstein, Catalina Cruz, Vivian Cook, Jessica González-Rojas, Andrew Hevesi, Alicia Hyndman, Ron Kim, Zohran Mamdani, Stacey Pheffer Amato, Steven Raga, Jenifer Rajkumar, Nily Rozic, Clyde Vanel & David Weprin / State Assembly Photography; NYS Assembly Majority Photography; Sam Berger Campaign; Katrina Hajagos; Kristen Blush; Hide Alakija; Ron Kim for NY; Uri Thier; Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato; Mary Martha Wiggers; Sultan Khan; Weprin2021

Speaker Pro Tempore Jeffrion Aubry, who’s retiring, co-sponsored the law to set up New York’s reparations commission and is pushing to allow for Citi Field’s parking lots to be the site of a new casino.

Assembly Members Catalina Cruz, Jessica González-Rojas and Zohran Mamdani are key progressives. Gov. Kathy Hochul signed Cruz’s bill to expand the definition of rape. Cruz also introduced legislation to allow the state to issue its own work permits for migrants. Mamdani has been working to overhaul the city’s mass transit system, including a proposal to expand free bus service. He is also calling for Columbia University and New York University to pay property taxes, with the funds earmarked for CUNY. González-Rojas wants lawmakers to focus on economic inequality and environmental issues this year. After being hit by a car, she is advocating for pedestrian safety. Cruz and González-Rojas have introduced immigrant “right-to-counsel” legislation.

A key ally of Mayor Eric Adams, Assembly Member Jenifer Rajkumar has introduced legislation to create a state migrant coordinator appointed jointly by the mayor and the governor – and prevent upstate counties from blocking migrants.The state’s first Filipino American elected official, Assembly Member Steven Raga is pushing to maintain the right to shelter for migrants and to exempt dollar vans from congestion pricing.

Assembly Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee Chair Nily Rozic last year passed legislation to provide language translation for injured workers and to combat employee discrimination. This year, she advanced a bill to identify health care deserts statewide. Assembly Cities Committee Chair Ed Braunstein is focused on co-op taxes and a state housing plan. Assembly Children and Families Committee Chair Andrew Hevesi is advocating for increased Medicaid reimbursement rates for EMS ambulance transports and new tax incentives for EMS volunteers. Assembly Member Alicia Hyndman chairs the Committee on Committees and is calling for increased school safety measures. Oversight, Analysis and Investigations Committee Chair Clyde Vanel is the Assembly’s resident futurist focused on artificial intelligence. 

Assembly Governmental Employees Committee Chair Stacey Pheffer Amato, who narrowly won reelection in 2022, has taken on the civil service portfolio and has introduced a bill to criminalize protesters blocking roadways.

Assembly Aging Committee Chair Ron Kim is continuing to focus on holding nursing homes accountable and is scrutinizing social day care centers. Assembly Insurance Committee Chair David Weprin is monitoring enforcement of a state law he authored that prevents state agencies from enforcing hair requirements on employees who have religious exemptions after a Sikh state trooper raised concerns.

The youngest Black Assembly member in state history, Khaleel Anderson is in his second term. Veteran legislator Vivian Cook is the chamber’s assistant speaker and Sam Berger is the newest Queens lawmaker after winning a 2023 special election.

11. Dennis Walcott

President and CEO, Queens Public Library
Dennis Walcott / Queens Public Library

The former city schools chancellor was brought in to clean up the Queens Public Library in 2016 after the library’s spending became the subject of a federal criminal probe. Since then, Dennis Walcott has worked with other library presidents to avoid Mayor Eric Adams’ proposed budget cuts to the city’s three library systems, which led to the elimination of Sunday service even though they saw more than 2 million visitors last year. Walcott was appointed by state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins to the state redistricting commission after helping redraw the New York City Council lines.

12. Thomas Grech

President and CEO, Queens Chamber of Commerce
Thomas Grech / Dominick Totino

Thomas Grech has been focused on cultivating the borough’s tech sector. He was instrumental in getting the City Council to pass Innovation QNS, a $2 billion mixed-use development in Astoria that will create office space reserved for nonprofits and startups, which will help foster the innovation economy. Now Grech is working with real estate owners and community leaders on the One LIC plan to rezone Long Island City’s waterfront with an eye toward building workforce development programs.

13. Bob DeSalvio

President, Genting New York State
Bob DeSalvio / Dominick Totino

Bob DeSalvio has put Genting in a great position to win a license from the state for live table games at Resorts World, its South Ozone Park racino. Unfortunately they’re not the only ones preparing to bid for one of three casino licenses the state will hand out, let alone the only potential casino site in Queens. He’ll have to wait a little longer too. Resorts World is considered likely to receive one of the licenses as an existing racino. Locally, DeSalvio has helped raise $2.3 million to expand Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s cancer center.

14. Patrick B. Jenkins

President, Patrick B. Jenkins & Associates
Patrick B. Jenkins / caliyorkphotography

The Jamaica-based lobbyist is a formidable presence in Albany and City Hall, where he has relationships with political leaders that stretch back decades. A close ally of Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Patrick B. Jenkins has a mix of clients, including charter schools, the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, CVS and DraftKings. His work with the Genting Group comes as the gambling company applies for a state license for Resorts World in South Ozone Park to become the city’s first casino with live table games.

15. Joann Ariola, Selvena Brooks-Powers, Tiffany Cabán, James Gennaro, Jennifer Gutiérrez, Robert Holden, Shekar Krishnan, Linda Lee, Francisco Moya, Vickie Paladino, Lynn Schulman, Sandra Ung, Nantasha Williams & Julie Won

New York City Council Members
Joann Ariola, Selvena Brooks-Powers, Tiffany Cabán, James Gennaro, Jennifer Gutiérrez, Robert Holden, Shekar Krishnan, Linda Lee, Francisco Moya, Vickie Paladino, Lynn Schulman, Sandra Ung, Nantasha Williams & Julie Won / NYC Council Media Unit; John McCarten, NYC Council Media Unit; Corey Torpie; Dominick Totino Photography; Monica Lee; William Alatriste; Frank B. Perez

New York City Council Majority Whip Selvena Brooks-Powers expects city officials to do their homework. The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chair – who’s also part of a newly all-female City Council leadership team – found it “unacceptable” that Transportation Department Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez came to a hearing unable to answer how many miles of bike lanes had been installed. On the outs with leadership is Council Member Tiffany Cabán, an outspoken Democratic Socialist who lost her chair of the Women and Gender Equity Committee in a January reshuffle.

Health Committee Chair Lynn Schulman passed legislation mandating that the city adopt a five-year public health master plan aimed at increasing life expectancy. Mental Health, Disabilities and Addiction Committee Chair Linda Lee won a tough reelection fight last year and continues to focus on implementing the mental health roadmap she developed. 

Council Member James Gennaro is the longtime leader of the Environmental Protection Committee, and his agenda includes a bill to ban detergent pods in the city due to microplastics. He endorsed fellow New York environmentalist Robert Kennedy Jr. for president.

