When Managing Editor Joe St. Arney and I began kicking around ideas many weeks ago, we knew superstorm Sandy needed to be part of the cover theme. We quickly rejected a couple ideas ("Hey, what if the front page was a big hurricane swirl, and the faces of some of the top people on the list were spinning around inside the swirl?!!").
Then we started talking about doing something with the beach flags that signal whether the surf is safe (green), dangerous (red) or somewhere in between (yellow). Then in the rapid-fire banter that is just one reason I enjoy working with Joe, we hit upon—and then finessed—the cover idea we ultimately used.
Incorporating the famous Iwo Jima flag-raising image helped capture just what we wanted: the tough grit and resolve, plus teamwork, needed to pull something off—in this case, rebuilding and restoring not just our beaches but all of Jersey after Sandy's devastation. As one person, who is on the list, put it this morning: "Iwo Jima meets Long Beach Island."
So who are those people on the cover anyway? We wanted to represent the intersection of several sources of rebuilding assistance—state, federal, nonprofit and even celebrity. So, left to right, we have: Chris Christie (No. 1 on our list), Marc Ferzan (No. 4), Steve Sweeney (No. 19), Robert Menendez (No. 42), Bruce Springsteen and Mary Pat Christie (No. 11).
Springsteen isn't on the 2013 Power 100 list, although he is mentioned in Mary Pat Christie's writeup and serves on an advisory board for the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund that the first lady set up. But, more importantly, how can you represent a true rising of New Jersey and not incorporate Springsteen?
That would be no fun.