Power List

The 2024 PA Power 100

Meet the Pennsylvanians influencing what happens next – and how – in the Keystone State.

City & State presents the 2024 PA Power 100.

City & State presents the 2024 PA Power 100. Drew Angerer/Getty Images; PA Senate; Commonwealth Media Services

The eyes of America will train on the commonwealth this election year, highlighting the state’s crucial role not only in presidential politics, but also in our contemporary democracy – and so many of its key issues, from infrastructure and health care to energy and voting rights.

The Pennsylvanians on this year’s list exemplify what makes the Keystone State so dynamic. They supply pharmaceuticals and equipment to the world, educate tens of thousands annually, build and invest in our cities and champion our workforce. 

In the political sphere, Democrats and Republicans alike have seen gains in policy and influence. Witness the groundbreaking careers of Kim Ward, the Pennsylvania Legislature’s first female majority leader, or Sara Innamorato, the 37-year-old onetime socialist just elected to lead Allegheny County. 

As the political alignment reshuffles throughout 2024, the following are some of the people most likely to make a difference. 

This list was researched and written by Hilary Danailova.

1. Josh Shapiro

Pennsylvania Governor
Josh Shapiro / Drew Angerer/Getty Images

It seemed like the furniture in the governor’s mansion had barely been unpacked before Democrat Josh Shapiro’s name began being mentioned alongside the names of other future potential presidential candidates thanks to his leadership on tasks like the rebuilding of Philadelphia’s collapsed I-95 segment – and popular positions, including support for reproductive rights and voter rights. His defunding of anti-abortion centers won praise, along with his support of automatic voter registration and an election security task force. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing – this year’s budget ran behind schedule – but thanks to his publicly available SMS number, he’s literally open to suggestions.

2. Bob Casey

U.S. Senator
Bob Casey / Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Name-checked in President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address for leading the fight against shrinkflation, Bob Casey, Pennsylvania’s senior senator, is emphasizing kitchen-table issues in his reelection fight. Up against Republican challenger David McCormick, Casey has framed the issues in national terms – no exaggeration in this critical swing state, where Casey’s success could very well determine Biden’s. Expect to hear Casey remind voters frequently about economic concerns, as well as access to voting, health care and abortion in the months to come.

3. Kim Ward

President Pro Tempore, Pennsylvania Senate
Kim Ward / PA Senate

Recently reelected to her second term as state Senate president pro tempore, Kim Ward has been lauded for her practical and personable style. The Republican is the first woman to hold the position, to serve as majority leader of either chamber and, before that, to represent her Westmoreland County district. A respiratory therapist by training and a cancer survivor, Ward supported Pennsylvania’s groundbreaking legislation expanding access to reproductive cancer screening and genetic testing.

4. Joanna McClinton

Speaker, State House of Representatives
Joanna McClinton / Commonwealth Media Services

First elected by voters in her district encompassing parts of Philadelphia and Delaware County in 2015, Joanna McClinton was the first woman elected Democratic Caucus chair, the first woman elected Democratic leader and is Pennsylvania’s first female House speaker. Her legislative achievements include votes on boosting the minimum wage, investing in indigent defense, expanding a property tax rent rebate for seniors, and securing gun safety and anti-discrimination measures. A lifelong resident of Southwest Philadelphia, McClinton began her career as a public defender and chief counsel to state Sen. Anthony Williams.

5. John Fetterman

U.S. Senator
John Fetterman / Nathan Howard/Getty Images

In his first year as Pennsylvania’s junior senator, John Fetterman has become a national Rorschach test for how people think about everything from mental health – his voluntary hospitalization for post-stroke depression was hotly debated – to fashion (Fetterman’s penchant for hoodies inspired the Senate to relax its dress code). And then there’s Israel: Some progressives feel betrayed by the Braddock liberal’s unexpectedly supportive stance, while others have cheered. Plenty were surprised when his approval ratings rose – but at this point, nothing about Fetterman should shock anybody.

6. Cherelle Parker

Philadelphia Mayor
Cherelle Parker / People for Parker Campaign

In her first few months on the job, Philadelphia’s first female mayor, Cherelle Parker, has followed up on campaign promises to clean up and revitalize the city. She’s announced plans for more police, a campaign to spiff up the streets and measures to curb drug use in the city’s most-affected neighborhoods. Parker recently waded into the return-to-office/work-from-home battle when she summoned city workers back to the office five days a week – a move cheered by the economic development community, who are calling on major employers to follow suit.

7. Brian Roberts

Chair and CEO, Comcast

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts has built the telecommunications outfit into a $170 billion global business – and he's not done yet. While gearing his NBCUniversal division up for this year’s Olympics, Roberts is planning a major hometown expansion with the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, a mixed-use proposal with roughly a half-billion square feet apiece for office and retail space, residences, hotels and restaurants. He is also celebrating Comcast’s best-ever fiscal year: $122 billion in revenue.

8. Leslie C. Davis

President and CEO, UPMC
Leslie C. Davis / Mark Bolster, UPMC

Named as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Health Care 2023 by Modern Healthcare, UPMC chief Leslie Davis is making high-profile investments in the $23 billion health system. Davis, who became CEO in 2021, recently unveiled the $510 million Mercy Pavilion, a vision and rehabilitation facility, and is planning a $1.5 billion flagship hospital, UPMC Presbyterian, along with a new heart institute at its Children’s Hospital and a merger with Washington Health System. Under Davis’ leadership, UPMC also signed the White House Climate Pledge.

9. Luke Bernstein

President and CEO, Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry
Luke Bernstein / PA Chamber

As CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, Luke Bernstein advocates on behalf of 10,000 organizations of every size and in every industry across the commonwealth. Last year, he celebrated record membership for the state’s largest broad-based business association, along with the relaunch of the PA Chamber Foundation. As he advances bipartisan, pro-business public policy, Bernstein makes his case with initiatives like the “Coolest Thing Made in PA” competition, showcasing the innovations that distinguish the Keystone State.

10. Neal Bisno

International Executive Vice President, SEIU
Neal Bisno / Casey Chapman Ross, CCR Studios

As international executive vice president for the mighty SEIU labor organization, Neal Bisno leads strategies to expand union influence, advance racial and economic justice, and build long-term political strength. He oversaw SEIU’s multi-state success in electing pro-union candidates in 2020 and 2022 – including the Democratic majority in Pennsylvania’s state House – and translating those wins into legislative gains in workplace safety and higher wages. Bisno previously led SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, guiding campaigns to ban forced overtime and expand Medicaid.

11. Brian Fitzpatrick, John Joyce, Mike Kelly, Dan Meuser, Scott Perry, Guy Reschenthaler, Lloyd Smucker, Glenn “GT” Thompson

Republican Members of Congress
Brian Fitzpatrick, John Joyce, Mike Kelly, Dan Meuser, Scott Perry, Guy Reschenthaler, Lloyd Smucker, Glenn “GT” Thompson / Kristie Boyd, U.S. House Office of Photography; Provided; U.S. House of Representatives; Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images; Office of Lloyd Smucker

Whether debating who should lead as House Speaker, expressing their discontent through impeachment proceedings or debating policies around foreign aid, agriculture, energy and taxes, Pennsylvania’s House Republicans are an influential and busy lot.

Brian Fitzpatrick most recently made headlines for leading the bipartisan effort to fund Ukraine military aid along with U.S. border security. A former FBI special agent and federal prosecutor, he worked with the U.S. Special Forces in Iraq and currently serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Ways and Means Committee and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.

Altoona dermatologist John Joyce brings his medical expertise to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, as well as serving on the Health and Oversight and Investigations subcommittees. As he runs for a fourth term, Joyce is known as a defender of rural health care access and more permissive energy policy.