Parks and Recreation Committee Chair Shekar Krishnan has been negotiating more funding for city parks along with warning that Mayor Eric Adams’ proposed budget cuts could lead to more trash in the parks. Contracts Committee Chair Julie Won is leading efforts to create a new comprehensive plan for Long Island City development, with Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer joining her to announce the effort.

Technology Committee Chair Jennifer Gutiérrez is working to develop ways to address the use of artificial intelligence in city government and has been working to grow the tech sector in New York including passing legislation to reauthorize a biotech tax credit program. Standards and Ethics Committee Chair Sandra Ung has been focused on her Flushing district, including hosting NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban for a tour and shepherding a new elementary school on 45th Avenue to approval. Civil and Human Rights Committee Chair Nantasha Williams is working on plans to better explain the legacies of people honored with monuments in the city.

Republicans Joann Ariola and Vickie Paladino, along with conservative Democrat Bob Holden, are part of a small but growing center-right contingent that’s gaining traction in the outer boroughs.

Council Member Francisco Moya is officially chair of the COVID and Infectious Disease Subcommittee, but unofficially he’s the City Council’s soccer czar. The soccer fan has been leading efforts to bring a soccer stadium to Willets Point, a project currently winding its way toward a ULURP goal.

16. Tyquana Henderson-Rivers

President, Connective Strategies
Tyquana Henderson-Rivers / Cedric Wooten

If you’re running for office in Queens, Tyquana Henderson-Rivers should be on your list of calls to make. The veteran political consultant brings a wealth of experience running campaigns and isn’t afraid to give candidates blunt but necessary advice. Henderson-Rivers helped Ray McGuire compete in a crowded Democratic primary for mayor in 2021, worked for Assembly Member Jeffrion Aubry and Harlem Assembly Member Inez Dickens, and helped Gov. Kathy Hochul survive a closer-than-expected gubernatorial challenge from Republican Lee Zeldin in 2022.

New York City Football Club: Congratulations to all honorees for being recognized in the Queens Power 100 List

17. Brad Sims, Marty Edelman & Jennifer O’Sullivan

CEO; Vice Chair; Chief Operating Officer, New York City Football Club
Brad Sims, Marty Edelman & Jennifer O’Sullivan / New York City Football Club

Last year, Brad Sims declared that the New York City Football Club would become the “flagship team” of Major League Soccer once the team’s new $780 million all-electric stadium opened in Willets Point. Plans to build the 25,000-seat arena, the centerpiece of the Willets Point redevelopment, hit a snag when Queens Borough President Donovan Richards wanted commitments from developers to hire local workers and ensure concession space for Queens vendors – while community board leaders demanded a new police precinct. Sims and Marty Edelman negotiated a plan, and both the board and Richards approved the rezoning in January. Jennifer O’Sullivan, the NYCFC chief operating officer, has led community relations on the stadium effort, serving as the club’s head spokesperson in front of city agencies and leading on building stakeholder relationships.

18. Frank Monterisi

Executive Vice President, Related Companies
Frank Monterisi / Karen Sterling

Related’s Frank Monterisi got a well-earned promotion in 2019 when he was named chief operating officer of Related Midwest to oversee a number of mixed-use residential developments throughout Chicago. But he couldn’t stay away from Queens for long. Monterisi has remained an integral part of the Queens Development Group, a joint venture between Related and Sterling Equities. The group is constructing two buildings with 1,100 affordable units and a school on 6 acres of Willets Point, the first phase of a development site that will culminate with a soccer stadium.

19. Jeff Wilpon & Richard Browne

Founding Partner; Managing Partner, Sterling Project Development
Jeff Wilpon & Richard Browne / Dennis Dasilva

The Wilpon family sold their majority stake in the New York Mets to Steve Cohen three years ago but they haven’t left Queens entirely. Jeff Wilpon and his partner Richard Browne run the offshoot of the Wilpon family’s real estate business, Sterling Equities, by advising other professional sports teams on their stadium plans. They partnered with Related Companies to redevelop a swath of Willets Point and broke ground on phase one of their mixed-use development, an 1,100-unit affordable housing project, in December. In January, they bought 19,800 square feet of vacant land that was the last piece of land that will enable them to eventually build a 25,000-seat soccer stadium.

20. Elizabeth Crowley

President and CEO, Building Trades Employers’ Association
Elizabeth Crowley / NYC Council

A former New York City Council member from Queens, Elizabeth Crowley returned to her labor roots last year and became the first woman to lead the Building Trades when Lou Coletti stepped down to join Davidoff Hutcher & Citron. Crowley is seeking to make the construction industry more diverse and buildings more environmentally sustainable, and to increase housing affordability. She is set to play a key role in housing negotiations in Albany this year.

21. Michael Woloz

President and CEO, CMW Strategies
Michael Woloz / Lisa Berg

When Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams announced their budgets on the same day in a quirk of legislative calendars, Michael Woloz hunkered down in his Woolworth Building suite to monitor both spending plans. It’s nothing new for the longtime lobbyist, who has advocated on behalf of clients, particularly in the transportation, real estate and the arts, for more than two decades. Woloz has also taken a lead role fighting against the growth of ride-hailing companies as a lobbyist for medallion owners and was recently named chapter chair of the New York League of Conservation Voters.

22. David O’Rourke

President, NYRA
David O’Rourke / Adam Coglianese, NYRA

In December, David O’Rourke made the difficult decision to move the Belmont Stakes from Long Island to Saratoga Springs while Belmont Park’s campus was undergoing a largely state-financed $455 million renovation. The racetrack’s overhaul, which should be ready by spring 2026, will involve tearing down the grandstand and completely replacing it with a more modern structure about one-fourth the size. Once the new Belmont Park is completed all downstate racing programs will shift to the Long Island location and the Queens property will be open for new developments. 

23. Frank Wu

President, Queens College
Frank Wu / Jim Block

Like every college president, Frank Wu has found antisemitism, free expression and foreign policy taking up more of his time in the aftermath of the Oct. 7 terrorist attack in Israel. The Queens College president denounced a Muslim student group’s social media posts on the conflict and opened an investigation into the organization, which set off protests on campus. Wu responded by increasing security patrols and writing in the Daily News that colleges must welcome open debate and reject antisemitism. Wu has also awarded five scholarships to art students and honored FPWA’s Jennifer Jones Austin for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

24. Steve Cohen & Michael Sullivan

Owner; Chief of Staff and Head of External Affairs, New York Mets; Point72 Asset Management

Leading a Mets comeback this season may be one of the easiest things on Steve Cohen’s to-do list, with navigating New York politics with his desire to implement an $8 billion redevelopment plan around Citi Field. Cohen’s plans to build a casino, a Hard Rock hotel and entertainment complex and 20 acres of green space, has run into somewhat byzantine state politics, since the Citi Field parking lot Cohen wants to use is technically a state park. State Sen. Jessica Ramos has so far blocked legislation that would remove the state park designation from the parking lot while some residents have called for a state park and not a casino. Cohen has even played hardball with the use of the baseball parking lots for a future nearby soccer stadium. Michael Sullivan is Cohen’s Queens point person and has been working on community outreach to make Cohen’s vision for Queens a reality. Sullivan oversees Cohen’s efforts to win a state casino license, including his state political strategy. He has not been afraid to communicate Cohen’s wishes to city leaders, including that the baseball owner did not want the soccer stadium to happen.

