Orlando Magazine - July 2009

50 Most Powerful


Compiled by Mike Boslet, Barry Glenn, Jay Boyar, Shelley Preston, John Kennedy, Mark I. Pinsky and Jennifer Greenhill-Taylor

The people with the most power are the ones who affect how we live.

Government officials have the power to raise or lower our taxes. Heads of big corporations can order layoffs or other spending cuts. The school superintendent has a lot to say about what kind of education our kids get (and what time they have to leave for school). The actions of law-enforcement leaders can influence whether we feel safe. And the decisions of both government and business leaders can determine whether our economy booms or goes bust.

These kinds of individuals appear through-out this year’s list of the 50 Most Powerful People in Orlando. But there also are religious leaders, sports leaders and shapers of public opinion. There are arts backers, educators and just plain do-gooders. All have made a difference.

You’ll find that many people have moved up the list since last year and that some are appearing for the first time. You’ll also notice that some have slipped in ranking —sometimes simply to make room for those whose stars have risen. New to the list is a Hall of Power designation, bestowed on some of the perennial names that make our list. The criteria for being considered Hallworthy are at least five consecutive appearances on the 50 Most Powerful list and a reputation for being influential in political, business or civic circles. Most Hall of Famers likely would be involved, to some degree, in all three.

Here’s hoping that the 50 will continue to use their power wisely. After all, as the Roman philosopher Seneca once said, “Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power.’’

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