Known for his family’s Butler-based car dealerships, Mike Kelly fights for his fellow small-business owners on the House Ways and Means Committee, where he chairs the Subcommittee on Tax. Last year, he co-founded and now co-chairs the Northern Border Security Caucus.

Dan Meuser briefly tossed his proverbial hat into the ring for House speaker last year – but the East-Central Pennsylvanian still wields influence as a member of the Financial Services and Small Business committees. Before entering politics, Meuser headed Pride USA, a mobility products company, and was then-Gov. Tom Corbett’s secretary of revenue.

Representing the Capital Region, Scott Perry is best known for his involvement with the attempts to overturn 2020’s presidential election in favor of Donald Trump. The U.S. Army veteran, who recently stepped down as chair of the House Freedom Caucus, serves on the House Foreign Affairs, Oversight and Transportation and Infrastructure committees.

Guy Reschenthaler serves on the House Appropriations and Rules committees, where he has supported impeachment inquiries into Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and President Joe Biden. Before entering politics, the Pittsburgh native served in Iraq as an attorney with the U.S. Navy JAG Corps as well as in the state Senate.

Leading the House Committee on Agriculture is Glenn “GT” Thompson, the Centre County heir to a dairy farming legacy and a longtime power player in farming legislation. A senior member of the Education and the Workforce Committee, he is also a booster of the state’s energy industry and co-chairs the bipartisan Congressional Natural Gas Caucus.

A senior member of the Committee on Ways and Means and the Budget Committee, Lloyd Smucker strives to rein in spending and ease taxes. Currently a fifth term representing Lancaster and York counties, he has promoted job training as a member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce.

12. Brendan Boyle, Matthew Cartwright, Madeleine Dean, Chris Deluzio, Dwight Evans, Chrissy Houlahan, Summer Lee, Mary Gay Scanlon, Susan Wild

Democratic Members of Congress
Brendan Boyle, Matthew Cartwright, Madeleine Dean, Chris Deluzio, Dwight Evans, Chrissy Houlahan, Summer Lee, Mary Gay Scanlon, Susan Wild / Provided; Joseph Gidjunis, JPG Photography; Office of Congressman Chris Deluzio; House Creative Services; Summer Lee for Congress Campaign; Eric Connolly, House Creative Services; US House of Photography

Pennsylvania’s Democratic congressional delegation has been at the center of this year’s hot-button issues.

Lehigh Valley Rep. Susan Wild, a ranking member of the House Ethics Committee, recently introduced a bill protecting the right to in vitro fertilization, a reproductive technology currently under fire from conservatives. 

Wild was among four women elected in a 2018 Democratic wave that has proved transformative, as their priorities have achieved national prominence. Philadelphia’s suburbs sent the attorneys Madeleine Dean and Mary Gay Scanlon, who currently serve on the House Judiciary Committee; Dean, who also serves on the Governor’s Advisory Commission for Women, has become a leading voice on the opioid addiction crisis, while Scanlon serves on the Rules Committee and is a noted supporter of children’s issues.

They were joined by another first-timer – Chrissy Houlahan, a former businesswoman who brought a centrist perspective to her leadership with the New Democrat Coalition, a pro-business caucus. The Air Force veteran serves on the Armed Services Committee and Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Wild and Dean, colleagues on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, recently made headlines by calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

But their measured approach belies the growing schism among Congressional Democrats over the war – and contrasts with the position of their progressive colleague Summer Lee, a first-term representative from Pittsburgh who co-sponsored the Ceasefire Now resolution within days of last fall’s Hamas terrorist attack. 

Lee’s 2022 election, with the support of the Democratic Socialists of America, signaled the rise of progressives both within the party and across the commonwealth. Lee, a Howard-trained attorney, was previously the first Black woman to represent Southwest Pennsylvania in the state legislature.

For his part, Philadelphia Rep. Brendan Boyle has made headlines for a different Jewish issue: his proposal to make the city’s Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History part of the Smithsonian Institution. Boyle, a ranking member of the House Budget Committee, also serves on the Ways and Means Committee and delivered the keynote address at the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

Representing Northeast Pennsylvania since 2013, Matt Cartwright is the dean of Pennsylvania’s House Democratic delegation. He wields great influence over federal spending as a senior member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, where he is the ranking member of the Commerce, Justice and Science Subcommittee, and weighs in on committee assignments in his role with the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.

His first-term colleague, Chris Deluzio, is defending the Western Pennsylvania seat previously occupied by Conor Lamb. Deluzio, an attorney and U.S. Naval Academy graduate, brought his experience as an Iraq veteran to the House Veterans Affairs Committee – where he is a vice-ranking member – and the Armed Services Committee.

For perspective, the delegation can turn to Dwight Evans, who was first elected to office in 1980 and served 38 years in the state General Assembly. In his first four terms in Congress, Evans has saved or returned $41 million for his Philadelphia constituents; he recently secured $17 million for community projects in his district.

13. Debra Todd

Chief Justice, Pennsylvania Supreme Court

As the chief justice of Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court, Debra Todd is navigating hot-button issues from abortion rights to election law – all while managing the fallout from a recent cyberattack on the Pennsylvania Courts website. Todd, a Democrat, made history as the first woman to assume the state’s top judicial post last year; she has served on the court since 2007, longer than any of her peers. Todd, who was once a lawyer with U.S. Steel, also logged time on the Pennsylvania Superior Court.

14. Joe Pittman

Majority Leader, Senate of Pennsylvania
Joe Pittman / Senate of PA

In his first term in the state Senate, Republican Majority Leader Joe Pittman has positioned himself as a check on the ambitions of Gov. Josh Shapiro. The lifelong Indiana County resident has questioned administration goals around energy policy and mass transit funding, as well as voting integrity ahead of November’s election. Pittman began his public service career on the local school board at age 18, and he was then-state Sen. Donald White’s chief of staff before succeeding him in the Senate.

15. Matthew Bradford

House Majority Leader, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Matthew Bradford / Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus

First elected to represent Montgomery County in 2009, state Rep. Matt Bradford became the Pennsylvania House Majority Leader when Democrats edged out the GOP in 2023. Bradford, who previously served as House Democratic Appropriations chair, leads an agenda centered around record investments in public education, measures to advance equality and reducing fiscal burdens for taxpayers. Thanks in part to his leadership, Pennsylvania created and subsequently tripled a tax credit for child and dependent care, and expanded the state’s property tax rent rebate program.

16. Michelle A. Henry

Pennsylvania Attorney General
Michelle A. Henry / Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General

As Pennsylvania’s attorney general, Michelle Henry has been busy going after the perennial criminals – fraudsters, drug traffickers and carjackers – as well as newer threats like the use of AI in spam calls. She also recently recovered $20 million from a Google monopoly settlement and partnered with the Allegheny County Attorney General’s office to establish a Gun Violence Task Force. Prior to serving as deputy AG for her predecessor, now-Gov. Josh Shapiro, Henry logged 20 years at the Bucks County District Attorney’s office.

17. Al Schmidt

Pennsylvania Secretary of State
Al Schmidt / Kielinski Photographers

It’s a testament to Al Schmidt’s reputation for integrity that Gov. Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, appointed him – a Republican – to serve as secretary of the commonwealth and the state’s chief election officer. Schmidt is widely respected for his work promoting democracy, modern, and transparent elections and good government. He did this most recently as CEO of the Philadelphia-basaed nonpartisan Committee of Seventy and, prior to that, as a Philadelphia City Commissioner and as vice chair of the city’s Board of Elections.

18. Scott Martin

Appropriations Committee Chair, Pennsylvania Senate

Republican Scott Martin chairs the state Senate’s powerful Appropriations Committee, where he is instrumental in shaping the state budget. His record of fiscal oversight dates to his previous role as a Lancaster County commissioner, where he reduced spending by privatization and cutting redundant agencies, and reduced debt by $40 million. A star athlete in high school and college, Martin directed a Lancaster youth intervention center before entering politics; he is running for his third term this November.

