Across the Capital region – particularly in white-hot neighborhoods like Chevy Chase, McLean, Middleburg, Georgetown and along the Potomac – WWII-era government housing is being torn down and converted into McMansions and as with some area fortunes … first class art mausoleums, such as Mitch Rales unrivaled and perhaps Smithsonian annex to be, Glenstone. Washington trails only California in the percentage of homes worth more than $1 million (7.67 percent), with Virginia and Maryland also in the top ten, according to a recent Businessweek report. Record-breaking sales – e.g. the reported $25 million that former banking honcho Robert Albritton paid for real-estate mogul Herb Miller’s Georgetown mansion earlier this year – are increasingly commonplace.
“There was a time when you couldn’t give away the higher end houses,” says Nancy Taylor Bubes of Washington Fine Properties. “Today, there is a lot of trading of the higher end houses, and a lot of it goes on privately. We are seeing premier prices that Washington has never seen before.”
To cater to upscale housing tastes, chi-chi bathroom and kitchen fixture stores such as Waterworks (think $29,000 beaten-copper bathtubs) and ultra-sleek kitchen cabinet design outfit Poggenpohl have set up shop, along with a string of othe high-end furniture stores, along M Street in Georgetown. Houses must now have kitchens with Wolf appliances and cleverly concealed flat screen TVs hidden behind sliding oil paintings.
And in the custom closets? Gucci shoes, MaxMara gowns, Ralph Lauren’s Purple Label and Louis Vuitton bags. With the 2005 opening of the Collection at Chevy Chase Center – nicknamed “Rodeo Drive East” – high-end shopping destinations include the area’s first free-standing Christian Dior, Bulgari , and Van Cleef & Arpels stores. In 2007, thousands of area customers can skip New York and shop close to home. Sales at Tiffany & Co.’s new store are hitting $3,000 per square foot annually, topping even New York sales, Asher says. “If a store does over $500 a square foot, you are ready to break out the champagne. We have exceeded our expectations.” And, he adds, it’s clear there’s room for more uber-high-end retail. More and more companies catering to the wealthy are looking for a Washington niche. Canyon Ranch, whose planned project on Old Georgetown Road had stalled, is said to be still interested. And all sorts of development and entertainment schemes are afoot.
In local restaurants like Il Mulino New York, diners don’t hesitate to spend, dropping upwards of $500 on fine wine alone. And now the Washington area is # 1 in the U.S. in consumption of sparkling wine and champagne. One reason: the never-ending cycle of fabulous balls, galas, fund-raisers and cultural events, of which WL is proud to be a media sponsor.
High-end steakhouse Morton’s has proved so popular that there are now as many locations here as in its hometown of Chicago. At catered parties, caviar (and iced vodka) stations are popular. Hosts “are finding more non-traditional reasons to celebrate and doing it more over the top,” says Susan Lacz of Ridgewells Catering. “Maybe we’ll create a fabulous tent that looks like a fairyland for a first communion celebration. With valet, tenting, décor, flowers and food, people are willing to spend upwards of $500 per person.” Washingtonians, restaurant and hospitality consultant Linda Roth says, have the reputation of being willing “to pay more money for better products.”
While consumption may be getting a bit more conspicuous, Washingtonians also are among the most generous in the nation, from big donors (think Venture Philanthropy Partners which routinely hands out millions, c0-founded by Mario Marino, Former Governor John Warner and Raul Fernandez and elevated by the efforts of a legion of other founding investors such as Jack Davies, Ted Leonsis, Steve Case, Joe Robert, among others (See WL May 2006 feature), down to your next-door neighbors. City residents give, on average, $2,926 per family (surpassed only by Utah residents). Add metropolitan Maryland and Virginia, and the amount rises another 10 percent, according to a soon-to-be-released study by Boston College’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy. We live in, notes Boston College researcher John Havens, “a culture of giving.”
Herein we chronicle wealth and honor the philanthropic spirit of giving. Through we cross referenced published records, interviews with the trusty guidance of new and old reliable sources (“The Banker,” “Money Bags” and “The Accountant”) we offer our best estimates to our each person’s net worth – a simple equation of what they have minus what they owe. While this is not an exact science, it is a good indication of “who’s in the money.”
Now show me the money…
Over $10 Billion
John Franklyn Mars, Forrest Edward Mars, Jr., Jacqueline Badger Mars
No surprise that the recent nationwide pet food recall did not include PEDIGREE products. After all, “Dogs rule” – or such is the trademark of Mars, Inc.’s expanding pet food line. Mars has always placed consumers – the two-legged kind and, more recently, dogs and cats – first. John Mars is obsessed with efficiency, punctuality, and quality (now you know why Uncle Ben’s Rice doesn’t stick to the pot and M&M’s don’t melt in your hands). Best known as the world’s largest confectioner, Mars has operations in 65 countries, producing $18 billion-plus in annual sales. Forrest and John Mars are now retired, but continue to oversee business from the board room. Sister Jacqueline keeps busy with another company. She also supports many theatrical productions including The Washington National Opera.
$2 – $10 Billion
John Willard “Bill” Marriott, Richard Edwin Marriott
The Hiltons may have the most famous family member (or infamous, if one correctly categorizes night-vision soft porn and a pending DUI incarceration), but the Marriots have the patent on class. J. Willard’s Mormon upbringing on his family’s sugar beet farm was the real deal as far as the “simple life” — and, after a muggy stop in our nation’s capital, he ventured to quench its inhabitants’ thirst with wholesome A&W root beer, purchasing the franchise in 1927 and opening a nine-stool Hot Shoppe with his wife, Alice Sheets Marriott. The dynasty which followed saw son J. Willard Marriot, Jr. become CEO in 1972, though his father — true to his credo of “a man should keep on being constructive”— continued to keep “shoppe,” as it were. In the late 1990s, the company had 2,800 hotels worldwide, and in 2005, Fortune magazine named Marriot International one of the top 100 best companies to work for (no. 89). In 1995, Marriot bought the troubled Ritz-Carlton chain for $331 million and brought it back; by 1999, its revenues were estimated at $1.4 billion. In 1993, the Marriott brothers, who live in Potomac, split the company: Richard controls ownership of Host Hotels and Resorts; Bill operates Marriott International. Whether the Marriots owe their successes to faith, fate or Fortuna’s wheel, someone up there likes them — or, at least, He or She likes room service.
Mitchel Rales, Steven M. Rales
The Rales brothers left their father’s real estate firm and founded Equity Group Holdings. As co-chairmen of the Danaher Corporation board, they’ve since purchased and revamped numerous small manufacturing companies (more than three dozen in 25 years), from Chicago Pneumatic Tool to Western Pacific Industries. Mitchel, who recently hosted The Charity Works 100 Point Wine Dinner, is one of the top-ten collectors of abstract expressionists in the world and is a big contributor to the National Gallery of Art and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Steven contributes to politicians, first Republicans like Dan Quayle, but more recently to Democrats like Howard Dean. They’re estimated to have over $2 billion each.
Helped Harvard MBA classmate George W. Bush found a ballet society — to meet girls. Managing director at Lehman Brothers at age 31, then, with partner, Peter G. Peterson, founded Wall Street investment house Blackstone Group. Kennedy Center chair Schwarzman recently hosted the birthday bash of the century (his 60th) at New York’s Park Avenue Armory attended by the likes of billionaires Donald Trump, Leon Black, Wilbur Ross and Thomas H. Lee. No doubt, his vision and largess will be most appreciated at the Kennedy Center for years to come.
$1 – 2 Billion
A quick Google search provides pages of hits of vitriol from Orioles fans ranting over Angelos’s handling of their team, which he purchased from Eli Jacobs in 1993 for $173 million. “He’ll still blow up any deal, free agent signing or draft pick if he feels like it. And he’ll do it for any reason that pleases him,” one says. When you’re a billionaire [excuse us, Angelos says, “I’m not a billionaire. Multi-millionaire is plenty”], you’re allowed to be somewhat eccentric; being well-liked is no longer of great concern. Angelos’ roots are as a Baltimore trial lawyer and champion of both integration and his hometown — he ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 1963 on the first integrated citywide ticket. In 1992, his wealth and law firm expanded exponentially when he represented a large number of plaintiffs in asbestos litigation and won. That’s when Angelos became a Baltimore power player — naturally, a player’s got to have a game, and Angelos chose baseball.
Stephen J. Bisciotti
“From the ground up” might have eked a wry smile from Bisciotti as he opened his basement office, furnished with little more than second-hand desks and a first-hand knowledge of the temporary help industry. Having lost his own temp job, Bisciotti had inspired insider information on providing aerospace and technology companies with skilled workers; his firm, Aerotek, shot into the stratosphere from a humble launching pad of two clients to become the sixth largest staffing firm in the world. Not bad for a guy with a liberal arts degree.
Steve Case jumped from Froggies Used Books and Records in Waikiki, to Procter & Gamble, to co-founder of America Online. Now the Hawaiian-born billionaire is running the Revolution Health Group, a $500 million far cry from “You’ve got mail!” The group consists of a dozen companies, from Revolution Health which aims to change the U.S. healthcare system to Exclusive Resorts and Miraval Health Spa. Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell is an investor and Case lured Carly Fiorina to his board. Case’s wife, Jean, guides the family’s foundation and the couple was recently honored by City Year for their commitment to education.
When one can happily waive an annual salary and live on stock options, as Fairbank reportedly does, one has it made — especially if that stock is in Capital One, the 11th largest bank in the world. With 2.4 million in shares and vested options valued at $445 million, this flush financier quite literally — in the hip-hop parlance — makes “bank”; additionally, he’s “iced out” to the max. A partner in Lincoln Holdings LLC, the owner of the Capitals pro hockey team as well as the Washington Mystics. Fairbanks’ cash cow revolutionized the credit card industry and he had the insight to realize that the cards offer fingerprints of consumer behavior. This priceless data can be leveraged competitively to ensure Americans of all income levels have get a crack at worry-free shopping … at least, until the bills roll in.
In a media town, The Washington Post is big news — and big money. When Donald Graham took the scepter of CEO from mother Katharine Graham in 1991, he inherited a third-generation legacy of powerful punditry. Under the umbrella of the Washington Post Company, the Grahams control Kaplan, Inc., Post Newsweek Stations, Newsweek Magazine, Cable One, and other smaller companies. Graham also serves as a director of BrassRing, Inc. and is a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board. He is president of the District of Columbia College Access Program and a trustee of the Federal City Council in Washington, DC. Graham is a member of the board of directors of The Summit Fund of Washington.
