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Power 50, Class of 2021

Photo | Matthew Wright The 2021 Power 50 included (from left) Winfield Brown from Heywood Healthcare, Debora Jackson from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Bo Menkiti from the Menkiti Group

Power dynamics in the Central Massachusetts business community made two major shifts in 2021, due to the two major events upending the entire global community.

First came the coronavirus pandemic, which placed new emphasis on health care, public health, and attempts to prevent the most vulnerable in a time of crisis, all while business and industry found ways to survive and thrive under tight restrictions.

Then, the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police brought the complex problem of institutional racism to the forefront of the public consciousness, which led Central Massachusetts business leaders to think more about diversity, equity and inclusion in their own workplace cultures, as well as to address the larger problems plaguing society.

This turmoil rewrote the story of who holds the power in the Central Massachusetts economy and – most importantly – who effectively wielded that power in the past year to have an outsized influence on the community. Below are those Central Mass. professional who did just that, and ended up being the most influential people in the business community.

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Education & Advocacy

  • David Fithian
    David Fithian
    President of Clark University
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  • Laurie Leshin
    Laurie Leshin
    President of Worcester Polytechnic Institute
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  • Rev. Debora Jackson
    Rev. Debora Jackson
    Dean of the WPI Foisie Business School
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  • Roy M. Nascimento, CCE, IOM
    Roy M. Nascimento, CCE, IOM
    President & CEO of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce
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  • Stacey Luster
    Stacey Luster
    General counsel and assistant to the president at Worcester State University
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  • Timothy P. Murray
    Timothy P. Murray
    President & CEO of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
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  • Valerie Zolezzi-Wyndham
    Valerie Zolezzi-Wyndham
    Founder & owner of Promoting Good
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Money & Influence

Nonprofits & Government

  • Anh Vu Sawyer
    Anh Vu Sawyer
    Executive director of Southeast Asian Coalition of Massachusetts
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  • Celia Johnston Blue
    Celia Johnston Blue
    Founder & president of the Massachusetts Women of Color Coalition
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  • Dean J. Mazzarella
    Dean J. Mazzarella
    Mayor of Leominster
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  • Dr. David A. Jordan
    Dr. David A. Jordan
    President of Seven Hills Foundation
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  • Edward M. Augustus, Jr.
    Edward M. Augustus, Jr.
    City manager of the City of Worcester
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  • Jessica Strunkin
    Jessica Strunkin
    Executive Vice President of Devens Operations at MassDevelopment
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  • Liz Hamilton, MSW
    Liz Hamilton, MSW
    Executive director of Boys & Girls Club of Worcester
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  • Neddy Latimer
    Neddy Latimer
    Executive director of the Spanish American Center
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  • Tim Garvin
    Tim Garvin
    President & CEO of the United Way of Central Massachusetts
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  • Victoria Waterman
    Victoria Waterman
    CEO of Girls Inc. of Worcester
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Real estate & development

  • Bo Menkiti
    Bo Menkiti
    CEO of Menkiti Group
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  • Craig L. Blais & Roberta L. Brien
    Craig L. Blais & Roberta L. Brien
    Worcester Business Development Corp.
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  • Jody Staruk
    Jody Staruk
    Project executive at Consigli Building Group
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  • Michael C. O’Brien
    Michael C. O’Brien
    Owner of Galaxy Life Sciences
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  • Philip O. Shwachman
    Philip O. Shwachman
    CEO & founder of First American Realty
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  • Rich Mazzocchi
    Rich Mazzocchi
    Managing director of Boston Capital Development
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  • Stephen D. Lynch
    Stephen D. Lynch
    Principal of King Street Properties
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Health Care

  • Carolyn Jackson
    Carolyn Jackson
    CEO of Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester & the Tenet Massachusetts Market
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  • Carolyn Langer, MD, JD, MPH
    Carolyn Langer, MD, JD, MPH
    Senior vice president & chief medical officer of Fallon Health
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  • Eric W. Dickson, MD
    Eric W. Dickson, MD
    President & CEO of UMass Memorial Health
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  • Lou Brady
    Lou Brady
    President & CEO of the Family Health Center of Worcester
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  • Stephen MacMillan
    Stephen MacMillan
    Chairman, CEO & president of Hologic
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  • Steve Kerrigan
    Steve Kerrigan
    President & CEO of Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center
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  • Winfield S. Brown, BA, MSB, MHA, FACHE
    Winfield S. Brown, BA, MSB, MHA, FACHE
    President & CEO of Heywood Healthcare
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Hospitality & Culture

  • Robb & Madeleine Ahlquist and Caitlyn & Keith Carolan
    Robb & Madeleine Ahlquist and Caitlyn & Keith Carolan
    Worcester Restaurant Group
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  • Birgit Straehle & Luis Antonio Fraire
    Birgit Straehle & Luis Antonio Fraire
    Sprinkler Factory Art Gallery
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  • Larry Lucchino
    Larry Lucchino
    Chairman & principal owner of the Worcester Red Sox
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  • David M. Fields
    David M. Fields
    Managing partner at Wormtown Brewery
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  • Allen W. Fletcher
    Allen W. Fletcher
    President of Worcester Public Market
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Manufacturing & Agriculture