19. Vincent Hughes

Minority Appropriations Committee Chair, Pennsylvania Senate
Vincent Hughes / James Robinson, PA Senate Democrats Caucus Communications

A leading Harrisburg voice for education, Democratic state Sen. Vincent Hughes emphasizes progressive priorities as he helps shape the state’s annual budget as minority appropriations chair. He spearheaded bipartisan legislation to fund a student-teacher program, which was allocated $10 million in this year’s budget. He has fought for constitutionally fair funding of commonwealth schools and was pivotal in securing new state monies for indigent legal defense. Hughes and his family have also established a scholarship fund that has awarded more than $1 million for college-bound Pennsylvanians.

20. Austin Davis

Lieutenant Governor
Austin Davis / Commonwealth Media Services

Since becoming the commonwealth’s second-in-command in 2022, Lt. Gov. Austin Davis has broken new ground – as the nation’s youngest and the state’s first Black lieutenant governor, and as a crusader against gun violence, his generation’s signature issue. As chair of the Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association Gun Violence Prevention Coalition, he recently led colleagues in a first-of-its-kind Washington policy summit; he also championed bipartisan legislation to streamline expungement for pardoned Pennsylvanians. In addition, Davis chairs the Pennsylvania Advisory Council for Inclusive Procurement.

21. David Taylor

President and CEO, Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association
David Taylor / Roger That Photography

Huntingdon native and Hershey resident David Taylor champions local production as CEO of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association, the statewide trade group he has headed for 27 years. Right now, Taylor’s pro-growth, pro-production agenda is focused on energy issues: He’s pushing for a Delaware River export terminal to manufacture Pennsylvania-sourced liquefied natural gas and sell it to European allies in a push to divert energy revenue from hostile nations. On behalf of commonwealth manufacturers, Taylor also continues to defend the state’s competitive electricity market.

22. Jordan Harris

Appropriations Committee Chair, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Jordan Harris / Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus

State Rep. Jordan Harris is the first African American to have served as both whip and, currently, appropriations chair in the state House of Representatives. Over the course of a dozen years in the chamber, Harris has earned a reputation for his work on criminal justice reform – co-authoring the state’s Clean Slate Law, which became a national model, and recently championing a probation reform bill. Harris is also a member of the Council of Trustees at his alma mater of Millersville University.

23. Seth Grove

Appropriations Committee Minority Chair, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Seth Grove / Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus

Republican Seth Grove currently serves as minority chair of the House Appropriations Committee, where he guides negotiations for the state budget and all fiscal matters on behalf of the House Republican Caucus. In the previous legislative session, as majority chair of the House State Government Committee, Grove led the Republican congressional redistricting effort and championed the largest overhaul of the commonwealth’s 1937 election law. First elected to the Pennsylvania House in 2009, Grove represents his native York County.

24. Sharif Street

Chair, Pennsylvania Democratic Party
Sharif Street / Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Caucus

State Sen. Sharif Street leads the state’s Democratic party heading into this year’s critical elections – his first presidential cycle since becoming the first person of color in the role in 2022. The Philadelphia-based attorney is also up for election to his third term in the Pennsylvania Senate, where he is the Democratic chair of the Banking and Insurance Committee. Street is a crusader for marijuana legalization and, relatedly, for criminal justice reform, both of which are the subjects of bills he has recently sponsored.

25. Ryan Boyer

Business Manager, Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council
Ryan Boyer / LiUNA

Ryan Boyer is not just Philadelphia’s highest-profile Black labor boss; he also leads a movement to realign power more equitably in Pennsylvania’s largest city. Boyer marshaled the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council to support the campaign of Cherelle Parker, the city’s first female ­mayor­ (he also served on her transition team). He spearheaded the Philadelphia Equity Alliance, a coalition of power players dedicated to promoting racial equity – the cause Boyer also champions with Everybody Builds, a collaboration to diversify Philly’s construction workforce.

26. Jeff Yass

Co-Founder, Susquehanna International Group

According to Forbes, the richest person in Pennsylvania is Jeff Yass, a financier who has used his $29 billion fortune to bolster conservative causes. Most recently, that cause was presidential candidate Donald Trump: The Philadelphia Inquirer recently reported that Yass’ firm, Susquehanna International Group, holds the largest stake in the company that merged with Trump’s Truth Social, which initially yielded $3 billion for the litigation-plagued candidate. Yass, a self-proclaimed libertarian, has reportedly donated nearly $50 million to Republican interests this election cycle.

27. John Fry

President, Drexel University
John Fry / Drexel University

Since taking over the presidency of Drexel University in 2010, John Fry has set out to raise the Philadelphia institution’s profile through capital projects, high-visibility partnerships and cutting-edge research initiatives. Most recently, Fry hired popular former city controller and mayoral candidate Rebecca Rhynhart as his COO; he also opened a health sciences facility and acquired the Atwater Kent Museum, a municipal history collection. Fry continues to guide the $3.5 billion Schuylkill Yards development, home to the Drexel Applied Innovation program to commercialize university research.

28. Gregory Deavens

President and CEO, Independence Health Group
Gregory Deavens / Independence Blue Cross

As CEO of the Independence Health Group, Gregory Deavens has made sure that one of Philadelphia’s most highly visible companies is also among its most civically integrated. Deavens was just chosen to chair the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, where he leads the organization’s policy, legislative and research committee. He also recently partnered IBX with Penn Medicine and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to establish the Advanced Network for Gene-Based Therapeutics. In December, Modern Healthcare recognized Deavens as one of its 100 Most Influential People for 2023.

29. Stacy Garrity

Pennsylvania Treasurer
Stacy Garrity / Pennsylvania Treasury Department

Managing $150 billion in assets in Pennsylvania’s Treasury Department, state Treasurer Stacy Garrity brings the savvy of a former corporate vice president – at Global Tungsten & Powders – and the discipline honed over three overseas combat deployments with the U.S. Army. Under Garrity’s watch, the state returned a record $273 million in unclaimed property during fiscal year 2022-23. She also achieved a first-ever Morningstar gold rating for the PA 529 College and Career Savings Program and tripled the PA ABLE Savings Program’s assets, to $118 million.

30. Timothy L. DeFoor

Pennsylvania Auditor General
Timothy L. DeFoor / Commonwealth Media Services

Up for reelection this fall, Timothy DeFoor, Pennsylvania’s first Black auditor general, spent his first four-year term implementing technology and procedures to streamline anti-fraud operations. The Republican, a veteran of roles within the offices of the state attorney general and inspector general offices, has pledged a nonpartisan approach to wasteful spending and bookkeeping discrepancies. Prior to his Harrisburg post, DeFoor earned an eagle-eyed reputation as controller for his native Dauphin County, where he created the first-ever audit division, saving and recovering $1 million for taxpayers.

31. William Demchak

Chair and CEO, PNC Financial Services Group

PNC Chair and CEO William Demchak recently stepped down as president of the nation’s sixth-largest bank, which has $562 billion in assets. Demchak steered the Pittsburgh-based institution through the banking crisis of 2023 and has spearheaded a $1 billion investment in 100 new branches throughout the U.S. In addition to being a respected voice in Washington, D.C. and the financial community nationally, Demchak is an advocate for the business community in his native Western Pennsylvania, serving as downtown chair for the Allegheny Conference.