Robert L. Johnson
BET is a goliath among TV channels; for many young people, it’s a brand, a community voice, style guide, news source and in some ways, a cultural identity. Johnson became the first African-American billionaire in the U.S., after selling the station to Viacom in 2001 for $3 billion. The ninth of ten children growing up in the sleepy hamlet of Hickory, Mississippi, Johnson nevertheless thought big-picture. He recognized the void of black entertainment in the media, filling it so successfully that in 1991 BET became the first African-American controlled company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. He has his hand in an assortment of pies at the moment: a recording studio, restaurant (Posh) and has the controlling interest in the Charlotte Bobcats. Returning to cultural avatar status, Johnson started Our Stories, a Los Angeles-based film company, with partner Harvey Weinstein in 2006. P-Diddy only wishes.
It’s highly appropriate that Sheila Johnson’s prospective Salamander Inn and Spa, an 85,000-square-foot French country resort in the heart of Middleburg horse country, should be named after that capricious lizard — it’s the only animal that can walk through fire. Johnson, the ex-wife of BET co-founder Robert Johnson, may predate Oprah Winfrey as the first black female billionaire, but she’s “seen fire and she’s seen rain,” as the song goes. Before the sale of BET to Viacom in 2001 for roughly $3 billion dollars, she lived through personally challenging times. These days she’s as involved in the arts as she once was in television production — she donated $2.5 million to the Hill School’s performing arts program and sits on the board at Parsons School of Design. Then there are the other prerequisites to being a billionaire, including her own sports team, donating to political causes and establishing a charitable foundation that donated $5 million to the University of Virginia for the Sheila C. Johnson Center of Human Services. Looks like this former media player has all the bases covered.
Robert Kogod married into the Charles E. Smith real estate family and was soon building Crystal City. A generous philanthropist, he once handed $25 million to the Smithsonian Institution. None of those museums bear his name, but we do find the Robert and Arlene Kogod Theatre at the University of Maryland, the Kogod Center for the Arts at Sidwell Friends School, and the Robert and Arlene Kogod Program on Aging at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
Theodore Lerner, Mark Lerner, Edward Cohen, Robert Tanenbaum
Avoiding the spotlight has paid off handsomely for Ted Lerner, whose company, Lerner Enterprises has built in excess of 22,000 homes and 6,000 apartments, plis some 20 million square feet of retail and other commerical space (like White Flint and Tysons corner). And in 2006 he and his family came up the winner as the new owners of the Wahsington baseball franchise. A hard-nosed businessman – he once fired his own brother – Lerner is known as a micromanager. In 2003, the Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner Family Foundation dispensed $2.5 million. Still in the game? You better believe it.
One of the Carlyle brainiacs, co-founder and Managing Director Rubenstein is a Baltimore native and former Carter administration aide. The theme with Carlyle founders tends to be a finger in nearly every pie in the bake shop, and Rubenstein is no exception — he’s a fixture on the boards of numerous schools, companies and foundations. To name a few, he’s on the board of the Kennedy Center and Johns Hopkins University. As anyone who gets an average return of 25 percent per year on investments can afford to give from the heart as well as the wallet; Rubenstein has given millions to his alma mater, Duke University, funded the Princeton Project on National Security and, most recently, he gave $5 million to Johns Hopkins to support the building of a new outpatient facility for children and young adults: The David M. Rubinstein Child Health Building.
B. F. “Frank” Saul II, B. F. “Frank” Saul III
The son and grandson of Washington mortgage lenders, Frank Saul decided to open a bank in 1969 – in a trailer. Today, Chevy Chase Bank is the area’s largest locally-owned bank, crossing Maryland and Virginia. Chances are you’ve stood in the holdings of the B.F. Saul Real Estate Investment Trust: numerous hotels and office buildings throughout Washington and the Mid-Atlantic. His generosity stretches from recipients of Catholic Charities to helping Providence Hospital in Northeast build a new nursing home.
$750 MILLION TO $1 BILLION
A. James Clark
In the lineup of area general contractors, Clark Construction Group, Inc. is a first world power. Recently awarded a contract to build the new Johns Hopkins Hospital to the tune of $573 million, Clark is one of several firms rebuilding the Springfield interstate highway exchange. Still not impressed? Clark has had a hand in some 400 big name builds in and around the Washington area, including seventeen metro stations, FedEx Field, the MCI Center, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the USAir Arena and PSINet Stadium for the Baltimore Ravens. If Clark had been in “Field of Dreams,“ he would have built that one too.
CEO of District Photo (and son of Marvin), Neil bought, grew and sold Snapfish (a major online photo service) for more than a few pretty pennies. He continues to helm the company, which processes pictures and sells ancillary items both online and via the “concept retail store” he opened in Alexandria in 2004. He and wife Marcy are also quite active with Jewish causes and give generously to health and educational charities among others. As the old saying he was recently heard paraphrasing at fundraiser goes: “no one ever went broke giving to charity.”
The big man of the Big Top, Kenneth Feld made his money sending in the clowns. As the owner of famed Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus, Forbes cited him as being worth $725 million in 2004. Being a ringmaster involves a certain amount of leger-de-main, and Feld’s been accused of shilling the public in the form of sending a private eye to investigate PETA — guess he’s trying to protect his lion tamers. A reporter named Jan Pottker alleges that Feld, wary of a family history she was working on, had her under surveillance for eight years. Neither charge was proven. As of 2007, Feld will be producing the iced-out version of rabidly popular teenybopper show, High School Musical. His fame has been recently noted with an induction into the International Circus Hall of Fame.
Kingdon Gould III
Close associates of Gould affectionately call him K3, which sounds like a remote climbing destination but refers to his being the third in a line of illustrious Kingdons. They’ve been New York financiers (the first), ambassadors to Luxembourg and the Netherlands (the second) and infamous 19th century robber barons (Jay Gould, the first’s father). K3 is in the real estate and Parking garage business; he runs Parking Management Inc., which owns and operates more than 100 parking facilities in the Washington area. He’ll be best remembered for stubbornly sticking to his guns on a lucrative little piece of land next to the Convention Center — valued at $68 million, this was one parking lot with which Gould III was reluctant to part. A prolific political donor, K3 has given generously and consistently to the campaign of Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. He also sponsors the arts and community through the Shakespeare Theatre Company, the National Building Museum and Living Classrooms .
Although his name roughly translates to “struggle” in German, Joe Kampf’s tenure as CEO of Anteon International Corp. pretty much eliminated his daily grind. The years from 1996 to 2005 saw countless dotcom bubbles burst, but under Kampf’s reign, Anteon kept rising. As fits the current mode of technology-oriented government contractors assembling, Voltron-style, Anteon was acquired in 2006 by giant General Dynamics for a cool $2.1 billion cash — Kampf’s million shares in Anteon translated to about $59 million. Kampf’s 2002 KPMG High Tech Entrepreneur Award, therefore, could not be more apropos. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts.
Teresa Heinz Kerry
Baseball may be America’s national past time, but ketchup is most definitely its national condiment. As heiress to the Heinz family fortune, Heinz Kerry may aid and abet the mass consumption of fries, but she’s a conservationist at heart. Sitting pretty in a 23-room, $5 million town home in Georgetown in addition to numerous other residences, she doesn’t need to play “catch up” when it comes to generosity; Heinz Kerry is famed for her philanthropy with much to be said for her visionary outlook toward solving complex problems in education, the environment and social welfare. Although married to preeminent political figure Sen. John Kerry — who, legend has it, wooed her with his semi-fluency in her native Portuguese tongue— Heinz Kerry maintains her independence.
Nigel W. Morris
What did we ever do before credit cards? Fortunately, thanks to pioneers like Nigel Morris, co-founder with Richard Fairbank of Capital One in 1994, we don’t have to think about that era. Under Morris’s reign, Capital One’s customer base grew to 45 million, managed loans increased to more than $70 billion, and the company emerged as one of the top seven issuers of credit cards in the world. It’s small wonder that the London Business School named this alumnus and grand vizier of Visas “Entrepreneur of the Year.”
Roger and Vicki Sant
As head honcho of Applied Energy Services Corp (AES), a global powerhouse, Roger Sant realized the importance of reducing his considerable carbon footprint on Mother Earth; through the Summit Foundation — run with the aid of wife Vicki — this charitable couple donated $20 million to the preservation of the Amazon rainforests. Power may have been Sant’s primary focus, but painting came in a close second; the Sants are avid art collectors, focusing on the Nabis, including such painters as Édouard Vuillard, Pierre Bonnard, and Maurice Denis. In 1999 they provided funds to the National Gallery to establish an acquisition fund for 19th-century paintings. Their assets valued at roughly $800 million, these A-listers of the art scene have endowed the Phillips Collection with $9 million, the National Symphony Orchestra with $10 million and the Smithsonian Institution with $10 million as well — if beauty (and its preservation) is truly in the eye of the beholder, then the beholder owes much to the Sants.
Carl D. Silver
The fierce concentration with which small boys, often making onomatopoeic “brrrrrr” sounds with their lips, playing with toy trucks doesn’t always portend an $800 million empire later in life. Silver began making profitable piles in high school by moving gravel with dump trucks — and, in quick succession, he “moved” cars at his own “Silverized” dealerships and his empire into the theater of real estate development, where he found his real genius. The Silver Company, both family (Carl’s son, Larry Silver, started coming to work with daddy at the tender age of ten) and regionally focused, is most famous for their Celebrate Virginia project, which spans 2,400 acres and is dubbed “America’s Largest Retail Resort.” Solidly grounded in the principles of tradition and integrity, Silver believes that “when you give, you also receive”; no false boast, as his 2006 windfall donation of $2 million to the new Lloyd F. Moss clinic for the uninsured poor was the largest gift they had ever received.
Rajendra Singh and Neera Singh
The phrase “number crunching” tends to conjure up visions of bespectacled men with severe side-parts and inky fingers rather than baccarat at Biarritz; however, with a scholarship, $42 dollars in American currency and a postage stamp, this husband and wife duo turned a simple algorithm for wireless consulting into arithmetic alchemy. Early partners in Nextel and avid technological crest-surfers still — they invested in XM radio and provide cellular service in Latin America — the Singhs provide the next generation of dreamers with the same educational egress they were afforded through scholarship.
