The List (41-50)

The List: 1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30 | 31-40 | 41-50

41. Cyndee Patterson
President, Lee Institute
In 2006: Unranked

A member of City Council from 1985 to 1993 and a longtime supporter of arts and culture, Patterson is well respected around the city, and she is an excellent example of the rising tide of nonprofits as corporations deal with their own troubles. Patterson runs the Lee Institute, which works with everyone from the Foundation for the Carolinas to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on major civic initiatives. Her organization serves as a key facilitator and leadership developer for a host of top nonprofits, from Discovery Place to the Council for Children.

42. David Dooley
President, RT Dooley
In 2006: Unranked

RT Dooley has built or is building the interiors of many of Charlotte’s most prominent buildings, and David Dooley is well known among Charlotte’s corporate elite. He runs with the Quail Hollow crowd, which includes Johnny Harris and company, and is involved in a broad swath of community activities, from Teach for America to the Arts & Science Council.

43. Mohammad Jenatian
President, Greater Charlotte Hospitality and Tourism Alliance
In 2006: 21

As the chief lobbyist for the increasingly important local hospitality industry, Jenatian is well connected in Charlotte and Raleigh power circles. He was key in rallying the troops to help land the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the center city cultural campus. He’s been a little quiet lately as there are no major hospitality-related initiatives on the table, but he’s still a force behind the scenes.

44. Jennifer Appleby
President and Chief Creative Officer, Wray Ward
In 2006: Unranked

An energetic and dynamic leader who seems to have burst onto the scene of late, Appleby runs one of the most successful advertising and public relations firms in the city. She’s active civically, as recent past chair of the Arts & Science Council. Many of the folks we spoke with were impressed by her recent impact on Charlotte, and one top leader told us that if he had to put together a dream team to get something done, it would be Mac Everett, Michael Marsicano, and Appleby. That’s a heck of an endorsement.

45. Mike McGuire
Managing Partner, Grant Thornton Carolinas
In 2006: Unranked

Grant Thornton’s got its name on a building downtown, and that means something. McGuire runs the office with aplomb, and he recently hired former Deloitte partner Michael Baker, forming a powerful local one-two punch. McGuire is ambitious and talented, and he is well networked through serving in leadership positions on a number of different boards. He is high on the list of people you want on your side if you’re trying to get something big done.

46. Ruth Shaw
Retired, Duke Energy
In 2006: 33

From her time as president of CPCC to her tenure as the head of Duke Power (which has since morphed to Duke Energy Carolinas), Shaw has long been an influential local leader. Even though she retired last year, that won’t change. She has taken a volunteer leadership role with the Carolina Thread Trail, the greenway system that is a pet project of the Foundation for the Carolinas, keeping her involved in influential circles. Look for more of the same in the future; she may well become the next Mac Everett—a retired exec who has actually gained influence.

47. Andy Calhoun
President and CEO, YMCA of Greater Charlotte
In 2006: Unranked

The Y serves one in six people in Charlotte, and Calhoun runs it. The Y is also a serious player in community affairs, often partnering with major local corporations like Bank of America and the late Wachovia to shore up fragile neighborhoods. Old Charlotte money is a strong supporter of the Y, through donations and volunteer service, meaning Calhoun can work any room he chooses. He tends to stay in the background, though.

48. David Chadwick
Senior Pastor, Forest Hill Church
In 2006: 46

Members of the clergy aren’t the influence in Charlotte power circles that they were a generation ago, but as one religious leader put it, “Chadwick’s as close to a celebrity pastor as this town has.” His church on Park Road continues to boom, attracting thousands to Sunday services, plus hundreds more to satellite services across the area. Chadwick reaches a regionwide audience through his WBT 1110 AM radio show, giving him influence beyond his own congregation.

49. Hilda Gurdian
Publisher, La Noticia
In 2006: 42

The weekly La Noticia has withstood challenges from various competitors to remain the dominant local Spanish-language newspaper. Gurdian gets most of the credit for that, although she runs the company with her husband, Alvaro. Gurdian is adept at networking and has become a fixture on top local boards.

50. Bill Diehl
Partner, James McElroy and Diehl
In 2006: Unranked

Diehl, says one source, “makes a living out of being a pain in the ass.” The famously blustery lawyer isn’t known for making things happen, but if you want to stop something from happening, you want him on your side. Local real estate attorney Jerry Reese wasn’t getting much traction in his Quixotic attempt to scuttle the downtown minor league baseball stadium—until he hired Diehl. Facing off against a board full of power players, former United Way CEO Gloria Pace King turned to Diehl. And then there are the probably apocryphal stories of wealthy businessmen who put Diehl on retainer—just so their spouses can’t hire him in the event a marriage goes bad. That’s power.

51. Stephen Curry
Junior, Davidson College
In 2006: Unranked
Hey, he made basketball in the Charlotte area interesting again. Plus, the kid can flat-out shoot the ball.

Categories: Feature, The Buzz