32. James Snell

Business Manager, Steamfitters Local 420
James Snell / Provided

James Snell has spent 30-plus years serving Philadelphia’s labor community with Steamfitters Local 420, where he started as a fitter and foreman and has been the local’s business manager since 2019. Over that time, Snell’s 10-county membership – 350,000-plus plumbers, welders and HVAC technicians, as well as pipefitter trainees – has become a critical workforce for Pennsylvania’s energy industry. Snell has represented his constituency as a delegate for the AFL-CIO, for his union’s national conventions and, along with the Philadelphia Building Trades, on various regional infrastructure boards.

33. Mark Alderman & Joseph Hill

Founder and Chair; Managing Director, Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies
Mark Alderman & Joseph Hill / Cozen O’Connor

Mark Alderman and Joseph Hill ensure that the name Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies is synonymous with political influence.

Over the past 15 years, Alderman has drawn on his deep political relationships to nurture the government relations practice he founded at Cozen O’Connor, where he remains chair. Alderman’s resume includes serving on the 57th Electoral College, the Democratic National Committee Finance Committee for Pennsylvania, and various roles with the Obama-Biden campaign and presidential transition.

As Cozen’s managing director, Joseph Hill leads the outfit’s government relations practice in Southeastern Pennsylvania. But his expertise extends throughout the commonwealth: Hill held statewide leadership roles for the campaigns of Tom Wolf and Hillary Clinton and also worked for U.S. Sen. Bob Casey.

34. Mike Innocenzo

Executive Vice President and COO, Exelon
Mike Innocenzo / PECO

After stewarding PECO as CEO for years, Michael Innocenzo was recently promoted to executive vice president and COO of the utility’s parent company, Exelon. He is now responsible for governance and operations of Exelon’s six utilities, which, in addition to PECO, include Atlantic City Electric, ComEd and Delmarva Power; he also oversees information security, IT, safety, training, transmission and compliance. Honored as a Most Admired CEO by the Philadelphia Business Journal in 2021, Innocenzo currently chairs the board of The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia.

35. Bob Shuster & Ray Zaborney

Co-Founders, One+ Strategies
Bob Shuster & Ray Zaborney / Stevie Borys

Attorney Bob Shuster and veteran political strategist Ray Zaborney co-founded One+ Strategies in January 2023. Fifteen months later, their full-service firm has grown to 20 lobbyists and lawyers handling public affairs, communications and legal matters. On behalf of its 130 clients nationwide, the team has won needed project approvals and secured state and federal funds for numerous development and infrastructure projects.

Shuster specializes in policy and funding issues that affect startups, Fortune 100 businesses and public authorities, with expertise in infrastructure, energy and technology. Zaborney, a sought-after Harrisburg strategist who has helped elect numerous state lawmakers, also founded Red Maverick Media and GP3 Partners.

36. William Sproule

Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters
William Sproule / EASRCC

At the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, William Sproule is on strong political footing going into this critical election year. The union’s executive secretary-treasurer recently advised Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker’s transition team and hired a new political director to represent the interests of the council’s 42,000 members in locals throughout Pennsylvania and the mid-Atlantic. Sproule, who is responsible for the organization’s overall operations and contract negotiations, is also a trustee to the Mid-Atlantic Carpenters Fund, the Mid-Atlantic Carpenters Training Center and the Philadelphia & Vicinity Joint Apprenticeship Training Fund.

37. Jay Costa

Democratic Leader, Pennsylvania Senate
Jay Costa / Provided

State Sen. Jay Costa has led the Senate Democratic Caucus since 2010, mobilizing legislation to increase public education spending; create a child and dependent care tax credit; and invest in public safety, infrastructure and health care. A lifelong Allegheny County resident, Costa is known as a champion of economic development projects in Western Pennsylvania – he collaborated with local stakeholders to create the Pittsburgh Downtown Conversion Program and supported the hydrogen hub tax credit. Costa was previously the Democratic chair of the Senate Appropriations and Judiciary committees.

38. Bryan Cutler

Minority Leader, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Bryan Cutler / Pennsylvania House of Representatives

State House Minority Leader Bryan Cutler may no longer be the chamber’s speaker, but his voice still carries. Since his party lost the majority last year, the Lancaster County Republican has led efforts to block funding for the University of Pennsylvania over antisemitism concerns and to oppose Gov. Josh Shapiro’s proposed investments in energy reform and mass transit. As he runs for a tenth term this November, Cutler is speaking out in favor of presidential candidate Donald Trump in this year's election.

39. Michael Long & Todd Nyquist

Partners, Long Nyquist & Associates
Michael Long & Todd Nyquist / Barry Kidd

As founding partners in Long Nyquist & Associates, Michael Long and Todd Nyquist built one of the commonwealth’s most influential public affairs outfits. With their recent acquisition of Pugliese Associates, the duo now presides over Harrisburg’s largest standalone Pennsylvania government relations firm, with 140 clients.

Both Long and Nyquist cut their proverbial teeth in the Pennsylvania Senate – Long as chief of staff, Nyquist as a top adviser to the Senate president pro tempore – and are widely considered to be instrumental to GOP success in Harrisburg. Nyquist remains closely affiliated with Senate Republicans, and Long has a roster of clients spanning major players across industries.

40. Kevin Mahoney

CEO, University of Pennsylvania Health System
Kevin Mahoney / Penn Medicine

Kevin Mahoney is CEO of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, a pillar of Penn Medicine with six hospitals – including the new 1.5-million-square-foot Pavilion – 13 multispecialty centers and hundreds of outpatient facilities in three states. Mahoney, who joined Penn Medicine in 1996, implemented the system’s electronic health records platform and guided its rollout of telehealth to improve patient access and outcomes. He recently co-launched a partnership with Penn’s Wharton School to invest $1.6 million (thus far) in early-stage organizations targeting the social determinants of health.

41. Roy Wells & Michael Manzo

President and Managing Partner; Senior Vice President, Triad Strategies
Roy Wells & Michael Manzo / Triad Strategies

At the helm of the Harrisburg political relations outfit Triad Strategies, Roy Wells and Michael Manzo secure influence – and tens of millions of dollars in funding annually – for clients like IBX, Cisco Systems, Penn State University and Rivers Casino.

Wells draws on his government experience as deputy state treasurer and various positions with the Pennsylvania Senate and House of Representatives. Manzo previously worked for the state House Democrats; as chief of staff to the Majority Leader, he led negotiations for the original Gaming Act, a minimum wage increase, the Alternative Energy Portfolio Act and the Farm Bill.

42. John Bear & Michael Brunelle

Co-Founder, CEO and Chief Innovation Officer; President and Chief Strategy Officer, GSL Public Strategies Group
John Bear & Michael Brunelle / Sally Belle Photography; The Stevens & Lee Companies

As CEO and president, respectively, political insiders John Bear and Michael Brunelle have built the GSL Public Strategies Group – a division of The Stevens & Lee Companies – into a government consulting powerhouse.

Bear, a GSL co-founder, is an influential figure in state Republican circles. The Lancaster County lobbyist formerly served as a three-term state representative and a Lititz Borough Council member.

Brunelle joined GSL in 2022 to expand the firm into government relations. A former Democratic state representative in New Hampshire, Brunelle more recently was chief of staff to then-Gov. Tom Wolf and Amazon’s U.S. political director.

43. Laura Kuller

Founder and Principal, Pursuit Advocacy
Laura Kuller / Emily B Photography

Laura Kuller’s lobbying is shaped by nearly a decade working at the state House of Representatives, including as chief of staff to the majority leader, where she collaborated on reviewing and passing bills. She has since employed that knowledge as a partner at a major law firm, as counsel to former Gov. Tom Ridge’s lobbying outfit, and now as a principal at Pursuit Advocacy. On behalf of clients, Kuller secures capital grants, permits and licenses; advises PACs; and helps craft successful legislative strategies.