Snyder’s spring break could have been a permanent one after dropping out of college at UCMP; instead, from the glamorous standpoint of his parents’ bedroom, he sold bacchanals in Boca and booze cruises in Cancun to other college students. Using this as a springboard, Snyder and his sister started the eponymous Snyder Communications, Inc., selling the company in 2000 for the then unprecedented sum of $2.3 billion. Sports, burgers, music, and roller coasters are common interests that many twenty-something males share; however, not many of them are able to translate into full and partial ownership of the Washington Redskins, Johnny Rockets, Red Zebra Broadcasting and Six Flags theme parks. After Tom Cruise’s couch-jumping antics on Oprah, Synder picked up the slack from Paramount and inked a 2006 two-year deal which places him in the enviable role of “Goose” to Cruise’s erstwhile “Maverick”; in any case, Snyder’s $800 million fortune (as Fortune Magazine reports) makes him a top gun in the charity world, as he controls the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation and donates generously to D.C. program Yards for Youth.
$500 MILLION TO $750 MILLION
A card-carrying member of “Greater Washington 2006 Legal Elite,” so named by Washington SmartCEO, Abramson focuses his 30-year legal practice on mergers and acquisitions, real estate finance, business and succession planning, as well as estate planning. He concentrates on privately owned large-scale entrepreneurial business and owns a number of buildings on K Street. Appropriately, he’s a member of the real estate section of the Washington, D.C., law firm of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC. He’s also a doctor; in 2003, The Corcoran College of Art and Design granted Abramson a Doctor of Fine Arts degree for his distinguished years of as a trustee of the institution. In his spare time, Abramson sits on the New York University Council on the Future of Arts and Science and serves on the board of the Washington Airports’ Task Force.
Andrea and Lavinia Currier
The Currier sisters heirs to a Mellon family oil and banking fortune come from a long line of philanthropists and patrons of the arts — their grandmother, Ailsa Mellon Bruce, helped build the National Gallery of Art. To help preserve land in the Bull Run area, the two siblings gave (or lent) more than $2 million to the Virginia Outdoors Foundation. Both serve on the Friends of Bull Run board. Lavinia is also a film-maker; in 1998 she directed and wrote the screenplay for “Passion in the Desert,” a feature film based on a Balzac short story.
From 1996 to 2006, Donahue’s role in the telecommunications boom was a pivotal one; as head of Sprint Nextel, he was playing with the big boys: Verizon, AT&T, Cingular, et al. While in the saddle, he rustled up the $35 billion merger that created the nation’s third largest wireless carrier. He left a legacy of financial boom; during the ten years he was at the helm, Nextel experienced record setting financial results and a spot on the Fortune 200 list, with nine straight quarters of positive net income. He’s still cheering from the sidelines, Donahue promises, but spending time with friends and family is what it’s all about. Sounds like a telephone commercial.
Chairman and CEO of McLean-based Long and Foster, the largest real estate firm in America. In December, 2006, Realtor Magazine named him “one of the 25 most influential people in real estate.” Despite 2005 being a bad year for the sector, it proved to be L&F’s best year, with $68 billion in sales, a 17 percent increase over the previous year. Foster personally pledged $200,000 to Hurricane Katrina relief and challenged his 15,500 employees to donate as well.
Jeong H. Kim
A convenience store clerk until he won a scholarship to Johns Hopkins, Kim joined the Navy, vowing to return to the business world in seven years’ time. Noticing a common technological problem in communications while working at the Naval Research Lab, he unobtrusively engineered a solution, then, borrowing against his house, started Yurie Systems, which he sold in 1998 to Lucent Technologies for $1.1 billion. Kim, who regularly gives back, is heavily involved in the University of Maryland as a faculty member, a building donor (the Jeong H. Kim Applied Sciences Building), and $5 million backer of the A. James Clark School of Engineering.
Founded webMethods in 1996 with “goal of developing an integration platform that would automate the world’s economy,” and saw it grow from a three-person team to more than 850 employees worldwide, with annual revenues of over $200 million and more than 900 customers. Recently struggling, it was sold to a German company for $546 million. Merrick, who has a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Melbourne, Australia, established the webMethods Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping communities build critical infrastructures for healthcare, housing and education.
Joseph E. Robert, Jr.
Robert oversees his eponymous five-division company that includes private equity and structured finance in commercial real estate and mortgages. J. E. Robert Cos. Has made more than $20 billion in investments in 14 countries since its founding in 1981. Robert is the founder of Fight For Children, Inc. that focuses on helping the most underserved children in the nation’s capital by expanding their opportunities for education and proper health care. His annual “Fight Night” benefit is an extravaganza few major business players want to miss.
Sonny Abramson Jr.
TowerCos of North Bethesda went green in 1997; wanting to be ahead of the curve, Sonny Abramson’s fifty-plus-year-old company used eco-friendly technology recently in one of their biggest projects, the Tower Building off I-270. The Abramsons are so invested in green –and we’re not talking about their significant monetary assets — that they created a program to educate residents on environmentally friendly building. They give back in other ways, too. A longtime supporter of his alma mater, Sonny Abramson created a fellowship in his name at Brandeis and established the Abramson Chair of Holocaust Studies there as well.
Daniel F. Akerson
A managing director of the increasingly-important Carlyle Group — which owns Hertz, Dunkin Donuts, and Baskin Robins among other concerns – Akerson is also co-head of the U.S. Buyout Fund. Before joining Carlyle, he played a major role in the evolution and development of the U.S. telecommunications industry, serving as chairman and CEO of MCI, General Instrument and XO Communications, Inc. A Naval Academy graduate, Akerson now gives back by serving as a director of the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation and sits on the boards of American Express and United Components, which Carlyle purchased for $800 million in 2003.
Stewart Bainum Jr.
One would imagine that Stewart Bainum Jr’s dinner parties are spectacular — after all, this millionaire makes his living being hospitable. Bainum is the Chairman and director of Choice Hotels International, a worldwide lodging franchiser with Cambria SuitesTM, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge, and Rodeway Inn brand hotels under its control. Bainum began his career as CEO of ManorCare, Inc. — a senior living company — in 1987 before going on to expand his repertoire to serving guests of all ages. In 2004, Choice Hotels reported earnings of $386 million, with the Bainums holding just under 40 percent of the stock. There’s no place like home away from home, it seems.
Barris’s daughters fondly recall their Chicago upbringing in a close-knit Greek family not unlike that in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. The sequel, My Big Fat Greek Bank Account, would come later. Barris began his career at General Electric and hasn’t taken a break since. He’s legendary for being the “honest” voice of venture capital firm NEA, where he’s managing general partner — known as the outspoken member of board who asks the tough questions. NEA managed about $5 billion in capital in 2002, with half a billion invested locally in the D.C. – Baltimore area. The list of boards with a seat marked “Peter Barris” is vast — Boingo Wireless, Inc., Broadview Networks, Cidera, DataCore Software, eCommerce Industries, Eziba, Laurel Networks, Mainstream Data, and Megisto Systems, to name a few — as his talent for finessing technology ventures is well known. The Barris family gives generously and “reactively,” in his own words, to charity; “if something comes our way that we relate to, we give,” he says. Now that’s electric.
At 26, Bradley launched his first venture, The Advisory Board Company, a for-profit think tank serving 4,000 corporations, financial institutions and medical centers around the world. Shortly after he took The Advisory Board and its sister enterprise, the Corporate Executive Board, public in 2001, Bradley sold his interest, which pushed his net worth well above $300 million. Today, among other ventures, he publishes The Atlantic Monthly, The National Journal and the recently launched 02138, a magazine for Harvard grads. He and his wife, Katherine, founded City Bridge Foundation, which funds projects in the Philippines, Russia, and South Africa, and now focuses on education and interventions to serve families and children in Washington, DC. They are also founding investors in Venture Philanthropy Partners (See May ’06 WL).
Hilda Ochoa Brillembourg
Ladies are doing it for themselves, and Ochoa-Brillembourg is doing it quite well. “It” refers to being ship’s captain of power-frigate investment management firm Strategic Investment Group and also director of Emerging Markets Investment Corporation and Emerging Markets Management, LLC. Not too shabby. Finance and internationalism are closely intertwined; Ochoa-Brillembourg served many years at the World Bank and was treasurer of the C.A. Luz Electrica de Venezuela in Caracas. Her love of business is exceeded only by her love for — and charity toward — the arts. She is active with the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, the Washington National Opera and the National Symphony Orchestra. A life filled with riches, music and first-class airfare? We could imagine worse fates.
C. Daniel Clemente
Chairman of the board of Clemente Development Co., he started his own legal firm fresh out of Georgetown Law School, then got into commercial real estate in Northern Virginia, developing properties like Brighton Malls in Falls Church. Clemente also advises wealthy individuals and businesses, famously rescuing Digital Commerce Corp. from bankruptcy (and remaining as its chief stockholder). He is the founder of Community Bank and Trust in Springfield and First Commercial Bank of Arlington, and a family trustee of the 137-year-old. Privately-held food giant Cargill. A staunch Republican, Clemente aided George Bush’s 2004 campaign and the Federal Victory Fund in 2005
The Cohen Family : Rosalie Cohen, Richard Cohen, Ronald Cohen, Randi Lynn Cohen Harris
The Cohens should have their own TLC special: “Renovating D.C.” Instead of perky television makeovers of clueless, suburban housewives, this program would focus on the their relentless redevelopment of area landmarks and the resulting, ongoing cash flow. Richard, who stepped into father William Cohen’s shoes as head of Willco Construction, has revamped sites on Pennsylvania Ave, 10th Street N.W., New York Avenue and, most recently, the Vanguard Building at 1111 19th Street. The rest of the Cohen brood remains busy and comfortably well-to-di. Forget sitcoms; call the History Channel.
Diane and Bertram Firestone
Johnson & Johnson heiress Diane met real-estate mogul and race-horse enthusiast Bertram Firestone (no relation to the tire dynasty), forming a true marriage of interests and interest (financial). Renowned horse people and “Hunt Country” residents, the Firestones train thoroughbreds with Olympian golden boy Michael Matz, who trained Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro. In 1980, Diana Firestone’s Genuine Risk became the second filly to win that race. Their daughter Alison carries the family colors, having qualified as an alternate on the 2004 Olympic equestrian team.
The widow of Carl M. Freeman Companies CEO Joshua Freeman, Michelle Freeman took over chairship of the Carl M. Freeman foundation with aplomb. The tragedy was of a grand scale — they’d been married less than seven years and had small children when her husband died in a helicopter accident — but Michelle Freeman’s reserves of strength were of similar size. Established by Carl in 1960, the CMFF has supported philanthropic causes in the greater D.C. area for over 40 years. A licensed real estate broker, owner/founder of Pilot Properties on the Delaware Shore and manager of the historic, 500-acre Freeman Family Farm in Gaithersburg, Michelle Freeman’s capable hands will be sure to spend the $300 million or so left by her late husband with equal reserve and aplomb.
