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December 5, 2016 2016 Power Players

Central Massachusetts Power Players of 2016

PHOTO/EDD Cote The power players this year include new and familiar faces.

Power is fleeting, as is influence.

The Central Massachusetts economy is constantly changing. With every company relocation, new product launch, closing, groundbreaking, promotion and even job posting, the makeup and priorities of the region's business community evolves every so slightly. As the players in this economy go about trying to continue its strengths and shore up its weaknesses, their roles change as the business community changes.

When Worcester Business Journal first launched this Central Massachusetts Power Players feature in 2013, it was intended as the end-all, be-all list of the power brokers in the region – the people that has the most influence based on their position and personality. In 2014, WBJ decided to forgo doing the list altogether, since it would be almost entirely repetitive.

In 2015 – the year I joined WBJ as editor, not coincidentally – we decided to go another way. Rather than trotting out the same 20-25 people year after year, we highlighted the power players behind the changes in the region's business community. As a result, this list is remarkably changed from last year. In fact, there are only four people who made the list both this year and last, and the reasons were different than 2015. This was not only a convenient way to recognize more of the literally hundreds of Central Massachusetts power brokers annually but gave us a chance to reflect at the end of each year how the economy had shifted and who was responsible for it.

Gathered below are Central Massachusetts' 2016 Power Players:

Standard Bearers: Long-time forces in the business community

Trail Blazers: Pioneers setting the latest economic trends

Behind the Scenes: People in the background who keep the wheels turning

Next Wave: Forward thinkers ushering in the new economy

Gear Shifters: Up-and-comers breathing new life into old ideas

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