44. PJ Lavelle & Dennis Giorno

Partners, Malady & Wooten
PJ Lavelle & Dennis Giorno / Amy Nastick Photography

PJ Lavelle and Dennis Giorno are partners in the Harrisburg firm of Malady & Wooten, known for its direct lobbying and deep relationships with commonwealth decision-makers. The pair presides over a client list that includes the City of Pittsburgh, Highmark Health, Comcast and FedEx. 

Lavelle, a Lackawanna County native, specializes in economic development, energy, transportation and utilities. He was previously a senior policy adviser to state House Democrats, working on key energy and infrastructure legislation.

Giorno’s recent accomplishments include helping to enact Pennsylvania’s first-in-the-nation Clean Slate Law and to reform the state’s occupational licensure system. Prior to joining the firm in 2004, Giorno headed the REACH Alliance.

45. Charlie Lyons

Co-Owner, Clear Point Communications

Together with partner Pete Shelly, Charlie Lyons co-owns the Harrisburg-based strategic public relations firm Clear Point Communications. Under his leadership, the company has worked on issue campaigns and a variety of other communications for organizations like the Environmental Defense Fund, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. Lyons, an attorney by training, worked as U.S. Sen. Bob Casey’s state director and at a law firm before founding ShellyLyons Public Affairs and Communications, Clear Point’s predecessor.

46. Dan Hilferty

Chair and CEO, Comcast Spectacor

After leading Philadelphia’s successful bid to host the 2026 World Cup – he still chairs the Philadelphia Soccer 2026 board – civic macher Daniel Hilferty recently became CEO of Comcast Spectacor. Now he is guiding the development of the Philadelphia Sports Complex, including a 5,000-seat arena and 250-room hotel; he also recently installed a new leadership team for the Philadelphia Flyers, where he serves as governor. Hilferty, the former CEO of Independence Blue Cross, is also the lead independent director of Essential Utilities and chair of Healthpilot.

47. John J. Engel

Chair, President and CEO, Wesco
John J. Engel / Thurner Photography

John Engel is celebrating his 20th year at Wesco, a Pittsburgh-based multinational provider of electrical, communications and utility distribution services. Engel, a Villanova-trained engineer who also holds an MBA from the University of Rochester, is the longtime president and CEO of the $22 billion Fortune 500 company. He also chairs its board and previously served as COO. A director of the U.S. Steel Corporation, Engel has also held technical and management roles at General Electric and leadership positions at Allied Signal, PerkinElmer and Gateway.

48. Ed Gainey

Pittsburgh Mayor
Ed Gainey / Gainey for Mayor Campaign

Just halfway through his first term, Ed Gainey is already jazzed about reelection. It’s clear the former state representative loves running his hometown, which he has nurtured with infrastructure investment – bridges, rec centers and swimming pools – as well as new affordable housing. Gainey, the city’s first Black mayor, is also proud of having diversified city government through his political appointments. While challenges remain – chiefly in the areas of public safety and economic development – there’s no denying Gainey’s popularity.

49. J. David Henderson

Executive Director, AFSCME Council 13

Third-generation AFSCME member David Henderson leads Council 13 in Harrisburg, taking advantage of Capitol proximity to promote a union-friendly agenda. Under his leadership, the council has actively lobbied for public-sector OSHA protections on behalf of the union workforce. Henderson also served on Gov. Josh Shapiro’s transition team last year and has advised the administration on workforce development. Henderson joined the union in 1979 as a corrections officer and became the council’s executive director in 2021, where he represents 65,000 commonwealth nonprofit employees.

50. Leslie S. Richards

CEO and General Manager, SEPTA
Leslie S. Richards / SEPTA

In her second term as SEPTA chief, Leslie Richards is addressing long-term priorities – a cleaner, greener, more accessible system – as well as a recent spate of violence on the Philly-area transit network. Richards just axed SEPTA’s AI gun detection pilot program, opting for increased surveillance to calm violence. She is also rolling out $17 million worth of electric fuel-cell buses along with new investments in accessibility, including ADA-compliant trolleys and nearly $6 million in planned station upgrades.

51. Kenyatta Johnson

President, Philadelphia City Council

Philadelphia City Council’s new president, Kenyatta Johnson, was initially spurred to politics by one of the city’s defining challenges – gun violence – when his cousin’s murder prompted him to found an anti-violence organization. After working as a staffer for state Sen. Anthony Williams, Johnson himself entered politics, winning election to the state House of Representatives and, in 2011, to City Council. He currently chairs the chamber’s Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention, as well as the Committee on Rules and the Committee on Transportation and Public Utilities.

52. Madeline Bell

President and CEO, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Madeline Bell / Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

With a record $7.7 million pay package and recognition as the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia’s 2023 William Penn awardee, Madeline Bell is riding high as CEO of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Bell, who began as a CHOP nurse, has led the $3.8 billion health system since 2015, raising its prestige and visibility through cutting-edge research, high-profile partnerships and a capital expansion throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania. Under her leadership, CHOP has unveiled a King of Prussia inpatient hospital and the Middleman Family Pavilion, as well as Philadephia’s Center for Advanced Behavioral Healthcare.

53. Wendell Young IV

President, UFCW Local 1776 Keystone State

Last year, Gov. Josh Shapiro picked labor leader Wendell Young IV to be a trustee of a $35 billion pension system that funds 250,000 state employee retirements. It was the latest power move for Young, who began as an Acme worker and now represents former co-workers as president of the 35,000-member UFCW Local 1776. The Philadelphian has led his union since 2005, liaising with policymakers and striking alongside his members to secure wages and benefits for unionized grocery, drugstore and state-owned liquor store workers.

54. Aaron Chapin

President, Pennsylvania State Education Association
Aaron Chapin / PSEA Communications

Since being elected president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association last year, Aaron Chapin has met with his membership in communities across the commonwealth to hear their concerns and hopes firsthand. The Stroudsburg fifth-grade teacher previously served as PSEA’s vice president, representing 177,000 active, retired and student constituents in the statewide educators’ advocacy group. Having logged 30 years in the profession, Chapin is now leading his membership as he helps update PSEA’s mission, values and goals for a new era.

55. Sara Innamorato

County Executive, Allegheny County
Sara Innamorato / Office of Allegheny County Executive Sara Innamorato

Democrat Sara Innamorato ushered in a new era when she became the first female Allegheny County Executive this year. The western Pennsylvania native first won election to the State House of Representatives in 2018 and was reelected in 2020. With the support of party figures like U.S. Sen. John Fetterman, Innamorato’s role as county executive gives her a powerful platform for her advocacy around priorities including affordable housing, the environment, voting access and criminal justice reform. 

56. Neeli Bendapudi

President, The Pennsylvania State University

Having steered Penn State through rocky years for higher education, President Neeli Bendapudi recently got a package of long-term financial incentives from the board – a vote of confidence in her pragmatic style. The India-born marketing scholar has focused her administration’s efforts on greater transparency, a data-informed approach to diversity and steady leadership in a time of shrinking budgets. She’s also overseen soaring research expenditures at the university – $1.2 billion last year, thanks to record federal funding.

57. Gerard Sweeney

President and CEO, Brandywine Realty Trust

The post-pandemic office comeback may still be tentative, but Brandywine Realty Trust CEO Gerard Sweeney is betting big on Philadelphia real estate – and so far, he’s winning. With 24 million square feet of development to Brandywine’s credit, Sweeney’s city properties boast lease and occupancy rates north of 95% – significantly higher than that of Philadelphia overall – while his $3.5 billion Schuylkill Yards development is transforming University City. Sweeney also wields influence as chair of the Schuylkill River Development Corp. and the Center City District Foundation.