International money man Joe Gildenhorn was the U.S. ambassador to Switzerland from 1989 to 1993, with all the hot chocolate and yodeling on mountaintops comped. A top Bush contributor, he’s also been a guest on the Bush ranch, making him well-traveled in the right circles. He was the Bush Campaign’s Special Liaison to the Jewish Community and was named Washingtonian of the Year in 1996 by the magazine of the same name. While a widely respected diplomat, Gildenhorn has a head for business as well; Together with Benjamin Jacobs and Donald Brown, Gildenhorn founded The JBG Companies a Washington, D.C. real estate development and management firm. Gildenhorn serves on numerous civic and public policy-oriented boards, including the University of Maryland College Park Foundation, the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University, the Council of American Ambassadors, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.
The Washington Post was likely surprised when Hughes, armed only with the questionably puissant firearm of WOL-AM, had the chutzpah to boycott the media giant. Founder of the African-American network Radio One, Hughes and television producer hubby Dewey Hughes put up $100,000 of their own money to buy troubled WOL-AM After the couple having knocked on 32 banks’ doors for the rest, one finally creaked open: a Puerto-Rican female officer who was new on the job, luckily for them. The radio’s slogan, “Information is power,” didn’t rocket to the top of the charts immediately, and personal troubles (divorce, faltering finances) had the Hughes’ airwaves playing the blues. In 1999, when Radio One was first traded publicly, its estimated value was $924 million, bringing Catherine Hughes’ back to the “top of the pops” financially — to the tune of $300 million or so. Radio One’s recent spate of successes include adding Tom Joyner to the lineup, being a top competitor of Howard Stern’s several markets and reaching the level of a fifty-station-strong, eight-million-a-week audience. There’s no danger of radio silence for this lady anytime soon.
Rep. Darrell Issa
The second wealthiest member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Issa was the CEO of Directed Electronics Incorporated, the consumer electronics company known for the Viper alarm system. Indeed, it’s Issa’s own voice that intones, “Warning, you are too close, this vehicle protected by Viper.” A GOP member of Congress from California since 2001, who helped engineer the fall of Democratic Gov. Gray Davis and then got muscled aside by Arnold Schwarzenegger, today Issa is a partner in both DEI LLC and Third I LLC, on the board of directors of five companies as well as the board of trustees of Sienna Heights University.
Donald Brown and Benjamin Jacobs
Jacobs and Brown are the co-founders of the highly successful JBG Companies. Jacobs, who has over 43 years of experience in the acquisition, development, ownership and management of commercial, hospitality, retail and residential real estate, has been a trustee of the Federal City Council, among many other non-professional activities. Donald Brown is a founder, officer and director of The JBG Companies and a founding senior partner in the law firm of Brown, Gildenhorn & Jacobs. He is on the executive committee of the Federal City Council and serves on the boards of the Phillips Collection, Blair House and the National Trust for the Humanities.
Founding CEO and Chairman Emeritus of AOL, Kimsey owned more than $78.8 million worth of AOL stock way back in 1997 and has seen his huge investment in that company rise and then fall after the ill-fated merger with Time-Warner. An air force ranger in Vietnam, where he established an orphanage after his first tour, Kimsey is a practicing humanitarian. He is the chair of the International Commission of Missing Persons, and is very engaged in foreign affairs, meeting with Generals about the Iraq war and traveling to Vietnam with former President Bill Clinton. A founding investor in Venture Philanthropy Partners, Kimsey remains active in many charitable causes including Refugees International. In 2000, he bought a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house worth $2.5 million next to his McLean mansion. He is also on the board of many other companies and organizations, including Capital One, Thayer Capital, and Georgetown University.
Samuel Lehrman, Robert Lehrman, Heidi Berry
Samuel Lehrman, realized that basic human needs are always marketable; to this end, he and N.M. Cohen addressed feeding hungry Washingtonians with the opening of the highly successful Giant Food Inc, the first supermarket in the District in 1935. The heirs now run the Jacob and Charlotte Lehrman Foundation, which supports and enriches Jewish life in the District and Israel with support for the arts, education, environment and healthcare.
If Al Gore invented the internet, then Ted Leonsis is its indefatigable engineer, constantly tinkering to make it work even better. Steve Case has bailed, but early AOL exec Ted Leonsis serves as vice chairman of the international phenomenon known simply as AOL. Heard of Weblogs, Soundsystem tickets, Advertising.com & Ticketmaster.com, or Mapquest? Leonsis has significant ownership interest in all of these companies that make for a smooth ride on the electronic highway, not to mention his stake in Lincoln Holdings, which owns the Washington Capitals and Mystics. At this year’s Sundance Film Festival, he debuted his film Nanking, where he distributed rights were sold for $2 million to Fortissimo Films. Of the $425 million estimated to be weighting down his pockets these days, the Georgetown-educated tycoon gives back a goodly portion through the Leonsis Family Foundation, which helps underprivileged children.
A promotion is usually an occasion for champagne uncorking and hearty back-slaps; however, Ellie Merrill’s ascent to the top of the Washingtonian masthead was a somber affair. All of Washington mourned last year when authorities had found the sailboat of her entrepreneurial husband, publisher Phillip Merrill, sans captain. Phillip Merrill had added the magazine to his holdings for $3.6 million decades earlier and led it to profitability in the neighborhood of $75 million, should he have wished to resell. An early stock buyer in The Washington Post and owner of the Annapolis Capital, Merrill had also been a political powerhouse; he worked the State Department during the Kennedy/Johnson years and was president of the Export-Import Bank and senior U.S. official to NATO under Bush. Wife Ellie was no slouch, either; she was a Congressional Liaison Officer for Latin America at the U.S. Department of State, and served as press secretary to Sen. Kenneth B. Keating (R-New York). In the wake of the tragedy, Ellie Merrill will use her capable hands on deck at work while remaining active in the philanthropic realm; a trustee of Ford’s Theater and the Shakespeare Theater as well as a member of the community boards of the Kennedy Center, Merrill keeps busy by giving back.
Magalen Ohrstrom Bryant, oversees the inheritances from her father, the founder of Johnson & Johnson. The reclusive Ohrstrom family owns shares in Dover Corp. and Carlisle Cos. in New York, as well as Winchester-based plastics maker O’Sullivan Corp. An active environmentalist, she’s president of the board of the Environmental Resources Trust, a Washington group dedicated to preserving the global environment. Her brother George, who died three years ago, and with whom she co-managed the family holdings, was a classmate of former president George H.W. Bush at Greenwich Country Day School in Connecticut and an investor in the current President Bush’s Texas oil business.
9/11, as we’ve all heard ad nauseum, changed America forever; the resulting sense of hyper-paranoia gave birth not only to long lines at the airport but to a brave new industry of security and government watch-doggery, which meant big business for George Pedersen and ManTech, Inc. Occupying the somewhat Orwellian role of being cyber-McGruff, ManTech is a leading provider technologies for “mission-critical” national security programs for the Intelligence Community, the Department of Defense and other federal customers. Pedersen co-founded the company in 1968, but the red-alert levels of terror in the post 9/11 period are what propelled the company to go public in 2001 with an IPO of $115 million. Pedersen, who acknowledges that his “only real hobby in life” is the business, won’t be bored anytime soon — during 2003, ManTech Inc and its 6,000 employees won several federal contracts with a total estimated value in excess of $1 billion. Now that’s taking a bite out of crime.
The man who brought back downtown Washington owns 51 percent of the Wizards, currently valued at about $400 million. The well-liked one-time developer also owns all or most of the Verizon Center and Cap Center. He bought the Capitals for $1 million and it turned it over for approximately $85 million to Ted Leonsis and his partners at Lincoln Holdings. An avid tennis player, Pollin holds the record as the longest running team owner in the NBA. He also holds some sort of record for being the only man with enough backbone (and chutzpah) to fire Michael Jordan. He’s estimated to be worth about $250 million, but “money bags,” and our “banker” say that his real estate holdings make him worth much, much more.
Catherine B. Reynolds
Catherine Reynolds is conspicuously different from many ladies of luxury on the list; she made her money rather than inheriting it (i.e. she is not a relative of Andrew Mellon). Raised in a working-class family in Jacksonville, Florida, Reynolds started as a certified public accountant in a “technically bankrupt” firm. She managed to pull it from the flames, and it was subsequently purchased by Wells Fargo 12 years later, leaving her with a reported $100 million share. Reynolds’s grit and gumption, didn’t immediately make her a favorite on the local party circuit; CBS news reported that Reynolds was “accused of trying to buy her way into the upper reaches of Washington society” with extraordinarily generous gifts through her $500 million eponymous foundation: $100 million to the Kennedy Center, $38 million to the Smithsonian (which she later apparently retracted), donations to the National Gallery of Art, Ford’s Theatre, etc. Reynolds may be the new kid on the block, but she can hardly be faulted for being an enterprising businesswoman. After all, a good accountant should be a bit calculating .
This dealer of wheels in a town of wheeler-dealers opened his first Chevy sales lot when the big car was king, a coy glance over a frosty soda-fountain malted was a first date and Mister Sandman sent us a dream. From 1954 to today, Rosenthal’s star has risen from that lone Arlington metal-moving shop to a constellation chain of 19 dealerships doing $1 billion in annual sales. In later years, following the Crazy Ed’s Cars credo of “Everything must go!”, the car czar sold off some of his automotive lots for real estate development. An eye for aesthetics as well for a great bargain, Rosenthal uses some of his car cash to sit pretty on the National Gallery of Art Trust Council.
Co-founder, chairman and CEO of Micro Strategy, Saylor’s $318 million fortune is down from $14 billion in his pre-stock crash heyday (rumor has it he lost $2 billion during one transatlantic flight because he kept his money invested in stock of the company he believes in). Known for his over-the-big-top persona and fabulous parties, he is actually a thoughtful, soft spoken eccentric with big aspirations, like starting an online university for the masses featuring William Jefferson Clinton and Warren Buffet. Saylor’s company is famous for having the most alums who went on to create their own start-up ventures: 21 former Micro Strategy employees have gone on to start 12 companies in Maryland alone. His Saylor Foundation supports many charitable organizations, including Best Buddies International, Fight for Children and the American Red Cross.
