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May 24, 2019

The 2019 Central Mass. economy’s most influential people

PHOTO | EDD COTE WBJ 2019 Power 50 members (from left) Roy M. Nascimento, Shaleen Title, Abraham W. Haddad, Robert J. Morton, Liora Stone, Larry Lucchino and Angela Bovill. Special thanks to the College of the Holy Cross for opening its facilities for this Power 50 photo shoot.

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission has five members, but only one of those commissioners made WBJ’s Power 50 this year. That’s because, rather than simply using her newly appointed role to do the bureaucratic work of evaluating marijuana business applications, Shaleen Title is leveraging her position of power to advocate for more licenses to go toward communities impacted by the War on Drugs.

Check out each member of WBJ's Power 50 Class of 2019

Local governments around the state are starting to respond, (Worcester included two so-called economic empowerment applicants among its 15 potential licensees), which creates opportunities for small businesses and minorities to operate in an industry dominated by a handful of wealthy players.

To make the Power 50, now in its fifth year, professionals must not only be in a position of power, they need to wield it in such a way to have an outsized impact on our business community. Abraham W. Haddad may be a retired dentist, but by volunteering more than 20,000 hours on a variety of influential boards, he’s had a hand in most major projects in Worcester in the past four years. Roy M. Nascimento took the backing of his 800 member companies at the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce to wage an insightful battle for comprehensive education reform. Larry Lucchino leveraged his ownership of a minor league baseball team to become the cornerstone of Worcester’s largest economic development effort in years, whose influence will be felt for a generation.

Power comes in a variety of forms. You can be a CEO, college president, run a nonprofit, know a lot of people, regulate industry or be an important cog in a highly visible project or trend. This list shows the Central Mass. business professionals using that power most effectively, from the established players still throwing heat to the fresh faces creating a new impact on the community.

- Brad Kane, editor


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