58. Charles Mitchell

President and CEO, Commonwealth Foundation
Charles Mitchell / Baiada Photography

At the Commonwealth Foundation, Charles Mitchell promotes policies that bolster the American free-market system – with a particular emphasis on educational freedom. His school-choice advocacy helped pass state measures to expand an education tax credit and create an educational savings account program. Mitchell, who joined the foundation as COO in 2010, also co-founded Threefold Schoolhouse, an Acton Academy affiliate, in Harrisburg, as well as the Open Discourse Coalition, a nonprofit speaker series at his alma mater, Bucknell University.

59. David Holmberg

President and CEO, Highmark Health
David Holmberg / Highmark

Under the leadership of CEO David Holmberg, Highmark Health keeps racking up record annual revenues – including $27 billion in 2023, up $12 billion over the previous decade. Holmberg has helmed the Pittsburgh-based nonprofit health system throughout, growing Highmark into one of the largest U.S. Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers, with 14 hospitals and nearly 40,000 employees. Having led the successful integration and turnaround of the Allegheny Health Network, Holmberg is now focusing on Highmark Blue Shield’s expansion into Philadelphia.

60. Matthew J. Brouillette

President and CEO, Commonwealth Partners Chamber of Entrepreneurs
Matthew J. Brouillette / Bethany Wilston

A former history teacher, Matthew Brouillette brings his passion for America’s individualistic heritage to the Commonwealth Partners Chamber of Entrepreneurs, a policy organization he has led since 2016. In this role, Brouillette supports political candidates and government initiatives in Pennsylvania that promote free-market, pro-school choice measures, such as the pandemic-inspired campaign to restrict gubernatorial emergency powers. He also oversees the chamber’s two influential PACs. Brouillette previously led the Commonwealth Foundation, a free-market think tank.

61. Rochelle “Chellie” Cameron

President and CEO, Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia
Rochelle “Chellie” Cameron / The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia

In 2022, Chellie Cameron was tapped to lead Southeast Pennsylvania’s business community out of the pandemic doldrums as CEO of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. She’s fresh off a term chairing the Economic and Community Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia – and is hoping to lower the city’s notorious wage tax in partnership with the new, more business-friendly administration of Mayor Cherelle Parker. Cameron, a U.S. Air Force veteran, previously managed operations at the Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. area airports.

62. Michael Smith

Senior Director of Commonwealth Relations, University of Pennsylvania
Michael Smith / Eric Sucar, Office of University Communications

Harrisburg veteran Michael Smith brings his deep insider knowledge of state government to the University of Pennsylvania’s Office of Government and Community Affairs. As senior director of commonwealth relations, he works to advance the institution’s education, research and service goals. Prior to assuming the post in November 2018, Smith spent more than a dozen years in various leadership and communications positions in the governor’s office, the state treasury and the departments of Environmental Protection and Agriculture.

63. Christine Toretti

National Committeewoman, Republican Party

As she sets fundraising records for U.S. Senate hopeful David McCormick, Christine Toretti demonstrates the leadership that has made her a major figure in the state and national GOP, as well as Pennsylvania’s influential oil and gas industry. Currently a Republican national committeewoman and the chair of S&T Bank, Toretti previously served 20 years as CEO of S.W. Jack Drilling Company. Her legacy includes numerous programs to advance women in the business and political spheres, including the Anne B. Anstine Excellence in Public Service Series.

64. Stephen Fera

Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Government Markets, Independence Blue Cross
Stephen Fera / Independence Blue Cross

Over his 30-year career at Independence Blue Cross, Stephen Fera has led multiple lines of business, advised top leaders in government and championed health equity and public-private collaboration. He currently oversees public affairs and government markets, with responsibility for the company’s Medicare Advantage plans as well as community outreach. Fera was instrumental in launching IBX’s $140 million charitable foundation in 2011 and has since guided its community health initiatives and support for area nonprofits. In addition, he leads IBX’s corporate volunteer program.

65. Nancy Walker

Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry
Nancy Walker / Natalie Kolb, Commonwealth Media Services

Nancy Walker is the state’s secretary of Labor & Industry, having previously served as chief deputy attorney general for the state attorney general’s Fair Labor Section. Since assuming her current post in June 2023, Walker has tackled the state’s backlog of pandemic-era unemployment compensation claims and streamlined the UC process for new claimants. She’s also ramped up L&I’s investigations of alleged labor violations, restoring $5.2 million in wages and fines. Walker was previously a labor and employment lawyer in private practice.

66. Mike Carroll

Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
Mike Carroll / Commonwealth Media Services

Pennsylvania’s newest transportation secretary, Mike Carroll, is just the person to tackle situations like the June 2023 collapse of a section of I-95 in Philadelphia. Carroll has worked on transportation throughout his career in public office – including, until 2022, as Democratic chair of the House Transportation Committee, during his eighth (and final) term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. The Luzerne County native, who once served as then-Gov. Robert Casey’s PennDOT legislative liaison, makes a point of visiting local PennDOT teams across the commonwealth.

67. Reggie McNeil II

Pennsylvania Secretary of General Services
Reggie McNeil II / Commonwealth Media Services

Appointed last year by Gov. Josh Shapiro, engineer and infrastructure guru Reggie McNeil is the commonwealth’s first African American secretary of general services. The U.S. Navy veteran is responsible for state buildings, capital projects, maintenance and procurement – a role similar to McNeil’s previous position as chief operating officer for the School District of Philadelphia, where he supervised several new facilities and oversaw construction and environmental remediation projects across the city.

68. Russell Redding

Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture
Russell Redding / Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Amid the new faces in Gov. Josh Shapiro’s administration, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding is an anchor, having served in the role under Govs. Tom Wolf and Ed Rendell. Redding is a familiar presence in Washington, D.C. as well – he was an agricultural policy adviser on Capitol Hill – and has served as dean of the school of agriculture at Delaware Valley University. He grew up on a dairy farm and later operated one himself, bringing his insider knowledge to the commonwealth’s Farm Bill.

69. Khalid N. Mumin

Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Education
Khalid N. Mumin / Commonwealth Media Services

After turning around the teetering Reading School District and guiding its much-lauded counterpart in Lower Merion, longtime school superintendent Khalid Mumin was named last year to lead the state Department of Education. The Philadelphia native, who holds a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania, began as a high school English teacher and is known for his productive collaborations with school boards. He was named 2021 Superintendent of the Year by the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators.

70. Akbar Hossain

Secretary of Policy and Planning, Office of the Governor
Akbar Hossain / Provided

After directing policy for now-Gov. Josh Shapiro’s gubernatorial campaign, then masterminding the transition, Akbar Hossain became one of the governor’s youngest cabinet members and the state’s highest-ranking Muslim government official in history. As secretary of policy and planning, Hossain has guided the administration’s agenda – including a historic tax cut for seniors, universal breakfast for 1.7 million students and the commonwealth’s first-ever indigent defense fund. Hossain was previously a white-collar government investigations attorney, a Harry S. Truman Scholar, and a Soros Fellow.

71. Rick Siger

Pennsylvania Secretary of Community and Economic Development

As Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development, Rick Siger is the chief booster of commonwealth businesses and the communities and workforces that keep them humming. Before his appointment last year, Siger was chief of staff and senior adviser to the president at Carnegie Mellon University, where he guided the transformation of a former industrial site into an economic development hub. The Pittsburgh native also held leadership roles in President Barack Obama’s White House, including with the Department of Commerce.

72. Kenneth Lawrence

Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Southeastern PA, Highmark Blue Shield
Kenneth Lawrence / Montgomery County

Earlier this year, civic leader Ken Lawrence was elected as the first African American chair of the SEPTA board. He previously served as Montgomery County’s first Black commissioner and chaired the County Board of Elections. Currently chief of Southeastern Pennsylvania corporate affairs at Highmark Blue Shield, Lawrence ran his own public affairs firm for years and has held leadership roles with Temple University, Merck and the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia.