Dwight Schar started his career on a very specific kind of board –a blackboard, as a humble schoolteacher. Supplementing his modest income with a weekend sales job with Ryan Homes, he took a leap of faith, leaving academia and purchasing the then-bankrupt company; this grew into the Goliath homebuilder-mortgage company NVR. Schar’s political ventures are no less bold; he’s a major player in Northern Virginia and was a part of the 1999 Virginia GOP delegation promoting then-Governor Bush to make a run at the White House. Bush returned the favor, choosing the Schar residence as home base for a posh GOP fundraiser. Business and politics mixed; Schar says that Bush’s support for limits on lawsuits against homebuilders was the dealmaker as far as his support was concerned. These days everything’s coming up roses for the Schars; he’s invited to state dinners, was appointed as a Kennedy Center trustee in 2002 and bought a ten percent stake in the Redskins for an estimated $100 million. At this level of success, Schar’s a born advertisement for staying in school.
In the early ’90s, Doug Smith was building a wireless telecommunications company called Omnipoint, which would grow to 2,500 employees before merging with Voicestream and two other regional companies in 2000. His wife, Gabriela Smith, ran health and education projects in Bolivia; their common interests in children and education led to heavy involvement with Venture Philanthropy Partners, to which they are greatly commited to date. The Smiths started the Amanter fund, which means “to love” in Latin, which focuses on supporting these same principles of family and knowledge.
John E. Akridge III
Ever shop for strawberry Pocky at Da Hua in Chinatown or stroll to see presidential mugs at the National Portrait Gallery? If so, tip your hat to John Akridge, a major player in Gallery Place’s construction. A builder by trade, Akridge is still an Eagle Scout at heart: “Make sure it’s legal, moral and ethical first,” he says, and then adds, “Hopefully, it will also make money.” Akeridge’s days as a Scout fostered his fascination with the great outdoors, and today his Eastern Shore farm functions as a demonstration site for protecting wetlands and wildlife, which befits his status as leader of the Nature Conservancy and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
Joe and Robert Allbritton
Although there was no evidence he knew about the illegal activities, avid equestrian Joseph Allbritton became something of a dark horse himself following the Augusto Pinochet–Riggs Bank investigation. Running true to form, Allbritton rallied from the scandal, and in 2004 Riggs was sold to PNC for approximately $652 million. At that point, Allbritton owned 41 percent of the stock. A journalistic buff, Allbritton has backed or owned both the Washington Star in the Ford-Carter days and in 2007 The Capitol Leader. The Washington Post once described Joe as “quiet, private, philanthropic, board-sitting, art-buying, [and] horse-racing.” Not a bad list.
Samuel W. Bodman III — $200 million – $399 million
As Secretary of Energy, Bodman may well advocate conserving resources, but when it comes to money, he’s good to go. Interestingly, Bodman began life as a man of science, receiving his ScD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and for the next six years served as an associate professor of Chemical Engineering there. Later, he married scientific knowledge with business acumen, becoming chief operating officer of Fidelity Investments and later director of Cabot, the Boston-based global chemicals behemoth. Politically, Bodman has contributed to Republican causes.
Ken Brody sees the big picture where investments are concerned; as environmentalists advise, he thinks globally and acts locally. A milkman’s son, Brody originally had an engineering degree; his enrollment in the Harvard Business School changed his life, leading him to two decades at Goldman Sachs and a lifetime friendship with Bill Clinton. Brody is the co-founder of the investment firm Taconic Capital Advisors, LLC and the founding partner with Winslow Partners, a private investment firm. A chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. from 1993-1996, he established the Carolyn and Kenneth D. Brody Foundation in 1999, which supports the American Red Cross, St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, the Washington Tennis Foundation, and the University of Maryland Foundation.
Calvin Cafritz, Carter Cafritz, Conrad Cafritz
The Cafritz name has been a Washington fixture for almost a century, with Morris and Gwen Cafritz’s 1937 Foxhall Road mansion on epicenter of D.C. social life. Real estate was more than mortgages and refinancing in the Cafritzian heyday; it was empire building, i.e. laying out Union Station and exercising sway over the city’s eco-political mapping as well. More recent times have seen internecine legal warfare (Calvin, who was left in charge of the families generous philanthropic giving, was sued by his brothers over Mom’s estate), but “deep pockets” and “money bags” tells us the brothers have hundreds of millions in personal assets. Calvin carries on the tradition of community building through the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation.
Nicolas D. Chabraja
General Dynamics Corp. chairman and CEO. A lawyer-turned-businessman – he’s been a Jenner&Block partner and a special counsel to the House of Representatives — started at the company in 1993 as general counsel and vice president. Under his leadership, from 1997 to 2001, General Dynamics averaged a 19.2 percent annual return on equity, twice that of other defense contractors. In 2005, the company reported $21.2 billion in revenue, and when its stock rose in 2006, Chabraja earned a salary plus bonus of $4.3 million.
Catherine Mellon Conover
Once married to Senator John Warner, this reclusive granddaughter of legendary financier Andrew W. Mellon inherited a $100 million portfolio, which she’s reportedly turned into something more like $300 million. In the 1970s divorce settlement, former hubby Warner got some nice land for raising horses and $9 million. Conover, who prefers to use her mother’s maiden name, still has plenty of wherewithal to do things like endow the Pen/Faulkner fiction prize and remain active as the founder of Island Press, a small D.C.-based publisher of environmental works.
H. Laurence Culp, Jr.
With Danaher Corporation for 17 years, the 44-year-old exec has been its CEO for the last six. The marriage must be a happy one: his total compensation of $46.2 million in 2006 was the area’s highest. The bulky package breaks down into some nice chunks — $41 million in stock and options, another $5 million in salary, bonus and additional goodies like use of the corporate jet. Having doubled Danaher’s market value has paid off for the Harvard MBA: His 2006 compensation is but the tip of a financial iceberg that appears impervious to warming. Were he to sell his 2,268,000 vested options at present value he’d realize more than $100 million before taxes.
The founder and chief executive of Capital Source isn’t just on a fast track – he’s on a turbo track. He keeps his 300+ employees in the office – and on the job – by giving them a free lunch every day. Made Capital Source a success by servicing mid-size businesses ignored by banks.
Ronald Dozoretz is the founder of FHC Health Systems. Over the past decade, he and his wife Beth have contributed more than $1 million to political candidates. Beth is a devoted Democrat – she’s given heavily to both Bill and Hilary and recently hosted a fundraiser for Bill Richardson – but Ron takes care of business by contributing to both parties. The first female executive of Casual Corner and the first woman to serve as finance chair of the DNC, Beth, who sits on the V-Day Council, a movement to stop violence against women worldwide, is vice chair of the advisory board of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School.
When Rep. Jack Kemp decided against running for president in 1988, Fernandez, one of his interns, switched tracks and went into computers. In 1991, he started Proxicom with $40,000. Then, a chance meeting with Ted Leonsis on a commercial airplane led to an affiliation that helped Proxicom reach $200 million in revenue by the year 2000. Today, Fernandez is an owner of the Washington Capitals, the Washington Wizards and the Verizon Center. Remembering both his days on the Hill and his move to computers, Fernandez and wife Jean Marie, who co-founded the Fernandez Foundation, support the next generation of Capitol Hill interns looking for laptops and a lucky break.
Eric Billings and Emmanuel Friedman
Prior to starting FBR in 1989 with Eric Billings and Russell Ramsey, Friedman been a senior vice president at Johnson & Lemon and before that a retail broker at Legg Mason. A 2006 settlement over an insider trading case, personally cost him $1.3 million (and the firm $4.5) but he was not charged with any insider trading himself. Eric Billings still serves as the Chairman for the investment house and serves on host of local boards including the Boys and Girls Club. The Emmanuel Friedman Charitable Fund has given to Brooklyn College, among many other recipients.
C. Boyden Gray
An heir to a Reynolds Tobacco fortune, C. Boyden Gray has the posh resume that naturally precedes a career in politics and law; he clerked for Chief Justice Earl Warren for a term, joined the firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickery Hale and Dorr in 1969 and served as legal counsel for Vice President George Bush. He’s not just another suit, however; Gray’s got a pet pig named Penelope, a membership in the Federalist Society and now serves as ambassador to the European Union
Sidney and Jane Harman
Sidney serves as the president of Harman International Industries’ and financed Jane’s entry into the political arena. The couple last year gave $15million and turned their attention to the in-development Harman Center for the Arts which will combine the existing Shakespeare Theatre with the new Center to house the Shakespeare Theater Company.
Rodney P. Hunt
The classic teenage need for a little extra cash led 14-year-old Hunt to start a lawn cutting business in his hometown of Fort Washington. The grass business turned very green when Hunt expanded his operation to 70 clients in the first month, and $2 million in gross revenues over a four-year period. In 1992, he co-founded RSIS, which provides information technology, systems engineering, telecommunications, and scientific services and solutions. RSIS, which now supports 100 prime contracts with civilian and defense agencies of the federal government, is the 15th-largest African-American service company in the country, and the largest minority-owned contractor in the Washington, D.C. region.
William J. Inman
Americans have a few consistent dreams in common: family, health, happiness and — luckily for mortgage maestro Inman — a place to call home. Financing that last dream? Top-ten-listed company NVR Mortgage Finance, Inc., of which Inman is President, is more than happy to help. The company’s success is due in part to the clever coverage of both homebuilding and helping families buy already existing property, with a neat customer service manifesto of specifically aiding NVR-built home mortgages. In 2005, Inman received an incentive reward worth 84 percent of his already titanic base salary — looks like he’s one man who’s home free, mortgage regardless.
Almost everybody’s friend, Jemal dodged a major federal bullet this year. Here since 1966, when he was “The Wiz,” Jemal parlayed his small holdings into an empire that includes the old Woodies building. The restored mini-mall on Connecticut Avenue in Cleveland Park was a historic preservation first – and an ongoing financial success.
Democrat Kohl ranks first in wealth in the U.S. Senate. His catchphrase, “Nobody’s senator but yours,” implies his being above bribery and corruption — not a hard thing, in his case since he has somewhere between $219 and $234 million socked away. Kohl’s an Everyman — he’s served his country in the armed forces, is an avid sportsman (ahe owns the Milwaukee Bucks) and above all, is a nice Midwestern guy, albeit with a family empire built upon Kohl’s grocery and department stores.
