Each month, City & State staffers pore over hundreds of names and titles in an effort to narrow down the more powerful, influential and noteworthy people in various industries for our power lists. In our June inaugural issue, we introduced our advisory board, an eight-person panel made up of members who have offered to lend their insight and guidance as we put together our lists.
The goal of the advisory board is to help City & State represent a diversity of opinions about the relative influence of Pennsylvania’s elected officials, nonprofit and labor leaders and those in the private sector. We believe this group will help us choose the individuals who are most significantly involved in city and state politics and who best represent their communities.
Next month, look out for our PA Healthcare Power 100, which highlights the state’s top doctors, physicians, executives and elected leaders in the healthcare industry. Each plays a critical role in Pennsylvania’s political landscape.
It’s important to remember that inclusion on a power list does not equal an endorsement by City & State and the ranking does not reflect a moral judgment on a person’s record in their industry. We set out to ensure our lists recognize the people in power throughout Pennsylvania, and with the help of these board members, we know we will fulfill that commitment.
Former Gov. Edward G. Rendell
Ed Rendell has been a public servant in the Keystone State for more than three decades. He served as Philadelphia district attorney for two terms, beginning in 1978, and went onto become mayor in 1991. As mayor, the city was in a deficit so large it was on the brink of bankruptcy, but Rendell turned that around in his first term.
Rendell served as chair of the Democratic National Committee during the 2000 presidential election and has campaigned for several Democratic presidential candidates, including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. In 2002, he was elected the 45th governor of Pennsylvania and served for two terms. In 2012, he released a book, “A Nation of Wusses: How America’s Leaders Lost the Guts to Make Us Great.”
An avid Eagles fan, Rendell has appeared on cable and radio shows as a sports commentator and analyst. Today, he is still politically active and works as special counsel to the Ballard Spahr law firm.
Leslie Gromis-Baker, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney
Leslie Gromis-Baker’s 35-year career spans from the Pennsylvania State Capitol to the White House. She began working on the 1988 George Bush for President campaign and then as a special assistant in the George H. W. Bush White House.
Leslie served on Gov. Tom Ridge’s senior staff and ran his successful 1998 re-election campaign. In 1999, Leslie started her own political and lobbying business – LG Strategies, which represented candidates such as Gov. George W. Bush’s 2000 and 2004 campaigns in Pennsylvania and the mid-Atlantic region, John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, as well as the Republican Governors Association.
In 2013, Leslie left LG Strategies to serve as Gov. Tom Corbett’s Chief of Staff.
Currently, Leslie serves as the co-chair for government relations at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney.
Gene Barr, The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business Industry
As president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business Industry, Gene Barr has more than 40 years’ experience in politics, government affairs, and business operations, including work with BP America, Associated Petroleum Industries of PA, and McNees Wallace & Nurick.
He is a member of the board of the United Way of the Capital Region, and past chair of the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg and others.
Barr was named “The Most Effective Association Lobbyist” in the Commonwealth in a poll by Pennsylvania Legislative Services and was included in the Pennlive/Patriot News list of the 17 most influential people in Pennsylvania politics in 2017.
Samuel Chen, The Liddell Group
Samuel Chen is the founder and principal director of The Liddell Group, an award-winning political, policy, and communications strategy firm. He hosts the television news journal, “Face the Issues'' and is assistant professor of political science at Northampton Community College. He is also a member of the American Enterprise Institute’s Leadership Network.
Chen is the author of two books: “Thirteen Minutes: Winning, Losing, and Living as Taught by the 2016 Election” and the forthcoming, “E Pluribus Unum: The Scope of Church and State in American Liberal Democracy.” He completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at Baylor University and previously served on the congressional or campaign staffs of Sen. Pat Toomey, Congressman Charlie Dent, Gov. Tom Corbett, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, among others.
Joseph Hill, Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies
Joe Hill leads Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies’ government relations and public advocacy efforts in Philadelphia and southeastern Pennsylvania. He previously served as statewide political director and deputy campaign manager for Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s successful reelection effort and served in several roles with Sen. Bob Casey Jr. and the Democratic National Convention Committee.
He currently serves on the boards of Mural Arts Philadelphia and the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts and graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in government and philosophy.
Teresa M. Lundy, TML Communications
Teresa M. Lundy is the principal and founder of TML Communications, an award-winning strategic public relations, crisis communications and community engagement firm.
TML Communications, which celebrated its five-year anniversary in August 2020, recently received the Inspiring Excellence Award from the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.
Lundy served as campaign manager for Sheriff Rochelle Bilal’s election to defeat the two-term incumbent and become the first woman to head the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office. In addition, she is a regular contributor to publications such as Metro Philadelphia, writing articles to help entrepreneurs grow their business and find success.
Anne Wakabayashi, The Win Company
Anne Wakabayashi is a media strategist at The Win Company, a media consulting firm. Before joining the team at Win, Anne was national political director of Emerge Pennsylvania, an organization which is dedicated to recruiting and training women to run for office.
She cut her teeth working for the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Campaign Committee and has managed campaigns up and down the ballot from city council to state Supreme Court – all the way up to serving as Pennsylvania senior strategist for Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign. She was also appointed by Gov. Tom Wolf as chair of the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs.
Ray Zaborney, Red Maverick Media and Maverick Strategies
Ray Zaborney is founding partner of Red Maverick Media and Maverick Strategies. He has served as an advisor to Republican leaders across the Commonwealth. Zaborney has been named one of Harrisburg’s most powerful insiders as well as a statewide leader for his ability to help shape public policy and the political landscape.
Zaborney represents some of America’s biggest companies, disrupters and industries, all while serving as a political advisor to leading figures in the GOP.
He lives in Harrisburg with his wife, Jen, and their kids, Grace and Emma.