25. Jaclyn Mucaria

President, NewYork-Presbyterian Queens
Jaclyn Mucaria / NewYork-Presbyterian

Jaclyn Mucaria hadn’t faced a challenge anywhere close to the pandemic in her nearly quarter-century career at NewYork-Presbyterian, but she ensured that the hospital had the resources it needed to treat the onslaught of COVID-19. Staff kept the mood hopeful, as staff played Journey songs when they discharged recovered patients, which both “People” and ABC’s “Good Morning America” covered. The hospital has since earned four stars from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for its patient safety and outcomes, and named a new chief of cardiothoracic surgery in October.

26. Joanna Geraghty

CEO, JetBlue Airways Corp.

On Feb. 12, Joanna Geraghty made history by becoming the first woman chief executive of a major American airline. An almost two-decade veteran of JetBlue, Geraghty served as president and chief operating officer before being chosen to succeed retiring CEO Robin Hayes. Geraghty stepped into the CEO job as JetBlue was working to keep its proposed $3.8 billion acquisition of Spirit Airlines on track. In January, a federal judge sided with the U.S. Justice Department in blocking the merger based on antitrust concerns. Geraghty canceled the merger on March 4, citing the hurdles to overcome following the court ruling.

27. Peter Tu

Executive Director, Flushing Chinese Business Association
Peter Tu / Provided

Peter Tu moved to Flushing from Taiwan in 1980, when the end of the No. 7 train was a quieter, sparser place. Since then, the area has become an international melting pot with one of the busiest subway stations outside Manhattan. Last year, Tu signed an affiliation agreement with the Queens Chamber of Commerce to share resources to help neighborhood businesses. Tu supports a new casino at Citi Field as long as its operator provides addiction counseling services and job opportunities for local residents.

28. Helen Arteaga Landaverde & Neil J. Moore

CEOs, NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst; NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens
Helen Arteaga Landaverde & Neil J. Moore / Provided; Greg Mahabe

Four years ago, Queens’ public hospitals were the epicenter of a global pandemic. Helen Arteaga Landaverde and Neil J. Moore, both appointed in 2021, have helped restore their facilities battered by the cost of caring for COVID-19 patients. Arteaga Landaverde brought in $3 million from the borough president’s office to aid its maternal and neonatal units and celebrated its resiliency at its 190th anniversary gala at the Museum of Natural History in October. Moore meanwhile received $1 million from state lawmakers for a new infant protection system in July.

29. Brian J. Shanley

President, St. John’s University
Brian J. Shanley / St. John’s University

The Rev. Brian Shanley made headlines last spring when he lured basketball legend Rick Pitino to join St. John’s as its head coach in a six-year deal. He knew Pitino would change the team’s culture and return the school to the top of the college basketball landscape. Outside of athletics, Shanley has worked to deescalate a public safety crisis when an unidentified truck entered campus without authorization, unsettling Muslim and Jewish students, and ensuring construction of the school’s Center for Health Sciences remains on schedule.

30. Clint Plummer

CEO, Rise Light & Power
Clint Plummer / Rise Light & Power

With the state on a path to implement an ambitious clean energy plan, Clint Plummer is working to ensure Rise Light & Power rises to the challenge. Plummer has developed a plan to replace Ravenswood Generating Station’s three steam generators in western Queens with wind and solar power by investing in an offshore wind farm that would connect directly to the plant. Plummer also promises to raze its smokestacks, and supports retraining power plant employees for jobs in the clean energy economy.

31. Cameron R. Hernandez & David L. Reich

Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer; President, Mount Sinai Queens
Cameron R. Hernandez & David L. Reich / The Mount Sinai Health System

Since Cameron R. Hernandez and David L. Reich have been running Mount Sinai Queens, they have brought cutting-edge medical technologies and an infusion of funding to the Astoria medical center. Last February, Hernandez and Reich secured $1.5 million from Queens Borough President Donovan Richards for a new 22-bed intensive care unit to offer more surgical services for residents and hired renowned vascular surgeon Christopher Smolock before launching a cardiac catheterization lab. They also resolved a strike at Elmhurst Hospital, where 165 residents demanded wages similar to those that doctors earned at Mount Sinai’s Manhattan campus.

32. Mark Weprin

Vice President of Government Affairs, Invenergy
Mark Weprin / Greenberg Traurig

Mark Weprin knows how to get stuff done in Albany and City Hall. The former state and city lawmaker had stints with the Cuomo administration and Greenberg Traurig but wanted to tackle climate change as the state transitioned its energy grid off fossil fuels. Weprin joined Invenergy in 2022 just as it secured a $645 million offshore wind lease in the New York Bight. Weprin has since helped the company complete a 104 MW wind farm in Lewis County and bid for a 2.4 GW project off New Jersey.

33. Elaine Flake

Senior Pastor, Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York
Elaine Flake / The Greater Allen Cathedral of New York

The pastor with the largest congregation in the United States may very well be Elaine Flake. Three years ago, Flake took over the Greater Allen A.M.E.’s pastoral duties from her husband, the Rev. Floyd Flake, a former member of Congress who had ministered at the Jamaica church since 1976. She has frequently hosted City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and other leading elected officials during her gospel-filled services.

34. John D’Angelo

Senior Vice President and Regional Executive Director, Central Region, Northwell Health
John D’Angelo / Northwell Health

As three hospitals have closed in Queens over the past 15 years, Northwell Health has sought to fill the urgent need for medical services by expanding its footprint. In November 2022, John D’Angelo promised to invest more in Long Island Jewish Forest Hills after the omicron wave battered the borough’s medical centers. A year later, Northwell opened a $52 million cancer center and 70,000-square-foot multipractice facility on Queens Boulevard in Rego Park, featuring oncology care, cardiology, pediatrics, imaging and rehabilitation services.

35. Laura Rothrock

President, Long Island City Partnership
Laura Rothrock / Long Island City Partnership

Long Island City has become one of the city’s fastest-growing neighborhoods thanks to the explosion of remote work and the advocacy of leaders like Laura Rothrock. Foot traffic and retail spending are up, and LIC is one of the few neighborhoods where both metrics have improved since the pandemic. But Rothrock wants to see significant infrastructure improvements to meet the needs of Long Island City’s growing population, particularly sewer upgrades to reduce flooding that occurred after Superstorm Sandy and the remnants of Hurricane Ida. Rothrock also hosts an annual summit with innovators to discuss the future of the neighborhood.