73. Mark P. Compton

CEO, Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission
Mark P. Compton / M.R.GRUBER

The commonwealth’s highways are in the experienced hands of Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission CEO Mark Compton, a three-decade veteran of Harrisburg’s transportation scene. He has led the commission since 2013, supervising hundreds of toll roads, fare-collection installations, service plazas and their maintenance infrastructure. Compton previously held several leadership roles with PennDOT, as well as with the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association. His career has also included private sector roles like a stint as director of government affairs for American Infrastructure in Worcester Township.

74. John Bane

Director of Government Affairs, EQT Corp.
John Bane / Will Price

John Bane heads government affairs at EQT Corp., the largest producer of natural gas in the United States. He advocates in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia for measures that advance the region’s energy sector – including policy around taxation, carbon capture and economic development related to hydrogen production. Prior to joining EQT in 2016, Bane worked as an energy industry contract lobbyist, a statewide labor organization and a staffer for then-Gov. Ed Rendell and then-U.S. Rep. Tim Holden.

75. Larry Krasner

Philadelphia District Attorney

Settled into his second term, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner has lower homicide rates to celebrate, as the city moves past the pandemic-era crime surge that made his progressive approach to criminal justice reform into a political lightning rod. The state legislature’s failed impeachment bid in the rear-view mirror, Krasner is working with the administration of Mayor Cherelle Parker to confront a rash of SEPTA crimes and to tackle persistent violence in communities plagued by drugs and poverty.

76. Malcolm Kenyatta

State Representative

Having lost the 2022 U.S. Senate primary, high-energy Philadelphian Malcolm Kenyatta is running again – this time for state auditor general, where he envisions creating a Bureau of Labor and Worker Protections. Kenyatta was elected at just 28 to Pennsylvania’s General Assembly in 2018; his larger ambitions were evident in 2020, when he was an Electoral College elector for President Joe Biden. Last year, Biden appointed Kenyatta to chair the Presidential Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Black Americans.

77. Nikki Lu

Pennsylvania Campaign Manager, Biden for President
Nikki Lu / Brittany Leanna Productions

Democratic operative Nikki Lu is priming Pennsylvania for a second Biden win: As state campaign director, Lu is busily staffing up, opening offices (15 since February) and hosting presidential visits. Lu is no stranger to this administration, having previously worked for Vice President Kamala Harris, at Biden’s Department of Labor and as deputy state director for the 2020 Biden-Harris campaign. Her experience also includes political leadership roles with 32BJ SEIU and with the State Innovation Exchange, where she was the Pennsylvania director.

78. Cody Harbaugh, Tim Wagner & Bill McGee

Executive Directors; Deputy Executive Director, Pennsylvania Senate Republican and Democratic Campaign Committees; Pennsylvania House Democratic Campaign Committee
Bill McGee / Rylie Cooper

Three men will play an outsize role in shaping Pennsylvania’s legislature come November: Tim Wagner, Cody Harbaugh and Bill McGee. They oversee the campaign committees for Senate Democrats, Senate Republicans and House Democrats, respectively.

Senate Democrats are hoping Wagner can replicate the magic he demonstrated in Florida, where he was political director of the Florida Senate Democratic Caucus and oversaw a series of high-profile wins, including that of Tampa Mayor Jane Castor. Harbaugh is a veteran of Red Maverick Media, the Harrisburg political strategy firm; he’s tasked with ensuring the reelection of influential Republicans like Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward. For his part, McGee has strong Philadelphia roots and a political finance background, having directed campaign finance for, among others, former Philadelphia Controller Rebecca Rhynhart.

79. Doug Magee

President, Day & Zimmermann Government Services

National security is serious business for Doug Magee, a U.S. Army veteran who now leads Day & Zimmermann Government Services. In this role, Magee leads the Philadelphia construction outfit’s division dedicated to supporting the government’s national security mission through engineering, security, operations and maintenance services. He oversees a workforce that, like him, has strong ties to the U.S. armed forces and serves clients like the Department of Defense.

80. Emily Elizer

Director of Government Affairs, PPG Industries

Since 2019, Emily Elizer has led domestic and international government affairs for PPG Industries, the Pittsburgh-based manufacturer that sold $18 billion worth of paint and other adhesive materials in 70 countries in 2022. Elizer also leads the company’s PAC. She previously represented the National Rifle Association as its state director for Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Ohio and, prior to that, spent a decade as government affairs manager for U.S. Steel.

81. Matthew Knittel

Director, Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office
Matthew Knittel / Erin Shaffer Photography

Since its founding in 2011, economist Matthew Knittel has served as director of the Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office – the country’s only independent state fiscal unit. He oversees publication of nonpartisan budget and economic outlook analyses and, earlier this year, testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee. Knittel, who previously worked as an economist at the U.S Treasury Department, has also taught at Penn State and Temple universities and published research with the National Tax Journal and the National Bureau of Economic Research.

82. Robert S. Bair

President, Pennsylvania State Building and Construction Trades Council

As president of Pennsylvania’s Building Trades Council, Robert S. Bair is mobilizing his membership behind 2024 Democratic hopefuls like state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, a candidate for state auditor general, and Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer, who is running for state attorney general. Bair has led the influential statewide construction workers’ council since 2022, forging political relationships with the likes of Gov. Josh Shapiro – on whose transition team he served – and Ryan Boyer, the high-profile chief of Philadelphia’s Building & Construction Trades Council.

83. Kevin Flood

President, Ansys Government Initiatives

Kevin Flood, a scholar in the field of electrical engineering, joined Exton-based Ansys Government Initiatives in 2002 and currently serves as president. In this role, he leads the U.S. national security division of Ansys, a global engineering simulation outfit that works with large-scale space and satellite projects. Flood previously served in a series of engineering leadership roles; he also holds numerous patents in optics and optical communications.

84. Steven H. Collis

Chair, President and CEO, Cencora
Steven H. Collis / Cencora

Steven Collis is celebrating his 30th anniversary with Cencora and its predecessor, AmerisourceBergen, where he has served as CEO since 2011. Under his leadership, the Conshohocken-based pharmaceutical company has risen to No. 11 on the Fortune 500 and No. 24 on the Global Fortune 500, with steady growth leading to more than $230 billion in annual revenue. Collis most recently steered the corporate transition from AmerisourceBergen to Cencora, a global outfit with nearly 50,000 employees in five dozen countries.

85. Tim NeCastro

President and CEO, Erie Insurance
Tim NeCastro / Erie Insurance Media Services

Erie Insurance CEO Tim NeCastro is investing in both his company and his community. The Erie native has won plaudits for revitalizing downtown with the company’s new $147 million, 350,000-square-foot headquarters – and filling it with a post-pandemic hybrid workforce. He and his wife, Lisa NeCastro, were named Outstanding Philanthropists of 2023 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Northwest Chapter for commitments like the Erie Children’s Museum’s capital campaign, which they chaired to raise money for an $18 million renovation.

86. Joseph G. Cacchione

CEO, Jefferson Health and Thomas Jefferson University

Last month, Jefferson CEO Joseph Cacchione cut the ribbon on the Honickman Center, a $762 million investment in Center City as a destination for world-class health care. It’s among many bold moves the Hahnemann University-trained cardiologist has made since returning to Philadelphia in 2022 – after leadership roles at the Cleveland Clinic and Ascension – to guide Jefferson’s ongoing expansion. Others include Cacchione’s bid to acquire the Lehigh Valley Health Network, which would grow Jefferson’s insurance business along with its regional presence – already at 18 hospitals.

