If only we called it the Power 200. Here are the names of some other key players in New Jersey, courtesy of the business leaders, insiders and pundits we spoke to over the past several months.
The horse. Put him at 100.
He continues to disrupt. Four Corners (in Newark) is moving ahead. He’s just gobbling up dollars from Goldman Sachs and beyond to do his projects. Makers Village is plodding ahead, AeroFarms being the symbol of that.
New Jersey General Assembly
Bramnick understands how things get done. He’s got a great attitude. If he runs for governor, he’s got a huge uphill battle in 2017. He has to give up his seat. Maybe he runs, maybe he doesn’t.
L+M Development Partners
They’re doing a lot more than the Hahne’s project in Newark. They have a lot more in their sights. When you look at a city like Newark, you build from the base of the people who have been there, but then you bring in new development entities who can inject additional life into the community. And that’s exactly what you’ve got with L+M, who see some of these older buildings and see the potential that they have and aren’t afraid of making it happen. So I think those guys ... are going to play an important role in the next couple of years.
Archer & Greiner
He is president of Archer & Greiner. Archer & Greiner is the No. 1 firm in South Jersey (based in Haddonfield, with locations now in Hackensack, Princeton, Red Bank and Flemington). Smart guy. It’s a South Jersey bent — I think he’d be good to add for that reason.
New Jersey Hall of Fame
People covet immortality, so the guy who is running the Hall of Fame has got some influence. He’s going to determine who gets there. They might have outside board members who make the decision, but that’s something I think that is a power.
The College of New Jersey
She’s very politically connected to a lot of people, and she’s really good at working both sides of the aisle. And (The College of New Jersey) has just done really, really well. Reputationally, it is very much an incredible value because you’re getting the same kind of quality education — and I think the marketplace is perceiving it — that you’d get if you were at a top 50 liberal arts school in the country that is four times the cost.
New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority
I think (the NJSEA) gained power by the merger and Wayne is the survivor. So I think Wayne is probably more influential today than (before). The sports authority probably is a misnomer. They will be a passive landlord owning certain assets, but they’ll be active running the Meadowlands.
Flemington Car & Truck Family of Dealerships
Kalafer is a key player. Forget his Flemington (dealership chain). He’s involved in deals, he’s out there, he’s behind the scenes. He’s a fairly significant Republican player. I think if you want a guy who’s worth a lot of money, very smart, very idiosyncratic … he’s just in a lot of deals that no one ever knows about. And they’re not just real estate. … And he’s a businessman. This is a business list, and he checks a lot of boxes in my mind.
Kempner is incredibly influential. He is the top dog in the state. He is incredibly intelligent and incredibly astute. He knows everyone around. He’s doing international deals. He’s a very talented guy.
The Kushner Cos.
Very active. Obviously, in Jersey City, they’re going toe to toe with the other Kushner family. Yet all the while on stage with his wife at every debate. He’s potentially the first son-in-law.
New Jersey Senate
A disruptor. He’s in the Bush camp. He’s been voting with Democrats on some key bills. If Jeb (Bush) flames out and Chris (Christie) continues on the path that I think he’s on — which is that he’s going to be a contender — does Kyrillos at that point get redemption because he brokers a deal to get Bush into the Christie camp?
Atlantic County government
I think he’s going to be a player in what’s going to happen down there. (After all), he’s county executive of Atlantic County.
Meridian is a pretty muscular organization, and John Lloyd is just a great leader. He’s got a spectacular reputation and he has a fabulous senior management team. I think John’s going to go away, but he’s not slowing down right now.
Children’s Specialized Hospital
Everybody is a big Amy fan. Incredibly high-quality human being with compassion and passion. A real combination of those two things. I would have used the same terms to describe Barry Ostrowsky. I think Amy and Barry will be a wonderful team together.
Maser Consulting P.A.
The fastest-growing engineering company in the state of New Jersey. They’re growing in New Jersey, outside of the state. He also is one of the few engineering firms that do both municipal and private. Most guys only pick one side. He has a lot of influence that way.
Sun National Bank
Wilbur (Ross) basically picked him out (to run Sun Bank). He has really turned around the bank and I think that he is building a very strong franchise, and people are taking him seriously. He’s cleaning up the bank, and because of that, he now can add assets to the balance sheet.
New Jersey State Senate
(He’s) well-regarded on both sides of the aisle, notwithstanding the fact that he’s a conservative from Sussex County. But he’s extremely well liked, he’s extremely admired and he’s perceived to be the smartest guy on financial issues in the Legislature, given his investment banking background. If you don’t have power as a minority member because you no longer control votes … the next thing a Republican has going for him is his smarts and perceived expertise on an issue.
She has the community side of things (at Prudential). I would say she’s analytic and not a social butterfly type. She’s got a lot on the ball. I think one of the reasons she has the influence that she has generally on Prudential’s direction is that Sharon (Taylor) has given it to her. So Lata is a player.
Theresa Ruiz/Troy Singleton
New Jersey Senate/General Assembly
Two names that are universally being bandied about as LGs. Without question. Theresa if it were to be Sweeney, because she’s got the geographical balance. And conversely, Troy if Fulop, for sure, maybe Murphy.
He’s one of those guys in Camden who is a good guy. His project is going to be huge down there. He is quietly moving forward with a $300 million project.
There’s a guy who really works it very hard (at ConnectOne Bank). If it’s somebody who is a New Jersey bank, in New Jersey, and is trying to make the connections, it’s Sorrentino. His reach is Bergen County, because his franchise doesn’t go beyond it, but Sorrentino wants to be a major banker.
He said he wants to be a U.S. senator again. That was among the most controversial political statements of the year. He had the whole political world of New Jersey talking. So Bob is definitely itching to get back into it.
Kaufman Zita Group
When you look to the younger generation, you’ve got Bill Pascrell III or I could say Trish Zita. She’s very scrappy. She’s very well-respected. She goes toe-to-toe with the men down there. It’s still very much a boys down in Trenton with lobbyists, but she mixes it up and I give her a lot of credit.
Best of the rest: Others who were suggested