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Updated: May 20, 2022

Power 50: The most influential professionals of 2022

Photo | Matt Wright Jim Chacharone, president of Chacharone Properties; and Kimberly Salmon, president of the Hanover Insurance Group Foundation, two members of the 2022 Power 50.

How do you define power? Someone who heads a large organization? Someone who is the only connection for a vital product or service? A rainmaker who might not necessarily lead an organization? An experienced networker with all the connections? Benefactors who bestow millions on causes of their choosing? Someone who uplifts undervalued members of the community?

Each year, the WBJ Editorial staff undertakes the impossible task of deciding who are the 50 most influential people in the Central Massachusetts economy for the past 12 months. We spend more collective time working on this print edition than we do any other throughout the year. At one point for this 2022 Power 50 list, we had 1,100 different professionals under consideration. We probably could have swapped out these 50 for another 50 completely different professionals and effectively argued for their inclusion on the list.

Yet, after five months of proposals, evaluations, vetting, counter proposals, and re-evaluations, I firmly believe the 50 profiles you read this year are about the most influential professionals in the Central Massachusetts business community. They may not necessarily hold the most power in the region, but they are the people who most effectively wielded their power to have an outsized influence on the economy and the community within the last year. And for the 14 professionals who repeated as Power 50 from the 2021 list, they were put through our very strict “What have you done for me lately?” evaluation, where we ensured they were included for what they did in the last 12 months and not the same reasons they were included in 2021.

Unlike some of WBJ’s other features like 40 Under Forty or Outstanding Women in Business, the Power 50 isn’t an award. The people who are listed typically treat their inclusion as an award, and I’m glad they are honored to be named on these pages; but the Power 50 is an honest portrayal of how power is shared and used in the community, regardless of whether each professional is using their influence to have a positive or negative impact on the economy.

Power and influence are constantly shifting in the Central Massachusetts business community, as you can tell from the history list of all 242 professionals who’ve been included on a power list since 2013, when WBJ started doing a power players list. Next year will undoubtedly feature a new crop of influential professionals, but right now, the people in the 2022 Power 50 are the ones who are most shaping the region’s economy.

Read the 2020 Power 50 profiles starting here.

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