36. Stephanie Baldwin, Ryan Marzullo & Patricia Ornst

Vice President, JFK Airport Operations; Managing Director, Design and Construction; Director, New York State and Local Government Affairs, Delta
Stephanie Baldwin & Patricia Ornst / Delta Air Lines

The transformation of Delta’s two New York airport hubs since 2010 has been nothing short of remarkable. Stephanie Baldwin, Ryan Marzullo and Patricia Ornst have spearheaded the $1.5 billion overhaul of Kennedy International Airport’s Terminal 4, which features a revitalized check-in area, two new Sky Clubs accommodating 800 guests and 11 new gates that should alleviate the terminal’s overcrowding. Starting her Delta career as a part-time customer service agent in Cincinnati, Baldwin directs the airline’s Kennedy operations overseeing 2,000 employees and 225 peak day departures. Marzullo leads design and construction efforts for the airline including the construction of a new Terminal C at LaGuardia Airport, a key priority. Ornst directs all state and local government outreach efforts in New York for Delta.

37. Suzette Noble

CEO, LaGuardia Gateway Partners
Suzette Noble / LaGuardia Gateway Partners

For Suzette Noble there are no passengers at LaGuardia Airport, only guests. Noble, a two-decade veteran of The Walt Disney Co. where she focused on customer service, became the CEO of LaGuardia Gateway Partners, which runs the airport’s new Terminal B, in September. At LaGuardia, Noble has since helped boost customer satisfaction and turn Terminal B into the world’s “best new airport terminal” thanks to its new layout and design following a $4 billion reconstruction. Noble also lured restaurants she liked to establish outposts, added premium airport lounges and improved accessibility throughout the terminal.

38. Gerrard Bushell

President and CEO, The New Terminal One Development at JFK
Gerrard Bushell / Port Authority New York and New Jersey

In the four years Gerrard Bushell ran the state Dormitory Authority, he issued $38 billion in bonds for infrastructure projects and managed a $6 billion construction portfolio. That prepared him for the complex task of overseeing the $9.5 billion reconstruction of a new Terminal One at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Bushell got Korean Air to move to the new terminal, announced a partnership with the Korn Ferry Charitable Foundation to recruit local talent last summer, then secured a $2 billion refinancing in December.

39. Roel Huinink

President and CEO, JFKIAT
Roel Huinink / JFKIAT

While Kennedy International Airport is in the midst of a multibillion-dollar redevelopment plan involving the construction of a new international terminal, Terminal 4, the country’s only privately operated airport terminal, is booming under Roel Huinink’s leadership. Huinink helped ensure that Delta’s $1.5 billion investment to add 10 new gates and upgrade its check-in lobby, cargo building and lounges went smoothly. He recently launched self-service kiosks to ease baggage check, welcomed Delta’s second Sky Club and the Chase Sapphire Lounge, and hosted a pop-up holiday market.

40. Steve Thody

Interim CEO, JFK Millennium Partners
Steve Thody / JFK Millennium Partners

The onetime general manager of British Airways operations in Kennedy International Airport’s Terminal 7, Steve Thody took over as interim chief executive officer of JFK Millennium Partners’ efforts to build a new Terminal 6 in February. Previously chief operating officer of the $4.2 billion project, Thody is working with a goal to open the first five gates by 2026 and complete construction by 2028. Thody has said the new terminal is being built to be sustainable and the company is looking to create economic opportunities in Queens via both construction and operation of the larger terminal.

41. Christine Mangino

President, Queensborough Community College
Christine Mangino / Leo Correa, Queensborough Community College

When Christine Mangino was named Queensborough Community College’s sixth president in June 2020, higher education was still reeling from the pandemic. The former Hostos Community College provost solicited $41.7 million in federal COVID-19 relief in 2021 and collected $1 million from the borough president’s office two years later. Mangino has since opened a resource center to retain male students of color, promoted diversity by supporting three cultural centers and renovated the school’s performing arts center, which showed its first performance since the pandemic last April.

42. Bruce Flanz

President and CEO, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center
Bruce Flanz / Andrew Rubin

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center was recognized this year as one of the country’s 100 best hospitals by Healthgrades thanks Bruce Flanz and his staff’s dedication during successive COVID-19 waves. Once the immediate urgency of the pandemic subsided, the hospital partnered with three local organizations to reduce gun violence in Southeast Queens. Flanz also accepted $4.3 million in federal funding for a surgical robotics system from Rep. Gregory Meeks and celebrated the $150 million expansion of the hospital’s emergency department with multiple Queens officials in June.

43. Lorraine Chambers Lewis

Executive Director, Long Island Jewish Forest Hills
Lorraine Chambers Lewis / Long Island Jewish Forest Hills

Running a hospital is not an easy job – and taking over in the middle of a global pandemic ups the challenges. Lorraine Chambers Lewis joined Long Island Jewish Forest Hills in 2021 after serving as a leader within Northwell Health for 14 years with a mandate to provide excellent medical care to a community with diverse needs. Last year, the St. Albans native celebrated LIJ Forest Hills’ 70th anniversary and the receipt of a prestigious “A” rating from the nonprofit Leapfrog Group for its hospital safety record.

44. Seth Bornstein

Executive Director, Queens Economic Development Corp.
Seth Bornstein / Allyson Howard

Seth Bornstein is in the middle of some of the city’s most dynamic redevelopment plans. The veteran economic development leader is working to develop a new 25,000-seat soccer stadium to Willets Point, is collaborating with Greater Jamaica’s Justin Rodgers to revitalize the neighborhood’s historic downtown and got the city to reopen the Corona Plaza street market with longtime food vendors after an earlier crackdown over permits. Bornstein even found time to write his first novel last year, “Swimming to Jerusalem,” inspired by his relationship with Israel.

45. John Park

Executive Director, MinKwon Center for Community Action

Since 1984, the MinKwon Center for Community Action has served the needs of the country’s second-largest Korean American community. John Park led MinKwon’s Hate Free Zone campaign, which established sanctuary spaces for Asian Americans and know your rights information sessions on public safety, immigration and housing issues in light of rising anti-Asian hate crimes. Park’s nonprofit also recently awarded $50,000 for scholarships for two undocumented students pursuing a college degree.

46. Hal Rosenbluth

President, Kaufman Astoria Studios
Hal Rosenbluth / Jill Lotenberg

The bright lights of moviemaking in Astoria dimmed when film and TV writers as well as actors went on strike last year, but Hal Rosenbluth positioned Kaufman Astoria for lights, cameras, action once the strike resolved. Kaufman Astoria already made one comeback after the pandemic and Rosenbluth negotiated its sale to Hackman Capital Partners and Square Mile Capital Management the following year to put the studio on better financial footing.

47. Dermot Smyth

Queens Political Action Coordinator, United Federation of Teachers
Dermot Smyth / Submitted

There’s never a dull moment for Dermot Smyth at the city’s teachers union. The United Federation of Teachers enters the busy election year having sued the city to reverse budget cuts and joining Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella to work to halt congestion pricing. Smyth will also coordinate the union’s volunteer mobilization and endorsement process during a busy election year.

