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Updated: May 25, 2020 The Power 50 Class of 2020

The 2020 most influential people in Central Mass. business

PHOTO | MATT WRIGHT Monica M. Thomas-Bonnick, a member of the WBJ Power 50, Class of 2020

It’s not about having power. It’s about using it.

WBJ’s annual Power 50 issue gives us an opportunity to really examine who wields influence in the Central Massachusetts economy, understand who is making power moves and their reasoning for doing so. Back in 2018 when the Power Players feature expanded to 50, we made the conscious decision to look beyond who held the most power in the region. If we hadn’t made the change, the list simply would be the 50 people in charge of the 50 largest organizations in Central Mass. and wouldn’t change much each year. Instead, by understanding who is exerting their influence, we can see how the region is being shaped now and for the future.

[Power 50: View the entire Power 50 Class of 2020 here]

Take Monica M. Thomas-Bonnick, a first-time member of the Power 50 and this year’s cover subject. She isn’t the head of her company, Webster Five bank. She isn’t even the second in command. Yet, as a thought leader and an advocate, she has an outsized influence on Central Mass., such as when she looks for ways to provide capital to underserved communities such as LGBT+ businesses, volunteers on a range of community boards like the WAMSworks and the Edward Street Child Services, or keynotes a Girl Scouts event.

Similarly, John C. “Jack” Roche joins Thomas-Bonnick on this year’s Power 50, as a two-time member. As president and CEO of Hanover Insurance Group, a global company with 4,500 employees and a $3.4-billion market cap, he is unquestionably the leader of his organization and holds considerable power. But he’s the opposite of the out-of-touch CEO who is oblivious to the communities in which his company operates. Roche has continued community initiatives at Hanover, such as buying downtown properties and preparing them for redevelopment, and funding the Hanover Theatre. He’s been personally involved, too, volunteering for the United Way of Central Mass. Before the thinking started to shift on Wall Street about public companies needing to look beyond the bottom line and consider their societal influence, Roche and Hanover were leading the charge.

In this year’s Power 50 edition, we are debuting a new feature, an historic listing of all the Central Mass. professionals who have made a WBJ Power list since 2013. For those of you deeply involved in the region’s business community, you will find this a fascinating listing of who has been taking leading roles in shaping the region. See if you can spot the two people who have made every list.

[Power 50: View the entire Power 50 Class of 2020 via this landing page]

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