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The Power 100 (No. 40 - 31)

By , - Last modified: February 6, 2017 at 6:56 AM
40. Mike DuHaime (30)
40. Mike DuHaime (30)
Don’t think about the drop in the rankings for DuHaime; he’s actually increased his stature. As head of Mercury Public Affairs, DuHaime remains connected to the political world (and the governor), but he is not defined by it. And there are plenty of options for the future. “He’s a really smart guy who could run anything or guide anyone,” one insider said. “That’s a good position to be in.” But let’s not forget the Christie connection. “As long as he’s in office, DuHaime is going to be an important player on the scene.”
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Don’t think about the drop in the rankings for DuHaime; he’s actually increased his stature. As head of Mercury Public Affairs, DuHaime remains connected to the political world (and the governor), but he is not defined by it. And there are plenty of options for the future. “He’s a really smart guy who could run anything or guide anyone,” one insider said. “That’s a good position to be in.” But let’s not forget the Christie connection. “As long as he’s in office, DuHaime is going to be an important player on the scene.” He is one of those no-doubt-about-it selections, a real estate billionaire “who is connected to more deals than anyone can imagine,” one insider said. “He’s not a flashy guy, but he’s what the state needs the most: a big-time investor. He’s in more projects than anyone realizes. Trust me, all the power players know who he is.” As someone famously said, “When it’s your name on the door, it’s ultimately your call on how things are done.” With that in mind, we present Mack as the Mack-Cali representative on our list. The company, the state’s largest REIT, is roaring back under the guidance of both Mitch Rudin and Michael DeMarco. They are helping the company to transition away from its overwhelming suburban office portfolio. The company, now headquartered in Jersey City, is becoming a bigger player in multifamily. Of all the firms that mix business and politics, no one does it better than Gibbons P.C. under the guidance of Dunican. “In terms of political impact in the business community, there’s no one even close to Gibbons,” the insider said. But that’s not all the firm does. It is one of the biggest in the state and is heavily involved in all things Newark. The longtime head of Children’s Specialized Hospital is now a key member of the RWJBarnabas Health team, serving as president of its southern division. RWJBarnabas Health head Barry Ostrowsky is famous for saying he did the merger between RWJ and Barnabas just to add Mansue to his team. He’s not the only one after her; Mansue is now the chair of the state Chamber of Commerce. “I think it would be hard to find someone in the state that more people both like and respect,” one insider said. “I don’t think there’s a job she couldn’t do and wouldn’t do well.” We move off Omar Boraie, the development patriarch, and put son Wasseem in, but do so while acknowledging that Omar Boraie will always be the influential guidance of the family real estate company. Wasseem has begun to be more of the face of the company, which made big splashes with projects set for Newark and Atlantic City. Of course, “big splashes” is a relative term. Boraie Development is not one to be flashy. “They just do their job and do it well,” one insider said. “They have no interest in being in the news; they just want to produce great buildings, and they do that as well as anyone.” Some say they are a great economic indicator for the state. “They are patient,” one insider said. “So when they start something, you know that area is hot.” We’ve been writing about Walsh and the Fair Share Housing Center for years, predicting his influence would rise as soon as the COAH issue was handled by the courts. It finally has been. And Walsh’s stock is soaring. Essentially, towns will look to his group to make sure they are meeting their obligations. And how he views one deal will help dictate other deals. “Every settlement he makes is impactful beyond belief,” one insider said. Said another: “I’d move up him a lot, because he’s going to be the thorn in every town’s side.” “He’s a Jersey guy who is now an adviser to the president, and he used to be Christie’s campaign manager. And he works with Kim (Guadagno). And he has worked for many other Republicans.” Not a bad endorsement for someone who is a key figure in President Trump’s administration. His career appeared to be headed in a different direction following Bridgegate, but he obviously has overcome any connection to that now. “Whose future looks brighter, his or the governor’s? That says it all,” one insider said. The longtime leader of one of the state’s most successful companies, New Jersey Manufacturers, is an annual no-brainer. “Bernie is the classic example of how a successful company can impact its community,” one insider said. “Look at all the jobs he brings to the Trenton area.” And that’s not all: Flynn is one of the leaders of Greater Trenton, a group dedicated to rebuilding business in the capital city. He and Summit Medical Group have been ahead of the health care curve for years. And the groundbreaking of an MD Anderson Cancer Center in Florham Park — the first partnership MD Anderson has made with a physician group — is just the last example. “He’s an innovator who is impactful,” one insider said. “I think a lot of people are watching how he does what he does. And why wouldn’t you? He’s been a huge success.”

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