87. Matt Smith

Chief Growth Officer, Allegheny Conference on Community Development
Matt Smith / Saranae Photography

Western Pennsylvania’s regional economy is the priority for Matt Smith, the chief growth officer of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. He leads policy and advocacy, as well as efforts to attract and retain business investment – including, last year, Re:Build in Westmoreland County, Eos Energy in the Mon Valley and Westinghouse in Etna. Smith recently served on the economic development transition advisory committees for Gov. Josh Shapiro, as chair, as well as for Allegheny County Executive Sara Innamorato.

88. John C. Plant

Chair and CEO, Howmet Aerospace

John Plant, a seasoned automotive and aerospace executive, currently serves as board chair and CEO of Howmet Aerospace. He leads a Pittsburgh-based manufacturer of aircraft parts that earned $6.6 billion in global revenue in 2023 – and saw its share price nearly triple in five years. Before that, Plant was president and CEO at TRW Automotive, a top-10 international supplier with 65,000 employees globally, and served as chair of the board during the company’s acquisition.

89. David K. Arthur

Vice President, Public Affairs and Sustainability, PPL

David K. Arthur heads public affairs and sustainability at PPL, the Allentown-based Fortune 500 utility company. In addition to advocacy, policy and communications responsibilities, Arthur is also a steering committee member of PPL’s nonpartisan, employee-driven PAC, People for Good Government. He worked as a legislative assistant and lobbyist before joining the corporation in 2009 and has held several federal government relations roles. Arthur earned degrees in environmental science from Swarthmore and in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford.

90. Bill Johnston-Walsh

State Director, AARP Pennsylvania
Bill Johnston-Walsh / Cindy Roth Photography

Whether lobbying for lower Medicare prescription costs or calling for caregiver relief, Bill Johnston-Walsh, the state director of AARP, is a tireless advocate for the commonwealth’s 2 million older residents. Johnston-Walsh joined AARP in 2000 and has served in his current role since 2013, collaborating with Washington and Harrisburg policymakers on measures to curb drug prices, ease the property-tax burden and improve access to housing and health care. Johnston-Walsh previously served as then-Gov. Ed Rendell’s deputy secretary in the State Department of Aging.

91. Gregory Moreland

State Director, National Federation of Independent Business
Gregory Moreland / Wakeen & Company

Gregory Moreland once fought for American values in the U.S. Army. Today, as state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, he champions those same values as a small business advocate. Moreland has secured measures that increase small business bankruptcy protections and repeal sales tax prepayments, streamlining finances for his constituency. Upon leaving the military, he earned a master’s in public administration and has since been a policy adviser for a state House speaker and chief of staff to a state senator.

92. Colin Chiles

Senior Director, State Government Relations, Viatris

Colin Chiles heads state government relations for Viatris, the Pittsburgh-based pharmaceutical manufacturing company that supplies medications to more than 1 billion people globally. His role builds on the political relationships he cultivated prior to 2020, when he held a similar position with Mylan, a company that merged with Upjohn to create Viatris. The veteran lobbyist has also managed state government affairs for Apotex, a Toronto-based pharmaceutical manufacturer, and prior to that, for the International Council of Shopping Centers.

93. Eric Reed

Vice President, State Government Affairs, Verizon Communications
Eric Reed / Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Eric Reed’s 18-year career with Verizon has taken him to the Bay Area and now to Pennsylvania and Delaware, the region for which he currently oversees state government affairs. In this role, Reed is focused on expanding internet access to underserved communities through the Verizon Forward Program, a participant in the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program. His advocacy includes hosting tech summits and partnering with the City of Philadelphia, the state of Delaware and area nonprofits to promote digital equity and inclusion.

94. Seifi Ghasemi

Chair, President and CEO, Air Products

Seifi Ghasemi has led Air Products for a decade, serving as CEO and chair of the 80-year-old industrial gases multinational – a global leader in liquefied natural gas and clean hydrogen technology. Under Ghasemi’s leadership, Air Products has grown to a $50 billion company with 2023 sales of nearly $13 billion and operations in 50 countries. The Iran-born engineer previously held leadership roles at several energy and industrial companies and is a member of The Business Council, a global executives’ forum.

95. Mark Kempic

President and COO, Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania and Maryland
Mark Kempic / Redford Photography

With degrees in engineering, computer science and law, Mark Kempic brings a sophisticated understanding of both technical and regulatory matters to his role as president and COO of Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania and Maryland. From his Pittsburgh base, Kempic guides the ongoing, $2.8 billion overhaul and expansion of natural gas distribution for his Columbia Gas divisions – both subsidiaries of NiSource, a national utility concern. He first joined the company in 1979 and previously served as COO for Columbia Gas’ Massachusetts division.

96. Kevin Greenberg & A. Michael Pratt

Shareholders, Greenberg Traurig
Kevin Greenberg & A. Michael Pratt / Paul Crane, Greenberg Traurig

At the law firm of Greenberg Traurig, Philadelphia-based shareholders Kevin Greenberg and A. Michael Pratt chair the Pennsylvania Government Law and Policy and the Philadelphia Litigation practices, respectively.

Greenberg also provides compliance and political counsel to candidates, state Democrats, lobbyists and government contractors. He secured state and federal victories in the contested 2020 presidential election for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, of which he is a State Committee member.

Pratt has 30 years of public and corporate litigation experience – including for a Fortune 100 company – as well as deep involvements with legal associations locally, statewide and nationally. He has served as the City of Philadelphia’s chief deputy city solicitor for commercial litigation, as well as chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association. 

97. Antoinette Kraus

Executive Director, Pennsylvania Health Access Network
Antoinette Kraus / Pennsylvania Health Access Network

Since founding the Pennsylvania Health Access Network in 2008, Antoinette Kraus has led the growth of the state’s largest consumer-driven organization. Complementing her role as a champion of increased access to health care and better consumer protections, Kraus serves on the board of Pennie, the state’s health insurance exchange. She has also lent her expertise as a health issues adviser to the transition teams for both former Gov. Tom Wolf and the current governor, Josh Shapiro.

98. Zach Shamberg

President and CEO, Pennsylvania Health Care Association
Zach Shamberg / PHCA

Longtime elder care advocate Zach Shamberg is CEO of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association, which represents employees in the long-term care sector statewide. He recently led successful efforts to secure $1 billion in government funding for providers, including a historic Medicaid reimbursement increase; his advocacy has also advanced urgent policy around safe staffing levels and workforce development. Shamberg, who formerly headed government affairs for the organization, has also worked as a campaign manager and a state House chief of staff.

University of Pittsburgh — Congratulations to Chancellor Joan Gabel for being recognized in the Pennsylvania Power 100 List

99. Joan Gabel

Chancellor, University of Pittsburgh
Joan Gabel / Aimee Obidzinski, University of Pittsburgh

As she closes in on her first anniversary as chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh, business law scholar Joan Gabel is rolling out an ambitious new strategic plan – with goals including improved graduation rates, affordability and engagement – and celebrating the Pitt Finish Line Grant, a new financial aid initiative. Gabel came to the 34,000-student institution from the University of Minnesota. As president there, she achieved record graduation rates, research expenditures and fundraising – including a $4 billion capital campaign.

100. Geoffrey Brandon

Market President, Pennsylvania TD Bank
Geoffrey Brandon / Gary Horn Photography

A veteran of four decades spent in financial services, Geoff Brandon is currently TD Bank’s commercial market president for Pennsylvania, managing $5 billion in commercial deposits and nearly $3 billion in commercial loan commitments. Under his leadership, TD was recognized as the state’s No. 2 SBA Lender in 2023, placing first overall in Eastern Pennsylvania, and has been responsible for $4.7 million in community grants and sponsorships across the commonwealth. Additionally, Brandon’s culture of inclusivity has seen the bank named a Top Company for Diversity by Diversity Inc. for 11 consecutive years.

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