48. Justin Rodgers

President and CEO, Greater Jamaica Development Corp.
Justin Rodgers / Adam Cohen

Justin Rodgers has dedicated nearly all of his professional life to ensuring that Jamaica reaps the benefits of New York City’s long-term economic growth. In 2022, the Greater Jamaica Development Corp. appointed Rodgers as its president and CEO after he had been involved in nearly every major initiative the group undertook over the past decade. Rodgers has since focused his efforts on revitalizing Jamaica’s downtown commercial district as the city invests $70 million into critical streetscape improvements.

49. Anne Marie Anzalone & John Albert

Partners, Bolton-St. Johns
Anne Marie Anzalone & John Albert / Natalie Cartz; William Alatriste

Three years ago, one of Albany’s most influential lobbying firms stepped up and promoted a handful of its top performers, including Anne Marie Anzalone and John Albert. Anzalone specializes in working with national retail chains, sports leagues and entertainment networks. She also worked with GrowNYC, which recently expanded its wholesale food distribution hub in the Bronx and runs composting programs at city greenmarkets. Albert has worked to pass anti-stalking laws, expand after-school programs and navigate the land use process to renovate the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

50. Peter Vallone Sr.

Founder and Partner, Constantinople & Vallone Consulting
Peter Vallone Sr. / William Alatriste

The five former speakers of the New York City Council have each carved their own unique paths after leaving City Hall. Peter Vallone Sr., the body’s first speaker, has become a top lobbyist and an elder statesman in city government. Mayor Eric Adams has said that Vallone, the 1998 Democratic gubernatorial nominee, has been “nurturing and counseling” him during his years in politics. An outpouring of support enveloped the Vallone family in January following the sudden death of his son, former Council Member Paul Vallone.

51. Michael Braun

Chief Strategy Officer, Kasirer
Michael Braun / NY Building Congress

The Long Island native and SUNY Cortland alum joined Kasirer out of college. Four years later, Michael Braun, a former SUNY student trustee, leads business development as chief strategy officer. He helped Kasirer remain the top compensated lobbying firm in the city last year. In May, the New York Building Congress recognized Braun with an Emerging Leader Award, and SUNY Cortland honored him with an alumni association award a month later.

52. Richard Siu

Chief Investment Officer, F&T Group

Few developers have transformed the look and layout of downtown Flushing like Richard Siu. In 2020, his F&T Group pushed for the City Council to rezone the Flushing waterfront in order to make way for $1 billion of private investment. During that time, Siu’s F&T Group and SCG America secured a 208-room Renaissance Hotel and a Regal Cinemas multiplex as anchor tenants inside their 1.2 million-square-foot mall Tangram. The $800 million mixed-use development also features a 24,000-square-foot food hall and two residential towers with views of the Manhattan skyline.

53. Tracey Appelbaum & Jamison Divoll

Co-Founder and Managing Principal; Vice President, BedRock Real Estate Partners; Silverstein
Tracey Appelbaum & Jamison Divoll / Ed Lederman; Silverstein Properties

The road to approve the $2 billion Innovation QNS project in Long Island City was more a project of diplomacy than one of construction. Tracey Appelbaum from BedRock Real Estate Partners and Jamison Divoll from Silverstein were the lead land use diplomats for the developers. The pair worked closely with community leaders, including Council Member Julie Won, to develop a plan that brought the project to 45% below-market-rate units, a key aspect needed to meet community demand for increased affordable housing stock in western Queens. Appelbaum and Divoll emphasized the project’s 3,000 units, two acres of open space, new playgrounds and off-street parking. Divoll is expanding his outer borough sphere of influence, joining the board of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum this year.

54. Sally Tallant

President and Executive Director, Queens Museum
Sally Tallant / Hugo Glendinning

Five years after taking the reins of the Queens Museum, Sally Tallant has settled in nicely planning new exhibitions, collaborating with staff and forming relationships with key leaders across Queens. She has put together acclaimed solo shows featuring prominent artists of color, including sonia louise davis and Xaveria Simmons, and has launched a collaboration with Delta Airlines and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to provide art by New York based artists in the new Terminal C at LaGuardia Airport. Tallant also announced city funding for a new children's museum space. 

55. Costa Constantinides

CEO, Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens
Costa Constantinides / Terence Cullen

Costa Constantinides may have left the New York City Council but his legislative legacy is everlasting. The author of Local Law 97, the city’s landmark carbon emissions reduction law, is in the process of being implemented by city building officials. Constantinides continues to champion environmentally sustainable development. As CEO of Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens, he ensured its new clubhouse in Astoria would be carbon neutral and partnered with the New York Power Authority to acquire a rooftop farm in Long Island City.

56. Daniel Zausner

Chief Operating Officer, USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
Daniel Zausner / Billie Jean King Tennis

Daniel Zausner is the king of tennis in Queens and stands ready to welcome international tennis stars to the world’s borough. Zausner has added a retractable roof to Arthur Ashe Stadium and beefed up the sports venue’s luxury accommodations. Last year, Zausner brought a slew of celebrity chefs to Aces, a restaurant at the tennis center and partnered with Queens economic development officials on a welcome kiosk. The tennis center employs 7,000 seasonal workers and has donated money to spruce up nearby Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

57. Kenneth Adams

President, LaGuardia Community College
Kenneth Adams / LaGuardia Community College

The former state economic development and tax chief took on the challenge of leading LaGuardia Community College four years ago. Kenneth Adams has since helped the college focus on its strengths in technology and business. In June, Adams launched the LaGuardia-Baruch Business Academy to make business education more accessible to LaGuardia students and partnered with The Fedcap Group to bring a tech-focused learning center to Union Square. In February, Adams celebrated the opening of a hydroponic research lab, the first of its kind at a community college.

58. Tunisha Walker-Miller

Founder and CEO, The Source Consulting Group
Tunisha Walker-Miller / Kierra Bradshaw

The in-demand political consultant founded Capalino’s MWBE practice before launching her own firm five years ago. Since then, Tunisha Walker-Miller has helped hundreds of businesses run by women and people of color navigate state and city rules while also advising their public affairs strategies and new media footprints, including those in the rapidly developing legal cannabis industry.

59. Travis Terry

Founder and CEO, Immortal Strategies
Travis Terry / Leigh Beckett

During 21 years at Capalino, Travis Terry advised a mix of nonprofits, real estate firms and corporate clients. Terry helped the Guggenheim Museum raise $10 million, secured favorable rezoning for The Yale Club and 250 Park during the East Midtown rezoning and even secured permits for Governors Ball. In December 2023, Terry launched his own consulting shop, Immortal Strategies, where he works with museums and cultural institutions and advises on land use.

60. Rasheida Smith

Political Consultant, Dunton Consulting
Rasheida Smith / Darren Laing

In the 12 years that Rasheida Smith has run her own consulting firm, she has helped guide former Rep. Charlie Rangel and New Jersey’s U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, Rep. Mikie Sherrell and Gov. Phil Murphy to the winner’s circle. Smith has also advised Queens state Sens. Jessica Ramos and Leroy Comrie and consulted for major labor unions including the AFL-CIO and Transport Workers Union Local 100 as well as Brookdale Hospital. She most recently worked on campaigns with Harlem Assembly Member Inez Dickens and Brooklyn state Sen. Kevin Parker.

