11. Scott Rechler
RXR Chairman and CEO
His portfolio is the cream of the crop in commercial real estate on Long Island. His name adds instant credibility to a project. He has thus far weathered the severe economic crisis and swirling rumors of personal losses related to the Madoff scandal—losses he describes as “immaterial.” He is Scott Rechler and he is the face of commercial real estate on LI. Capitalist history has shown money is made in the good times but fortunes are built during bad times. If his recent move of taking controlling interest in CLK/Houlihan-Parnes is any indication, the worm is indeed turning in Long Island real estate and our resident goliath is armed and ready.
12. Kirk Kordeleski
Bethpage Federal Credit Union President and CEO
Balance sheets haven’t been the only things collapsing in the banking sector since 2008. Confidence has plummeted and bankers have been demonized. The bubbling cauldron of taxpayer vitriol seemed to spare no one in the financial world, unless, of course, your name is Kirk Kordeleski. The president and chief executive of Bethpage Federal Credit Union has shepherded the bank through the financial crisis with an even-tempered approach and emerged as one of Long Island’s preeminent bankers. The new official Bethpage color may be orange, but its performance is as green as the shade of envy from his banking peers.
13. Frank MacKay
Independence Party of Suffolk County, New York State and the National Independence Party of America Chairman
Who would have known that when political alchemist MacKay isn’t shaking things up in the world of sausage-making as chairman of the national, state and Suffolk County Independence parties, he’s rocking out in the musical world? MacKay is a longtime music business professional and musician, who has not only managed such artists as CJ Ramone (of punk legends The Ramones), but has interviewed, booked and supported countless bands through several decades as a concert promoter, nightclub owner and co-founder of music newspaper Network—its namesake something he has mastered the art of. Nowadays, he’s got the ear of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and billionaire Steve Forbes. As the head of the nation’s independent voters, MacKay has the power to decide elections. Topple kings. Change the country’s course. Watch out.
14. Nancy Rauch Douzinas, Ph.D.
Rauch Foundation President
In 1990, Douzinas became president of the Rauch Foundation, an LI-based family foundation created by her father and uncle in 1961, and under her leadership, has sought to make the foundation an agent of change on Long Island. Douzinas, who spent 20 years as a psychologist, understood the value of a prevention-based approach to social and clinical problems, and she helped develop such an orientation for the foundation, focusing on children and families, the environment and the development of civic and nonprofit leadership. She has played a pioneering role in regard to sustainable development by creating the Long Island Index: a status report on the quality of life on Long Island, which has received wide acclaim for being a catalyst for the development of regional awareness and understanding. Now residing in Lloyd Harbor, Douzinas serves on the Board of Trustees of Channels WLIW and WNET, the Regional Plan Association in New York, the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities, and the Energeia Partnership on Long Island.
15. John Cameron
Cameron Engineering Founder and Managing Partner
But will it work? Every dream, every drawing and every project is challenged by this one simple question. Cameron has emerged as the senior statesman in this regard, trusted by public and private authorities to make sound business and engineering decisions on some of LI’s most important projects. While Cameron has been recognized largely for his community work over the years, it is his contribution as the (again) chairman of the LI Regional Planning Council and work on the LI2035 sustainable initiative that will prove critical to our future. After all, no matter what the plan looks like, the daunting question of “But will it work?” will be answered by this man.
16. John Jay LaValle
Suffolk County Republican Party Chairman
This former Brookhaven Town Supervisor gave up his decade-long political career when he declined to seek a third term five years ago in order to spend more time with his family—at the same time his township became known as Crookhaven for all of the Republicans who were facing corruption charges there. Six weeks before last Election Day, LaValle made a surprise comeback amid a contentious vote for the Suffolk GOP’s countywide leader. His return came just in time for anti-incumbent voter sentiment to unseat a Democratic town supervisor and a county legislator, as well as give Republicans the majority on various town boards. LaValle’s not done yet. Next on the agenda: helping Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy get the state GOP’s nod in the gubernatorial race while keeping Levy’s opponent, former Congressman Rick Lazio, at bay. Regardless of the current daily sniping between the two candidates, should either Levy or Lazio win, it can only mean good things for both LaValle and LI.
17. Alec Baldwin
Massapequa-born Baldwin stars on NBC’s 30 Rock, delivered the commencement address for NYU’s class of 2010 graduation at Yankee Stadium, hosted Saturday Night Live’s season finale, blogs for The Huffington Post, takes on causes like crusading against animal cruelty and toxic waste, and was a guest at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner recently. Oh, he’s also constantly making headlines. But even after a very public, very nasty divorce, custody battle, an angry phone call to his then-11-year-old daughter, and a minor attack on a photographer, Baldwin always manages to bounce back and remain in the public’s good graces. He’s proved he has the most important kind of power—staying power. And pretty soon he may use it to run for political office. Baldwin recently stopped by Harvard to discuss government, leaving many with the impression that he is an aspiring New York State politician. He’s certainly a local activist, using his status to bring attention to myriad causes throughout the Hamptons and across the East End.
18. William Savino
Rivkin Radler LLP Managing Partner
Savino runs with the big dogs. A master networker in his own right, the former Nassau County Bar Association president and Old Brookville village mayor has litigated before trial and appellate courts across the country and represented big-name clients in high-profile cases, such as several insurers of the Sept. 11 World Trade Center Liability Coverage Litigation. Comes with the territory. Rivkin Radler is the largest law firm on Long Island. And it’s attorneys such as Savino who keep it that way. As testament to the firm’s power and influence, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano is an alumnus. So is his new deputy Patrick Foye.
19. Sean Hannity
The Sean Hannity Show Host
It might be said that Sean Hannity falls in the shadow of his Fox News counterpart, Bill O’Reilly—an assertion supported by ratings, not to mention the two men’s respective places on this list—but to disregard the significant influence wielded by Hannity is to ignore the political trends on this island and in this country. Hannity has thrown his weight behind boyhood friend John Gomez in an attempt to unseat five-term Democratic Rep. Steve Israel (and it just might work). The TV host’s connection to the Tea Party has been downplayed: Last month, he was scheduled to broadcast from a Cincinnati Tea Party, but his involvement was canceled after News Corp honcho Rupert Murdoch said, “I don’t think we should be supporting the Tea Party or any other party.” Still, as a charismatic Conservative with a sizable audience (like O’Reilly, Hannity puts up ratings that shame most other cable networks, and stand alongside broadcast networks), Hannity’s words are heard by millions. And millions feel the same way, too.
20. Richard C. Iannuzzi
New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) President
With NYSUT boasting more than 600,000 members, Iannuzzi has been flying under the radar; his power is wielded behind the scenes. With nearly 500 full-time employees, NYSUT’s membership includes in-service and retired members in NY’s public and private schools, institutes of higher learning, nonprofits and government agencies. He also oversees more than 1,000 affiliates that bargain collectively for their benefits, et al. Iannuzzi is a leading voice in the labor movement, both at state and federal levels, and he throws his weight in the direction he feels is best for his people, be it popular or unpopular with the rest of us. Under his leadership, he has given the union a strong voice and even in this lingering recession many local school districts are tiptoeing around the huge compensation packages that are still enjoyed by many in his brotherhood. Iannuzzi scored a major victory recently when the LI school budget vote found 114 districts’ budgets passing, and only 10 failing—in stark contrast to neighboring New Jersey, where nearly 60 percent of districts’ budgets failed.
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