21. Boomer Esiason
WFAN Morning Show Host, CBS NFL Analyst, Boomer Esiason Foundation Founder
Few Long Islanders in the media are as openly proud to be from Long Island as West Islip native Boomer Esiason. It’s part of his appeal—Boomer is an unpretentious everyman who also happens to be rich and famous. The Boomer and Carton in the Morning show might seem an unlikely success story—when it first arrived, in 2007, it seemed another experiment destined to be remembered only as a footnote. Today, it has a devoted following and has become the sound of Long Island’s mornings. Esiason has also become a leading national figure in the fight against cystic fibrosis: He has established the Boomer Esiason Foundation, which raises millions of dollars to battle the disease. He and his wife, Cheryl—who today live in Manhasset—have been involved in a laundry list of other community organizations. And as his voice gets louder, his considerable power grows.
22. Patrick Foye
Nassau County Deputy County Executive for Economic Development
Foye’s last appearance on the Power List was as the downstate chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation under Eliot Spitzer. His current incarnation on the List is as a Deputy County Executive in the Mangano administration—proof that genius has no party affiliation. Even though Foye looks like he should come to work in a smoking jacket with elbow patches and sporting a pipe, his greatest gift is in his ability to relate to people on a human level and maintain relationships. It makes the pedantic-yet-colossal issues he’s tasked with fixing seem, well, fixable. Half of Long Island’s population sure hopes so.
23. Michael Dowling
North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health Systems President and CEO
Since 1995, Michael Dowling has led North Shore-LIJ, providing health care through more than a dozen hospitals, all of which Dowling recently signed an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency to enact programs for energy and water conservation, solid-waste recycling, environmentally sensitive landscaping, combined heat and power plants, sustainable building and construction projects, and green cleaning. North Shore-LIJ is the largest employer on Long Island, and Dowling has taken the lead and set a new standard for healthcare by promoting sustainable business practices and lowering its environmental impact. He is a quality leader who remains active in the local community and has never lost sight of his institution’s mission: caring for the people. But what really makes Dowling so powerful is that he keeps finding new ways to do it.
24. Michael Posillico
Posillico Group Executive Vice President
The vaunted Posillico name is familiar to anyone who has watched the Island develop. As Executive VP of Posillico Group, Michael Posillico is the visible face who has seized the legacy of the Posillico name and charted a different and interesting course. Generations of builders constructed LI’s infrastructure on wide open parcels, and now we are faced with total sprawl and the fight to preserve our remaining open space. See a need, fill a need. When there’s nowhere new to build, and dilapidated and aging projects are left in environmental disrepair, Posillico is the leading redevelopment specialist in the region.
25. Steve Bellone
Babylon Town Supervisor
As a politician it can’t hurt that he looks like a Kennedy. What really helps is his commitment as Babylon Town Supervisor to both small and large programs. Bellone stuck to his guns a couple of years ago, railing against the Jones Beach off-shore wind project, risking his status as a leading environmentalist. Then he quickly rebounded by establishing the most creative and potentially game-changing environmental initiative with the Green Homes program. The program has been lauded by the U.S. Green Building Council and is being adopted in municipalities around the nation. Even the stalled Wyandanch Rising program is beginning to see some rays of light with the proposed construction of a sewer system in the community.
26. Jerry Laricchiuta
Nassau County Civil Service Employees Association Local 830 President
Laricchiuta is now a five-time Power List member. He flexed his influence once again this year, winning re-election to another term as head of Nassau County’s largest public service union by a landslide. Among other successful initiatives, he also garnered Gov. Paterson’s support against potentially illegal overtime mandates for nurses at Nassau University Medical Center—in the process, securing his place next year in the Power List Hall of Fame. That he negotiated a new contract last year for his members with no layoffs or pay cuts and fewer-than-demanded concessions from former County Exec Tom Suozzi was no small feat, to say the least. An even bigger accomplishment, however, will be maintaining those successes in the face of anticipated bloodletting by Nassau’s new top man, Mangano, and an increasingly critical Nassau County Interim Finance Authority.
27. Charles M. Strain
Farrell Fritz Managing Partner
Strain is a leading authority on corporate banking, health care and commercial real estate law. Two years ago he was appointed to the advisory panel of the Long Island Power Authority. Before that, Strain was elected chairman of Winthrop-University’s board of directors. He can also be found on the boards of the Long Island Association, the New York State Health Foundation and the Sacred Heart Academy, to name a few. Strain served on the Council of Overseers of the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts as well as on the Board of Governors of St. John’s University, where he got his law degree in 1977. With his august demeanor and his classy character, you could easily picture him on Sagamore Hill advising statesmen on how to negotiate a treaty in an age gone by.
28. Rev. James C. Williams, S.M.
Chaminade High School President
It makes sense that the man leading Chaminade came up through the school, both as a member of the class of 1987 and as a member of its faculty since 1991, before taking the reins in 1999. Since he became the fourth president in Chaminade’s 80-year history, the school—alma mater to CEOs, professional sports players, district attorneys and New York State senators—has added a two-story fitness center, finished construction on an epic $25-million activities and athletic center and had its namesake, Fr. William Joseph Chaminade, beatified by then-Pope John Paul II. For the man taking Chaminade to places its first president, Bro. John Strickroth, S.M., likely never imagined, a spot on the Power List is only fitting.
29. Craig Johnson
New York State Senator (D-Port Washington)
Even though a Power List honoree can only occupy one spot on the list, there are two very different Craig Johnsons. The first is the anti-politician who is likely to show up at a political event wearing shorts and a baseball hat carrying one of his sons on his shoulders. The other is a shrewd and ferocious negotiator who digs in his heels and fights for his district. Not all of his stances are popular with Long Islanders outside of his district but make no mistake, Johnson has not only become the most influential LI state senator, he’s fast becoming one of the most influential in the state.
30. Sal Ferro
Alure Home Improvements President
For LI’s largest home improvement company, 2009 could have been a devastating year. Instead, Ferro held the firm on track and is poised again for exponential growth when the economy fully rebounds. With so much of LI’s consumer economy centered on the home, Ferro has become synonymous with home improvements and remodeling. But his biggest character flaw is his greatest benefit to the Island—his inability to say no. Ferro and his staff are behind so many charitable endeavors it’s impossible to keep track of them all. For a contractor, Ferro is the consummate mush who is often moved to tears whether it’s during his role on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition or one of the numerous charitable functions he sponsors.