61. Kevin Alexander

President and CEO, Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corp.
Kevin Alexander / Liz & Joe Schmidt Photography

It’s been over a decade since Superstorm Sandy devastated the Rockaways, and the region is still dealing with its aftermath. Kevin Alexander worked with City Hall on a $234 million Far Rockaway investment plan that completed 224 new homes as well as infrastructure upgrades and street safety improvements. The Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corp. has worked to rebuild commercial storefronts outside the flood zone and hosted events celebrating the Rockaways’ cultural heritage.

62. Mitchell Taylor

Co-Founder and CEO, Urban Upbound
Mitchell Taylor / Cedric Wooten

Bishop Mitchell Taylor co-founded his Long Island City credit union two decades ago to help provide economic opportunities for residents in Queensbridge Houses. Urban Upbound has since broadened its reach to provide employment services, financial counseling, tax preparation services and even food distribution to people in need. Taylor has also called for the completion of Halletts North, a mixed-income housing complex and supported Clean Path NY, an $11 billion transmission line delivering renewable energy to Queens.

63. Daniel Rosenthal

Vice President for Government Relations, UJA-Federation of New York
Daniel Rosenthal / Touro University

After serving in the Assembly for six years, Daniel Rosenthal left Albany in June to join one of the nation’s largest Jewish philanthropies at a time when antisemitism incidents were rising. Rosenthal has long been a vocal supporter of Israel and opposed to politicians who supported the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement. After the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas against Israel, Rosenthal helped UJA raise $156 million for its emergency fund and facilitated Gov. Kathy Hochul’s October visit to Israel.

64. Ebony Young

Queens Deputy Borough President
Ebony Young / Frank Guiterrez Photography

When Queens Borough President Donovan Richards needed someone to replace Rhonda Binda in the deputy borough presidency, he picked veteran nonprofit leader Ebony Young. The former Long Island City YMCA executive director didn’t win her City Council race in 2021, but ran on a platform of economic empowerment, a key part of her deputy borough president portfolio. Young celebrated the grand opening of Healthfirst’s Jamaica office in April and an SCO Family Services boutique in November and partnered with Lagos to support African startups.

65. Ben Thomases

Executive Director, Queens Community House
Ben Thomases / Queens Community House

Ben Thomases positioned Queens Community House financially and programmatically with the nonprofit purchasing its longtime Forest Hills headquarters three years ago to renovate its facility. Thomases welcomed neighbors back in November 2022 to a $15 million community center featuring new lounges, counseling rooms and accessibility upgrades. Last summer, Thomases cut the ribbon on a new adult center in Jamaica, and then he brought back social adult day services programs.

66. Erica Ford

Founder and CEO, Life Camp
Erica Ford / Emmanuel Anderson

After fighting the preponderance of gun violence in Queens for over 20 years, Erica Ford is handing over day-to-day control of her Life Camp to her co-executive directors Tiffany Lamela and Diana Lemon to continue deploying people to canvass communities and deescalate violent incidents. The program also provides financial counseling, yoga classes as well as wellness and nutrition sessions and has steered a Peace Mobile to reach people affected by violence in underserved communities. Ford has since gotten into the legal cannabis industry and opened a pop-up shop in Manhattan.

67. Claudia Schrader

Interim President, York College
Claudia Schrader / Kingsborough Community College

When York College needed someone to replace Berenecea Johnson Eanes, who was appointed president of California State University, Los Angeles in September, CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez picked veteran CUNY leader Claudia Schrader to fill the void. Schrader served at Medgar Evers College and Bronx Community College before leading Kingsborough Community College. Among Schrader’s to-do list at York, addressing the lack of a cafeteria and facility renovations, as well as completing a new NCAA track field.

68. Edwin Christian

Business Manager, IUOE Local 14-14B
Edwin Christian / John O'Donnell Photography

For more than three decades, Edwin Christian has kept the International Union of Operating Engineers running as the labor group has sought higher wages and better working conditions on heavy construction sites throughout the region. In October, the IUOE reached a three-union agreement with the IBEW and LiUNA over the construction of solar energy projects, making it easier to bring them online. The union is also expected to play a role in negotiations over construction wages in any housing package state lawmakers consider this year.

69. Jukay Hsu

Founder and CEO, Pursuit
Jukay Hsu / Pursuit

A decade ago, Jukay Hsu wanted to make Queens the city’s leader in technology development. The Queens native and Iraq War veteran offered web development and app building classes through his nonprofit and partnered with Amazon when the e-commerce giant explored moving its headquarters to Long Island City. These days, Hsu’s nonprofit, now called Pursuit, is focused on financing intensive training programs that help underserved New Yorkers get software engineering jobs.

70. Scott Crowley

Senior Vice President, Fontas Advisors
Scott Crowley / Erin Silber

A veteran of government finance and the lobbying world, Scott Crowley joined Fontas Advisors just before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the world in March 2020. A former deputy director of the New York City Council’s Finance Division, Crowley uses his budgetary prowess to help an array of tech and other clients looking to navigate the city’s $100 billion budget as Mayor Eric Adams continues making adjustments and cuts and lawmakers push back.

71. Bahij Chancey

Director of Planning, WXY

Following the process to approve the massive Innovation QNS development, New York City Council Member Julie Won wants to develop a new master plan for Long Island City. Won is working with the Department of City Planning on the One LIC master planning effort with Bahij Chancey from WXY, an architecture and planning firm, handling the day-to-day work to develop a new land use vision. Chancey has told community members the process will involve multiple community meetings in order to address the mishmash of plans on land use and issues involving the lack of affordable housing and need for more school space.

72. Thomas Rudzewick

President and CEO, Maspeth Federal Savings

Thomas Rudzewick isn’t just a financier but also a community leader in Maspeth. When he isn’t monitoring macroeconomic trends and lobbying Washington, D.C., for community banks, Rudzewick is sponsoring the Smile on Maspeth Day carnival, movie nights and a Sept. 11 memorial ceremony. Rudzewick, who took over from his father in 2016, kept the community 77-year-old bank rooted in Queens as other small, independent financial institutions in the region were acquired by larger firms. The bank has $2.2 billion in assets and donated $1 million to revamp Jamaica Hospital’s pediatric ophthalmology center.

73. Annetta Seecharran

Executive Director, Chhaya
Annetta Seecharran / Fabio Italiano

One of New York City’s preeminent leaders advocating for immigrants across cultures, Annetta Seecharran has pushed for better living conditions and financial support for underserved New Yorkers. Seecharran advocated for bringing basement apartments up to code after thousands flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida and warned that in the years after the pandemic immigrant-owned businesses struggled with high rents. A member of the city’s Civic Engagement Commission, she has worked to get the ear of city leaders as she pushes her agenda.

74. Mohamed Q. Amin

Founder and Executive Director, Caribbean Equality Project
Mohamed Q. Amin / TrinCity Photos

As a leader in New York City’s growing Indo-Caribbean community, Mohamed Q. Amin has been fighting for better representation and more funding from the city after Richmond Hill’s Little Guyana had been split among multiple election districts for years. With an influx of asylum-seekers to Southeast Queens, Amin has sought to provide support and a safe space for Caribbean LGBTQ+ migrants. His group sponsored an Iftar dinner during Ramadan and led delegations at the Phagwah parade in Queens and West Indian Day parade in Brooklyn.

75. Udai Tambar

President and CEO, New York Junior Tennis & Learning
Udai Tambar / Alex Li

The former hospital executive left Northwell Health in 2021 to pursue his passion for racket sports, specifically helping young people get physically fit and out of trouble by exploring their love of tennis. Udai Tambar runs New York Junior Tennis & Learning, the country’s largest tennis education nonprofit serving 85,000 New Yorkers. Last year, NYJTL brought its after-school program to eight new schools in Queens and 11 in Brooklyn, and it hosted a free fall festival with 1,500 kids at Crotona Park.

76. Gerard M. Walsh

CEO, Episcopal Health Services
Gerard M. Walsh / David Lubarsky Photography LLC

As head of the Rockaway peninsula’s only medical center, Gerard M. Walsh led an overhaul of St. John’s Episcopal Hospital. He brought a new cafe, pharmacy and nondenominational reflection room to the medical facility five years ago, received a $100,000 donation for new educational equipment and partnered with a new orthopedic care practice last year. Walsh announced he would step down in March after 10 years on the job, with chief medical officer Donald Morrish to succeed him.

77. Nilbia Coyote

Executive Director, New Immigrant Community Empowerment
Nilbia Coyote / New Immigrant Community Empowerment

The influx of more than 150,000 migrants over the past two years isn’t only taxing city leaders. Nilbia Coyote has needed to double her staff at New Immigrant Community Empowerment in order to provide asylum-seekers with assistance with finding employment along with other services. Coyote has also stood up for immigrant rights, opposing Mayor Eric Adams’ move to limit adult asylum-seekers to 30-day shelter stays.

78. Kevin Livingston

Founder, 100 Suits for 100 Men
Kevin Livingston / Ray P

Looking professional in New York’s highly competitive job market isn’t cheap – so Kevin Livingston created a nonprofit in 2011 that would give formerly incarcerated and at-risk men and women a free suit for interviews. Since founding his organization, Livingston has helped 20,000 New Yorkers. In July, Livingston launched a youth employment training program with a $750,000 federal grant that will create jobs for young people and provide wraparound services.

79. Albert Suh

Vice President, Trip Yang Strategies
Albert Suh / Cynthia Chung Photography

The former prosecutor worked in the Brooklyn district attorney’s office before helping Council Member Shekar Krishnan win his City Council primary in Jackson Heights in 2021. Now, Albert Suh advises a variety of candidates while working on campaigns as a vice president with Trip Yang Strategies. Last year, the Democratic strategist assisted with Harlem Assembly Member Al Taylor’s unsuccessful City Council campaign and in the crowded race for an Asian American-majority open City Council seat in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Suh worked on an independent expenditure campaign in support of Rep. Tom Suozzi in this year’s special election.

80. Richard David

Queens Director of Corporate Affairs, Con Edison
Richard David / William Davis

Most Queens residents are aware of Con Edison’s efforts to maintain power during a storm, but Richard David has been focused on the company’s role in the clean energy transition. David helped expand Con Edison’s Long Island City and Corona electric substations as part of its $800 million Reliable Clean City plan and worked on a Champlain Hudson converter station for its upstate transmission line 10 months later. The utility is also working to prevent future outages by upgrading above-ground power lines and underground cables in Middle Village in a $4 million pilot program.

81. Brian Simon & Julissa Ferreras-Copeland

Founder and Managing Partner; Partner, Hollis Public Affairs
Brian Simon & Julissa Ferreras-Copeland / Greg Kessler

Queens’ first Latina elected official chose to leave public life in 2017 in order to spend more time with her family instead of serving another term in the City Council. But Julissa Ferreras-Copeland hasn’t strayed far from the policy world. She teamed with Brian Simon, a Rep. Gregory Meeks and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand alum, to start the Queens-based boutique strategic consulting firm Hollis Public Affairs. The pair have since picked up a number of borough-based clients, including lobbying City Council members on behalf of Steve Cohen’s efforts to build a casino near Citi Field.

82. Fahd Ahmed

Executive Director, Desis Rising Up and Moving
Fahd Ahmed / DRUM

Fahd Ahmed came to Queens more than 30 years ago as an undocumented immigrant from Pakistan, so he knows what it’s like for tens of thousands of new arrivals who came to New York with almost nothing. At DRUM, Ahmed led campaigns to stop police racial profiling, end Muslim surveillance and pass the Community Safety Act. He has also joined efforts to prevent Richmond Hill from being split among multiple districts during the redistricting process and has organized New Yorkers to support a ceasefire in Gaza.

83. Mitchel Wu

Director of Queens Community Services, Chinese-American Planning Council
Mitchel Wu / Norman Joeng Photography

Mitchel Wu was disturbed and horrified that attacks against Asian Americans soared during the pandemic. So Wu, who joined the Chinese-American Planning Council in 2018, helped organize solidarity rallies against the violence and demanded more state resources to support Asian American community organizations combating hate crimes. Gov. Kathy Hochul took notice, awarding funds to the CPC for their work, and Queens Borough President Donovan Richards appointed Wu to the city’s Civic Engagement Commission.

84. Christopher Hanway

Executive Director, Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement
Christopher Hanway / Bill Kontzias

The 130-year-old Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement carries out the legacy of humanitarian Jacob Riis by providing western Queens residents workforce development and education programs. Christopher Hanway, who has led the Long Island City nonprofit for a decade, has zeroed in on combating food insecurity among migrants and public housing residents. The organization welcomed migrants with a resource fair and meals in July and gave out turkeys and served hot meals to 4,000 residents on the weekend before Thanksgiving.

85. William Jourdain

Executive Director, Woodside on the Move

For nearly a half-century, Woodside on the Move has sought to improve commercial corridors in the key western Queens neighborhood. William Jourdain, a former union carpenter, joined the nonprofit last year and has already made an impact. He assisted a get-out-the-vote program to mobilize Asian American voters and helped launch a community planning session for the area between Roosevelt Avenue and Northern Boulevard.

86. Danielle Ellman

CEO, Commonpoint Queens

The pandemic forced Danielle Ellman to shift strategies for Commonpoint Queens to help its community virtually. Ellman created a crisis hotline and an online portal to help people receive pandemic relief and access mental health services. Then in October, the nonprofit opened a 9,700-square-foot hub to provide employment services, counseling and benefit screenings as clients returned in person. As demand for mental health services among young people continued to rise after the pandemic, Ellman opened a new adolescent clinic in Little Neck.

87. Minerva Tantoco

Interim CEO, New York Hall of Science
Minerva Tantoco / Patrick Nugent

Minerva Tantoco made history a decade ago when former Mayor Bill de Blasio named her the city’s first chief technology officer, where she led initiatives giving public school students a computer science education and implemented kiosks with free public Wi-Fi. Now Tantoco is leading the New York Hall of Science, which is bringing back several attractions since the pandemic occurred including its Science Playground and family-friendly bubble exhibit. The museum also received a $20 million federal grant to establish an artificial intelligence institute and launched an augmented reality experience with Verizon.

88. Dianna Rose

Executive Director, Essential Kitchen
Dianna Rose / Marc Daudier, SMD Photography

Dianna Rose has long been passionate about food equity and sustainability, having run a zero-waste catering company and founding a farmers market in Laurelton during the pandemic. Those interests spurred her to launch a 6,500-square-foot commercial kitchen known as Essential Kitchen, which opened in January 2022, to give home chefs an opportunity to become entrepreneurs. Rose won a David Prize for her efforts, which came with a $200,000 grant.

89. Jeanne DuPont

Founder and Executive Director, RISE

Jeanne DuPont was thinking about sustainable living and coastal resilience even before Superstorm Sandy ravaged the Rockaways. DuPont’s RISE has been behind a number of environmental improvements along the coastline, including the transformation of an illegal dumping ground on Beach 32nd Street into a 28-acre waterfront park. Last year, DuPont kicked off a Greater Rockaway Community and Shoreline Enhancement Plan to restore coastal dunes along the peninsula that started with a pilot program planting native plants on dunes.

90. John Buran

President and CEO, Flushing Bank

Flushing Bank avoided a rash of withdrawals that felled other community banks when the crypto collapse spurred a bank run in March 2023 thanks to John Buran’s sound long-term decisions and leadership. Buran has been with the Long Island-based financial institution since 2001, growing its total assets from $2 billion to $8 billion. The bank also recently opened two new branches in Elmhurst and Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.

91. Debra-Ellen Glickstein

Executive Director, NYC Kids Rise
Debra-Ellen Glickstein / Evan Carter, NYC Kids RISE

Throughout her career, Debra-Ellen Glickstein has sought to enrich the lives of young New Yorkers by giving them a path to further their education and climb out of poverty. Her nonprofit, NYC Kids Rise, manages the Save for College scholarship program, which expanded its pilot program to invest $100 into college savings accounts for nearly every eligible public school kindergartener – or about 74,000 students. Glickstein and her staff celebrated the expansion by ringing the bell at the New York Stock Exchange in August.

92. Patrick Yu

Partner, Baker Tilly

Every nonprofit organization needs a good tax specialist and for the past 25 years, Patrick Yu has provided crucial accounting, tax preparation and audit services to not-for-profit and health care organizations in the New York area. The New York area market leader for Baker Tilly’s health care and nonprofit groups, Yu is a civic leader in Queens and New York City. He has served as board treasurer and board secretary for the Queens Chamber of Commerce, as well as board treasurer for Easterseals New York.

93. Stacy Bliagos

Executive Director, HANAC
Stacy Bliagos / Dorothy Shi Photography

New York City’s population of seniors grew 36% in the past decade, making the work of affordable housing leaders like Stacy Bliagos even more essential. Her Astoria-based nonprofit, which celebrated its 51st anniversary last fall, develops senior residences and provides services to some 30,000 New Yorkers, many of them seniors, to help them live independently. She worked to break ground on an LGBTQ+-friendly senior apartment building in White Plains in 2022 and added more programs for existing centers as seniors have begun returning to them after the pandemic.

94. Marie Torniali

Executive Director, Steinway Astoria Partnership
Marie Torniali / Provided

There may be no one more dedicated to improving the quality of life in Astoria than Marie Torniali. The Queens Community Board 1 chair and Steinway Astoria Partnership executive director has lived and worked in the neighborhood for decades, focusing on making Astoria a safer place to walk and more livable for families. Her Central Astoria Development Corp. also sponsors an annual Independence Day fireworks show on the Astoria Park Great Lawn.

95. Manny Silva

Executive Director, Far Rockaway Arverne Nonprofit Coalition

Manny Silva came up short in a 2021 nine-way special election to replace Queens Borough President Donovan Richards in the City Council. Silva, who finished third, didn’t leave politics and managed Richards’ 2021 campaign for a full term. As head of the Far Rockaway Arverne Nonprofit Coalition, Silva is focused on development issues and addressing the transit desert in the Rockaways. He worked with The Arker Companies to break ground on Edgemere Commons, a 2,000-unit residential complex, and partnered with Circuit to launch a free shuttle service to transit hubs.

96. Sonia Sisodia

Executive Director, South Asian Youth Action
Sonia Sisodia / South Asian Youth Action

After spending nearly a decade designing and running the Education Alliance’s college preparatory program, Sonia Sisodia joined Elmhurst’s South Asian Youth Action in 2014 with a mission of helping first- and second-generation immigrants graduate high school and attend college. She helped the group launch a peer mentoring initiative during the pandemic and secured a $425,000 grant from TD Bank to address COVID-19 learning loss. The nonprofit also provides education resources for recently arriving undocumented families.

97. Don Riepe

Jamaica Bay, Guardian American Littoral Society

Don Riepe understands that climate change could make the neighborhoods around Jamaica Bay unlivable for future generations, but that hasn’t stopped him from revitalizing the coastline to protect wildlife. That means rebuilding marshes, restoring habitats for ospreys and other birds of prey and protecting endangered shorebirds like the piping plover when beachgoers want more access to the Rockaways’ sandy stretches. Riepe’s American Littoral Society hosts an annual shorebird festival each August to educate the public about the variety of migratory birds that make Jamaica Bay their home.

98. Betty Braton

Chair, Queens Community Board 10

Betty Braton has been a conduit for local politics on either side of Conduit Avenue for nearly a half century. The borough’s longest serving community board chair has no problem telling Mayor Eric Adams that Howard Beach and Ozone Park aren’t totally on board with his City of Yes land use regulation overhaul, giving a “yes, but” conditional approval. Concerned about coastal flooding, Braton pushed the city to mitigate coastal flooding and gave city leaders a walk-through in July of bulkhead construction. Braton is leading the review of several cannabis dispensary applications. 

99. Temba Sherpa

President, United Sherpa Association

New York City is home to the country’s largest Tibetan population and the United Sherpa Association has represented the growing pocket of immigrants primarily based in Elmhurst and Jackson Heights. During the pandemic, the association worked with the Buddhist Temple to provide food to students and immigrants. The city recognized mountaineer Tenzing Norgay by co-naming a Woodside street after him while the state honored Lhakpa Rinji Sherpa with a hero award for putting out a car fire at LaGuardia Airport.

100. Leslie Ellman

Board President, Jackson Heights Beautification Group

Celebrating its 35th anniversary last year, the Jackson Heights Beautification Group has promoted community spirit and environmentalism in Jackson Heights. Leslie Ellman, a New York City public school administrator, serves as the group’s board president and oversees such programs as an annual Halloween Parade and weekly sessions in the neighborhood’s 19 community gardens. The beautification group has been implementing a long-term green agenda for Jackson Heights and has taken to social media to advocate for limits on sidewalk vendors.