Bruce Levenson and Ed Peskowitz
Bruce Levenson and Ed Peskowitz weren’t miners, but they did dabble in black gold; with backgrounds as oil jobbers, the duo entered the newsletter field. Then struck out on their own with the 1977 launch of United Communications Group from Bruce’s one-bedroom apartment. Guerilla-style tactics, such as slipping the newsletter under nearly 1,000 hotel doors at an oil conference, made UCG a powerhouse publisher, which today produces more than 160 publications and services in such fields as healthcare, funeral services, automotive, financial services, education, government, postal information, taxes, telecommunications, technology, and, of course, oil and energy. Levenson and Peskowitz, still fast friends, also now have nine separate companies, including the Wall Street favorite Tech-Target IT media company and a significant interest in the NBA Atlanta Hawks, NHL Atlanta Thrashers, and the arena in which both teams play.
Founder Thayer Capital Partners in the 1990s and chairman and CEO Thayer Hotel Investors (which owns and operates $2 billion worth of hotels in the U.S.) he was president of Marriott in the 1980s. A Republican who once co-owned the Texas Rangers with W, he remains close to the family. A 1999 profile in the Washingtonian put his net worth at $250 million. Malek was: deputy under secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare under Elliot Richardson; Special Assistant to President Nixon; and deputy director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.
As former CEO of Gannet, owner of the media monolith USA TODAY, McCorkindale was the first name on an important routing slip. Prior to heading Gannet, McCorkindale, practiced corporate, securities and banking law with Thacher, Proffitt and Wood in New York. The reach of this multifaceted man extends to directorship of the Associated Press, Continental Airlines and Lockheed Martin. An avid golfer, with a we-kid-you-not six handicap, McCorkindale is a member of the PGA Tour Equipment Advisory Committee.
Pittsburgh’s golden boy, banker Andrew W. Mellon, once the third richest man in the country after John D. Rockefeller and Henry Ford, raised his son Paul in grand style. Paul Mellon spent his childhood summers in the English countryside, where his lifelong love of British culture began. Second wife, Rachel “Bunny” Mellon and he had much to talk about. Now his widow, she remains devoted to British horticulture, having used her floral finesse in helping design the Rose Garden at the White House, among other things. Born a Lambert — and therefore heiress to the considerable Listerine fortune — Bunny continues to use her millions to support the arts and equestrian pursuits
People who don’t even own cars have heard of Ourisman Chevrolet. This isn’t a red-faced guy in plaid yelling on local access cable about super deal giveaways — this is the 34th largest dealer group in the nation. Accordingly, “Mandy” Ourisman is a fixture of the Washington social circuit, and accepts his status as one of the most-invited with equanimity; after all, “You always get your way at Ourisman Chevrolet,” as the famous jingle goes. The $200 million in satisfied driver dollars began as a single, humble dealership at 21st and H run by dad Benjamin Ourisman in the 1920s; a good start, but it was his son who put it into overdrive and the $500 million in revenue bracket.
Henry M. Paulson
Currently the Secretary of The Treasury, and the wealthiest member of the Cabinet, Paulson is a former chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs. Outdoors, he’s been chairman of the Nature Conservatory, and a member of The Peregrine Fund. The committed environmentalist has quietly donated $100 million (of his personal wealth) to Bobolink, Goldman Sachs philanthropy foundation to preserve and educate the Nation about the environment and educate about the environment. His passions are fishing and bird watching. Too bad he’s not running the EPA or the Department of the Interior.
A true success story, Raines, a janitor’s son from Seattle, graduated from Harvard College, Harvard Law School, and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. To accept the post as Bill Clinton’s budget director, he had to leave Fannie Mae, where he was chairman and CEO, but returned after his public service. He was one of the few African-Americans to head a Fortune 500 company. An SEC investigation may have tainted his record, but it hasn’t diminished his many accomplishments. And the company’s non-profit charitable organization is one of the biggest in the country.
Paul C. Saville
As far as Saville is concerned, locals can have their cake and eat it too; or, more appropriately, build their dream home and pay an affordable mortgage through the same company. Saville is CEO of NVR, Inc., which is engaged in the construction and sale of single-family homes and condominiums. NVR also operates a mortgage banking business. Founded in 1948, the company was originally tailor-made to suit the baby-boomer-makers of World War II, but today has expanded to serve 18 metropolitan areas in 11 states.
Albert G. Van Metre
Virginia may be for lovers, but its real estate market was decidely for sellers these past few years. No-one was as surprised — or as pleased, perhaps — as Van Metre Companies’ CEO Albert G. Van Metre, whose net worth rose by $70 million (to $250 mill) between the 2005-2006 year of boom and bloom alone. [“I’d] never seen anything like this, and I’ve been in business for 50 years,” he said, attributing the rise to the two-time’s-a-charm of record-low interest rates and soaring land values. Shopping, and particularly in the NoVa retail resort complexes strewn along the major arteries of transportation throughout the region, has never been more lucrative. Upon the 50th anniversary of his company, Van Metre Sr. donated over $600,000 to area charities, making the family-focused business — son and stepson both hold management positions — community-focused as well.
Mark R. Warner
Labeled a “New Democrat,” likely due to his Forward Together PAC chairmanship and support of moderate-conservative “Blue Dogs” of the donkey party. Whatever the specifics of his alliances and their relative animal names, Warner ran and won the race for governer in his home state of Virginia in 2001. He proved immensely popular, with an approval rating over 8o percent; gossip is that if that pesky no back-to-back term law was repealed, he’d be sitting in state as we speak. Warner’s a modern day Faustus in terms of uncanny runs of good luck — an early investor in Nextel, he cleared the $200 million mark with room to spare. A run for president in 2008 was allegedly turned down by this family man, who preferred to keep his brood of little Warners safe from the media machine. Interestingly enough, Warner remains staunchly against the same-sex marriage ban, having contributed $25,000 to the Commonwealth Coalition for that very issue.
Unlike most kids whose parents threw away their valuable Topps baseball card collections, Jeff Zients got rich in spite of it. His entrepreneurial savvy showed itself early on; rather than passively getting cards as a by-product of bubble gum, Zients would call dozens of garage sales each weekend to sleuth out the most valuable collections. It’s small wonder that while he turned his hand at building two innovative research and consulting firms, that went public in 1999 and 2001 with blockbuster offerings, his heart would return to America’s past-time.
Peter Ackerman Rockport
Peter Ackerman Rockport may be best known as a purveyor of semi-fancy men’s sandals, but when Peter Ackerman became managing director of Rockport Capital, Inc., affording nice footwear was no longer a major concern. This private investment firm provides Ackerman with the money needed to walk the walk, but his status as a scholar (he has a PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy) qualifies him to talk the talk. Ackerman’s sits on the board of Tufts, CARE and Freedom House, and he is a member of the U.S. Advisory Council of the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Business Advisory Council of the U.S. Olympic Committee.
The Carlyle Group — they’re all smarter and richer than you. This theme is continued with the legacy of Daniel A. D’aniello, who graduated from Harvard Business School (another Carlyle founding father theme) and went on to be a financial officer at Pepsico and TWA and then vice president for Finance and Development at Marriott Corporation. Obviously he’s got the chops to sit at the table with these brainy fellows as well as the business acumen.
Arthur W. (Nick) Arundel, Peter Arundel, John Arundel
Some tycoons collect baseball teams or wives. Not Nick Arundel – he collects newspapers. He’s the founder, chairman and publisher of Times Community Newspapers, an umbrella that keeps the rain off the Fauquier and Culpeper Citizen, plus 16 other papers in Northern Virginia. Nick turned the computerized presses over to son Peter two years ago and son John has restored a historic newspaper in Alexandria. Arundel supports the Nature Conservancy and created the Meadows Outdoors Foundation, home of the Virginia Gold Cup steeplechase races. The Foundation continues to support the preservation of open space at Great Meadow.
Chris Camalier and F. Davis Camalier
Fifth-generation Washingtonians Camaliers recently hitched their real estate star, represented by Washington Real Estate Partners, to the new developments on H Street, proving the family vision remains au courant. Long-time possessors of a prime 500-acre wedge of undeveloped land inside the Beltway, the Camaliers are notably chary of making hasty development decisions, yet another reason why they have retained their considerable personal fortune. Walter Johnson High School, Old Georgetown Road Center and the Marriot Suites all lease their holdings from these real estate major leaguers.
Betty Brown Casey
When it comes to trees, Betty Brown Casey and Dan Snyder are on opposite sides of the slope. The Casey Trees Endowment Fund, created with a $50 million gift in 2001, restores D.C. foliage to an even greener state. Being the first wife of New Deal Farm financier Eugene Casey may have been romantic, but being the last wife was lucrative because it meant being left $150 million. Betty Brown Casey avoids the limelight, perhaps indirectly a result of an unsolved and traumatic attempt on her life via car bomb in 1990. But she managed to surface to become – and remain ? Washington National Opera and its biggest benefactor to date.
A small-town boy from the Alleghany hills of PA, Davies enjoyed the rocket-fueled thrillride that was helming AOL in the mid nineties with friends Ted Leonsis and Len Leader. The latter introduced Davies to Venture Philanthropy Partners founder Mario Marino. Immediately taken with their mission to help underprivileged children in the District, Davies became a member of the board and the executive committee of VPP, which he considers “probably the most significant thing that has happened [to him] since leaving AOL.” He’s on the boards of the See Forever Foundation, the Maret School, and he serves on the board of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region. He is a minority partner in Lincoln Holdings which owns the Washington Capitals NHL hockey team and the Washington Mystics and is a minority owner of the Washington Wizards NBA basketball team and Verizon Center.
Donaldson, who founded Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette, has also served as CEO of New York Stock exchange; chairman, president, and CEO of Aetna; and is a former chairman of the SEC. Reportedly, he was a member of Skull and Bone’s and has deep ties with the Bush family. Other nest eggs in Donaldson’s basket include a pension from Aetna and the Stock Exchange and a 401K from Credit Suisse First Boston.
James Donahoe III
If you’ve stayed at an inn, parked at a Metro station, sent a child to an area school or a relative to a retirement community, you’ve probably been in – and admired — one of his projects. Like Cafritz, the name Donahoe is a top-drawer Washington brand in terms of history and high-rises. This District dynasty has been breaking ground here for four generations, and in the last two has developed more than 2.6 million square feet of commercial property. Donahoe recently branched into the residential realm in a $35 million dollar, 19-story apartment building at the Virginia Square Metro. Put your money on history repeating itself.
Louisa du Pont Duemling
Historically, du Pont played an explosive role in the brave new world dominated by gunpowder; today, the world’s second largest chemical company is better known for introducing consumers to a brave new waistline thanks to Lycra and Nylon. Given this grand legacy, the old Frenchman’s descendants have never lacked for anything, and Louisa du Pont Duemling is no exception. Robert Duemling, Louisa’s second husband, a military man and ambassador to Surinam before becoming the president of the National Building Museum, was a pretty expansive guy himself. Louisa still holds around 140,000 shares of DuPont stock and keeps busy with various foundation boards.
A leader in technology investments for Washington’s business-to-business set, Ein was an early investor in XM satellite radio, and recently purchased Kastle Systems International, the Washington area’s largest building and office security company. And when Venturehouse LLC, a venture capital firm, sold a tech company for $230 million in 2004, he famously bought (for $8 million) the home of the late Katharine Graham. Department of No Surprise: seen at the Sundance Film festival checking his blackberry on the ski-slopes. Ein has served on the trustee’s council of the National Gallery of the Arts, and his foundation supports causes such as Hoop Dreams and KEEN (Kid’s Enjoy Exercise Now).
The Gewirz Family: Bernard Gewirz, Carl Gewirz, Norma Gewirz Kline Tiefel
The family Gewirz, like the family von Trapp, is a band of talented players — but without the lederhosen and the yodeling. In the 1990s, their expansive but private real-estate empire took advantage of falling prices in distressed D.C. zones, grabbing prime property on K Street, N.W. Norma Kline Tiefel may be familiar to some as the widow of auto financier Jimmy Kline, whose personable ads moved plenty of metal back in their day. Bernard spends most of his time riding the waves with the other “swells” on his boat in Newport. Bernard’s sons, Steven and Michael are principals in Potomac Investment Properties.
Miles R. Gilburne
Steve Case’s “easy riding” partner was Miles Gilburne. (Come to think of it, Gilburne’s more like one of Ocean’s Eleven to Case’s Clooney.) Case’s crack team of senior managers included Gilburne, who became AOL’s vice-president for corporate development. Two quick turns on the stock market later and Gilburne was ready to retire. This may sound oversimplified, but it only takes simple math to figure that 750,000 shares sold at $104.58 will become $771 million. And that was just the first trade Gilburne made. Easy Rider” had morphed into “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”.
Gloria Haft, Robert Haft, Ronnie Haft, Linda Haft
The Hafts owned the Dart Group (a drug store chain), Crown Books, Trak Auto, Shoppers Food Warehouse and more; but what they didn’t own and, as it turned out, most needed was a good family counselor. The Hafts gave us Dynasty – minus the famous shooting – in D.C.: marital discord, filial infighting; and Shakespearian double-crosses. At its height, the drama almost matched the family fortune (near $500 million) – and Herbert Haft’s (who left all of his money to his wife he on his death bed) glorious pompadour, rivaled only by that of the late Jack Valenti. Reportedly, each parent and their three children ended up in possession of amounts between $30 and $40 million. We can’t wait for the E: True Hollywood Story.
The Hazel Family: John T. “Til” Hazel , Bill Hazel, Jack Hazel, Dick Hazel
Two original good old boys from Northern Virginia, Bill and Til Hazel were instrumental — perhaps elemental — in shaping Fairfax County into the bustling hub of industry it is today. Since the 1960s, the Hazel family’s major commercial developments (Tysons Corner, for example) have been legendary and far-reaching. The sheer number of companies under the Hazel crest is staggering: to name a few, there’s the Hazel Land Companies, Inc., the law firm of Hazel and Thomas (which merged with NoVa firm Reed Smith 1999), Hazel Peterson Development Company and William A, Hazel, Inc. Recognizing the business acumen and just plain chutzpah of the Hazels, George Mason University named a law school building after them. It should come as no surprise that in addition to his commercial endeavors, Hazel is also a founder of the Virginia Business-Higher Education Council, an organization promoting cooperation between industry and universities in Virginia. Til’s sons Jack and Dick are both involved in the family business in one capacity or another — be it real estate, law, real estate law, building, or what have you.
David C. Karlgaard
In 2005, when Karlgaard and his two partners sold PEC Solutions, the government services IT company they’d started 20 years earlier, to Nortel Networks for $449 million, he stayed on to help manage the company renamed Nortel Government Solutions. Today he remains part of the executive management team. Karlgaard also serves as a director of Arlington’s James Monroe Bancorp, and owns 4.4 percent of their stock (worth $3.8 million). He also has a small ownership in Argon ST Inc, Rising Edge Technologies, and is a board member of Northern Virginia Technology Council.
Robert C. Kettler
Third-generation builder extraordinaire Robert C. Kettler is all iced-out —naturally, $800 million or so can buy a lot of diamonds, but this guy’s got an ice rink named after him. A good friend of Ted Leonsis, who owns the Capitals, Kettler may or may not be a hockey fan; however, as he says, he’s a “Ted fan.” Kettler’s massive real estate empire is ranked among the top 15 multi-housing developers in the nation, and he’s the largest land developer in metropolitan Washington. The Kettler Capitals Iceplex is not a departure for Kettler — the erstwhile named KSI specializes in mixed-use projects, meaning that retail, commercial and industrial spaces co-exist in one structure. In 2007, Kettler announced his purchase of 19.6 acres in Pentagon City for approximately $220 million, giving him a long-term stake in one of D.C.’s most dynamic urban neighborhoods. Hope they like ice-hockey.
Anybody who has been to Bethesda recently — and who can remember the Bethesda of the mid-1990s — knows that big things have been happening to the once nondescript suburb. It’s almost a nightspot in its own right, with Jaleo, Aveda and foreign cinemas aplenty. Landow and Co. were key players in developing many of the area shops, restaurants and luxury condos. Landow has also been a major player in the Democratic Party; an erstwhile chairman of the Maryland D.P., he’s a staunch supporter of both Gore and Clinton, through thick and thin. The thin was most apparent during the scandal years of Clinton’s antic-filled residence at the White House, when Paula Jones’ attorneys accused Landow of trying to influence testimony in favor of the famous groper; he took the Fifth. He’ll be remembered with fondness if the Dems take the White House in 2008.
Donald and Kenneth de Laski
This father-son team doesn’t complain when the government goes over budget — their Deltek Systems Inc has been providing enterprise resource planning software to Uncle Sam since 1983. In 2005, Kenneth de Laski stepped down as Deltek’s CEO to become chairman of the board. With a posted revenue of $150 million in 2005, Deltek looked mighty appetizing to New Mountain Capital Partners, a private equity firm in New York. They purchased 75 percent of the shares in April 2005, which leaves father and son with approximately $100 million and a permanent place on the short list of enterprising and resourceful businessmen.
Another team player for winning team The Carlyle Group, Mathias is managing director — we assume that’s kind of like being shortstop. It’s a veritable think-tank over at the Group; Mathias is no slouch when it comes to money-making. In fact, he raised the initial capital for Carlyle, and continues to use his natural batting power as venture capitalist with the Investment Committees for Carlyle Venture Partners, Carlyle Europe Venture Partners and Carlyle Asia Venture Partners. Forget shortstop — Matthias is obviously playing for the Globetrotters.
Bill Melton’s background in Asian studies led to a manufacturing base for the telecommunications enterprises he started, including Verifone, the point-of-sale credit verification terminals used in most businesses today. He’s a silent partner and/or on the board of more than a dozen companies, and he is devoted to the furthering international relations. He and wife Patricia’s PEACE X PEACE Global Network, which connects women in the U.S. with women in Muslim nations, is one of many ventures the couple have in common. Technology and philanthropy have rarely been paired so well; Bill says that the family priority is “the creation of a global village.” It takes a family to inspire family values.
Long-time D.C. developer and shopping mall magnate, Herb Miller epitomizes the word “player”. He’s also helped bring baseball back to D.C. Co-developed the prestigious Shops at Georgetown Park in the 19802, sold it, and his 2006 attempt to buy it back landed in a court battle.
Anyone petrified of the eventual antibiotic-resistant staphylococcus that will end the world should give thanks to MedImmune and David Mott. In fact, the bio-tech company is responsible for FluMist, the annual savior of countless old folks and young’uns who otherwise be bedridden with the bug. Mott became CEO in 2000, and by 2006 the company reported $1.3 billion in revenue. The pending sale to the Brits would make Mott’s 6.2 million shares worth more than $359 million and would catapult the former to the status of 8th most valuable biotech firm in the nation. Mott gives substantially to Dartmouth via the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network.
Northern Virginia developer Peterson, whose pet projects are homes and hotels along the Potomac, has already put $100 million into the region. National Harbor, his $2 billion Prince George’s County complex development, which he calls “a marathon,” is expected to be finished by early 2008. The project’s anchor will be the $565 million Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center, a 1,500 room hotel with enough meeting and exhibit space to cover seven football fields. Hopefully, Peterson will fare better with National Harbor than he did with Jerry Kilgore’s presidential campaign, in which he took a $60,000 bath.
W. Russell Ramsey
Named one of the top four “people to see” in the Washington financial community by Newsweek, Ramsey was also a “baller” early in life, when he was sent to George Washington University on a baseball scholarship. His $300 million fortune started gaining capital early on, as Ramsey co-founded Friedman, Billings and Ramsey LLC 20 years ago — and he’s only 46 today. Ramsey’s another NoVa real estate king, and he also shares common interests with Mark Warner; he was on the former governor’s PAC campaign to help elect Democrats nationally. Having resigned from the LLC in 2001, Ramsey currently is chairman and CEO of Ramsey Asset Management LLC — like so many of his millionaire pals, having made the money, he now focuses on managing the ducats of other dukes of fortune. Completing the made-man mold, Ramsey’s level of activity in charity work is staggeringly high — he’s a partner in music legend Quincy Jones’ “Rocking the Corps,” a staunch supporter of Big Brother/Big Sister, and participates tirelessly in Make-a-Wish, School Night and Fight for the Children foundations. He’s a team player on and off the diamond.
John D Rockefeller IV
Jay may be a Rockefeller ? his great-grandfather was John D. ? but these days that doesn’t even make him the richest man in the Senate. He ranks third behind John Kerry and Herb Kohl. Like most of the philanthropists in his extended family, he prefers to give quietly. In 2001 he donated $15 million to West Virginia University.
Rumsfeld served as both the 13th and the 21st Secretary of Defense. His latter tenure encompassed the attacks of 9/11 and the war in Iraq. The former Navy pilot has also served as White House Chief of Staff, U.S. Ambassador to NATO, U.S. Congressman, and chief executive officer of two Fortune 500 companies. Rumsfeld’s civic activities in the private sector included service as a member of the National Academy of Public Administration and a member of the boards of trustees of the Gerald R. Ford Foundation, the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and the National Park Foundation, and as Chairman of the Eisenhower Exchange Fellowships, Inc. Rumsfeld was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, in 1977.
John W. Snow
The former Sec. of Treasury recently landed in the news big-time when the group he heads, Cerberus Capital Management, bought Chrysler from Daimler. Before coming to Treasury, Snow was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CSX Corporation, where he successfully remolded the global transportation company. During Snow’s twenty years at CSX, he led the Corporation to refocus on its core railroad business, dramatically reduce injuries and train accidents, and improve its financial performance. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the Johns Hopkins University and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, and has been a member of the Business Roundtable; the Executive Committee of The Business Council; the Virginia Business Council; and the National Coal Council.
$50 – $100 MILLION
Jim Abdo is a risk taker. Redeveloping H Street N.W., which has fallen into disrepair in the last decades, wouldn’t be an easy task for an ordinary mortal, but Abdo took it on with aplomb. His 25 plus years of experience in all aspects of design and building notwithstanding, Abdo’s heart lies in community improvement. He may be the ultimate local player when it comes to restoring the heart of the District. He serves on numerous boards, including the DC Preservation League, the DC Building Industry Association and the Arena Stage Theatre. He’s also spearheading the construction of the National Children’s Museum in L’Enfant Plaza.
Hamlet famously says that something is rotten in the state of Denmark; that might have been because Stuart Bernstein wasn’t there to take the helm. A former ambassador to the Danish kingdom, Bernstein has been a recognized leader in real estate development for four decades. His ties to Denmark have led to many other Scnadinavian ventures; he serves on the boards of two Danish corporations and on the Board of the American-Scandinavian Foundation. When he’s not busy bridging cultural gaps, Bernstein teaches others to do the same, conducting ambassadorial seminars through the US Department of State for eager internationalists in the District. He and wife Wilma give generously to charity and are deeply involved with the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts and the GOP.
Prior to becoming managing general partner of Updata Partners (and Managing Director of Updata Capital, Inc) the growth stage technology venture firm that manages over $400 million, Burton had major roles in several other tech industry companies. He was CEO and CEO of Legent, and was cofounder of Business Software Technology. At Legent, Burton oversaw a jump in revenue from $126 million to more than $500 million.
Son of a president, brother of a president and a potential president, and (who knows?) maybe a president himself some day, Marvin Bush is a venture capitalist who’s carried water for all of the above. Co-Founder and Managing Partner at the investment firm Winston Capital Management, Bush has portfolio manager duties at Winston. He was a director of Securacom, a publicly traded company backed by the Kuwait-American Corporation, from 1993-2000.
Gerald Cassidy doesn’t shy away from the tough cases. As co-founder and CEO of Cassidy and Associates, he’s polished the image of Equatorial Guinea’s controversial President Teodoro Obiang and worked for tobacco impresario Phillip Morris. He’s also worked for the little guys, having gotten his start addressing the needs of migrant farm workers in southern Florida. His bread and butter was the pioneering of congressional earmarks used to obtain grants for university clients. A prominent political lobbyist, Cassidy’s firm was hired by General Dynamics Corp. in 1992 to save project Seawolf Submarine, which was in danger of being squashed by the Pentagon after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Connecticut congressional delegation, supported by an elaborate lobbying campaign organized by Cassidy, succeeded in reversing a decision by president George H.W. Bush to kill the sub. Cassidy, like the men of Das Boot, prefers to lie below the surface where charity’s involved; he gives deep, but prefers to do so without ostentatious public notice.
Rumored to be sponsored by the Vatican when he left Milan for western shores, the then-29 year old Cecchi’s mission was of a more secular — and spectacular — nature. The year was 1960, and Cecchi was working on infamous historical landmark The Watergate. Fast forward to 1975, when he leveraged this success into his own company with co-founder and friend Mike Erkiletian. Appropriately named International Developers, as he started it with a group of Swiss and Italian investors, ID Group Cos. was a smashing success —they developed Techworld Plaza in Washington, Carlyle Towers in Alexandria, the Renaissance Washington and Arlington Renaissance hotels, the Vista International Hotel and the Wyndham Washington Hotel on M Street, among others. Described as generous and kind-hearted by friends, this forty-year real estate veteran is a member of the Board of Trustees for the National Children’s Museum. We can only assume that his recent work on the lucrative Lansdowne’s Leisure World franchise would please the Lord, who created that famous day of rest and inspired leisure at large.
In medieval times, the scholarly life was a monastic one, meaning that there was very little in the way of perks for a Thomas More or an Abelard. Today, the U.S. Government actually pays people to think — Carlucci, having been born in the correct century for a scholar to get paid, is both a killer intellect and on the wealth list. He’s a member of RAND, the War on Terror’s metaphorical brain, and was Defense Secretary during the 9/11 attacks. Carlucci’s long and storied career with Uncle Sam started in 1956, when he became a foreign service officer, leading to positions as Deputy Secretary of Defense and the CIA among others. As Chairman Emeritus of the Carlyle Group and the American Academy of Diplomacy, Carlucci’s a businessman with brains to spare.
When Chris Clemente made the decision to take his commercial real estate and homebuilding company Comstock public in 2004, he’d weighed the matter thoroughly. He and partner Bruce Labovitz toured 22 cities and over 100 meetings in an 11-day whirlwind of planes, trains and automobiles in support of what they hoped would be the first home builder IPO in nearly three years. Founded in 1985, Comstock’s strength was in its niche marketing potential and in Clemente’s relentless drive to succeed. It’s paid off, obviously, Comstock Homebuilding Companies Incorporated was recently named by the Washington Business Journal as one of the region’s fastest growing companies.
Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton
As the former President said in My Life, at the time of his election he had the smallest net worth of any president in U.S. history, but since then both he and his wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, have done very nicely, thank you. In February, The Washington Post reported he had made between 6 to 10 million in 2006, and nearly $40 million in speaking fees since leaving office. The Senator, who received an $8 million advance from Simon & Schuster for her autobiography, Living History, which is still earning royalties, is said to be worth $10-50 million, which, according to opensecrets.net, put her 14th among senators in 2005.
Bill Conway has the credentials in spades. A graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, it’s no surprise that this level of education would lead to smart career choices — and, in the new age of cellular communications, nothing’s hotter than being Chairman of Nextel, CFO of MCI and Co-Lead Independent Director of the Board of Directors of Sprint-Nextel. He’s been all three. Prior to being king of cell phones, Conway served the First National Bank of Chicago in various capacities and founded The Carlyle Group, a global private equities firm.
Bill Dean is President and CEO of MC Dean, a company that designs, installs, and integrates complex power, electronics, homeland security and telecommunications systems. MC Dean has grown three-fold, to 1200 employees, in the last seven years. Last year the firm announced it was opening a new facility in Caroline County, Virginia that would add yet another 100 jobs.
Reading is fundamental. And no-one’s encouraging it with bigger figures than real estate tycoon Al Dwoksin. CEO of A.J. Dwoskin and Associates, Dwoskin donated close to 70,000 to the Fairfax County Public Library Foundation in support of the New Century Library Fund endowment. “My wife and I are extensive library users,” Dwoskin explains. “My wife worked during high school at the library out in Centreville.” It’s part of a pattern for the bookish Dwoskin, whose retail complex in Alexandria contains a “public set-aside” for The Kingstowne Library. Dwoskin also offers teachers in the Fairfax County Public School System a discounted rate on rental properties — obviously he’s committed to making a difference in the field of education. Head of his company since its founding in 1967, Dwoskin’s portfolio includes 18 shopping centers, 1.4 million square feet of retail space and 9 multi-family apartment communities with 1,843 units, all spread out in the northern Virginia area. In addition to literacy, Dwoskin’s pet project is donating thousands to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee: nearly $250,000 all told in soft money donations.
Farouki, is a Jordanian-American who founded Nour, a collaborative “arrangement” involving a Farouki family company, HAIFinance Corp., and a Jordanian venture called the Munir Sukhtian Group.inton administration. In 2004, it shared in a big contract for work in Iraq, which surprised no one as Farouki is a pal of Ahmed Chalabi’s. Huda and wife Samia are A-list celebs in the D.C. area and frequently attended White House affairs during the Clinton administration.
Dorette Fleischmann, Joan Fleischmann Tobin
Before margarine, Americans had limited choices as to what to spread in the nooks and crannies of their various breakfast bread products. Enter margarine, enter the Fleischmanns, also bearing gin, molasses, vodka, yeast and various other ingredients thought necessary for a wholesome diet in the last century. Granddaughters, Joan Fleischmann Tobin and Dorette Fleischmann, are grande dames of the Washington social circuit. Joan chairs the Folger Shakespeare Library’s annual benefits and founded now-defunct Washington Woman, in between running Tobin Enterprises (venture capital) and Tobin International (importing). It’s an artistic little circle; Joan’s husband, Maurice Tobin, helped restore the National Theatre. Dorette keeps a low profile, but she spreads the margarine money in various nooks and crannies of charitable causes.
In his nearly quarter century stay with Allied Capital, Gladstone held a number of positions — Chairman, CEO, When you’re with the largest group of publicly-traded mezzanine debt funds, they’re all VIP posts; you know you’re in the money when Riggs Bank hires you as a director. Gladstone is also a champion of women in business; he’s a past member of the Advisory Committee to the Women’s Growth Capital Fund, a venture capital firm that finances women-owned small businesses. Concern for his fellow woman –and men — led to his publishing of two books on financing for medium to small businesses, thus disproving the old adage those who can’t do, teach. Gladstone, a Harvard Business School graduate, seems to have missed that particular lecture. Not content to financially advise the needy, Gladstone gives generously to feed and heal them as well; he’s involved with the Capital Area Food Bank and Sibley Hospital among other charities.
Mike Glosserman is the managing partner at Bethesda-based JBG enterprises, which includes millions of square feet of office, residential, hotel, and retail projects. He has been a key player in development since its inception in 1960. Glosserman began his career as a staff attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, shortly thereafter moving into commercial real estate and development with The Rouse Company, then joining JBG in 1979. In his spare time, he’s involved with myriad boards and institutions, including the National Building Museum, where he is a trustee and Treasurer.
Richard Hanlon is in that lucky club of clued-in AOL founders from the mid-nineties. His is an interesting life filled with travel and …poetry? It’s true — Hanlon, who grew up in the West Indies and Hong Kong, first gained recognition by winning a poetry prize at the University of London. He used the resulting job at The Economist to jump-start a lifestyle beyond most people’s wildest dreams. He currently works with Venture Philanthropy Partners, most notably with Heads Up! And Michael’s. The Hanlon Foundation will train firefighters in Trinidad and Tobago, where Hanlon’s dad once built fire stations in the 1950s.
Alexander M. