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December 9, 2013 2013 Power Player

Ralph Crowley Jr.: CEO, Polar Beverages, Worcester


Ralph Crowley Jr. is once again spurring speculation among local business leaders. Four years ago, he and former editor Harry Whitin were unceremoniously rebuffed by the New York Times in their bid to buy the Telegram & Gazette. Now, under owner John Henry, the T&G is again up for sale — for the second time this year — and many people are waiting to see whether Crowley makes another bid.

As president and CEO of the $450-million Polar Beverages, and — with his family — owner of Wachusett Mountain Ski area in Princeton and a nearby hotel, Crowley already has plenty of power and influence. A daily newspaper would just be the cherry on top of the Polar sundae.

In 1992, Crowley became the fourth generation to run privately held Polar. Under his leadership, it made numerous acquisitions for the rights to manufacture and distribute national brands such as 7Up, A&W, Sunkist, Seagram's, Royal Crown and Diet Rite. Meanwhile, the company has achieved record growth and today employs about 1,400 — most of them in Central Massachusetts.

Ralph's brother Christopher became executive vice president and treasurer in 1999. James “Jeff” Crowley, David Crowley and Carolyn Stimpson, the three younger siblings, run the ski area. A former WBJ Business Leader of the Year, Crowley and his family members were recipients of the Worcester Historical Museum's annual Harvey Ball Smile Award in 2010. Ralph Crowley has used his power and influence to put a smile on the face of America's beverage drinkers. Now, maybe he'll get to have a similar effect on local newspaper readers as well.

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Clifford J. Schorer III: Board of Directors, Worcester Art Museum

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John Prosser: Chairman, Seven Hills Foundation, Worcester

James Paulhus: President and CEO, UniBank for Savings, Whitinsville

Michael O'Brien: City Manager, City of Worcester (Until Jan. 5, 2014)

Charles Monahan: President, MCPHS University, Worcester

David ‘Duddie’ Massad: Chairman, Commerce Bank & Trust, Worcester

Gordon Lankton: Founder, Museum of Russian Icons and Gallery of African Art, Clinton

Gerald Fels: Trustee Emeritus, Nichols College, Dudley

Fred Eppinger: President and CEO, The Hanover Insurance Group

Christopher Egan: President, Carruth Capital, Westborough

Mary DeFeudis: Philanthropist and Volunteer, Northborough

Dr. Eric Dickson: CEO, UMass Memorial Health Care Inc., Worcester

Anthony Consigli: President, Consigli Construction Inc., Milford

P. Kevin Condron: Chairman and CEO, The Granite Group LLC, Concord, N.H.

Dr. Michael Collins: Chancellor, UMass Medical School, Worcester

J. Christopher Collins: Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Unum Group, Worcester

Gail Carberry: President, Quinsigamond Community College, Worcester

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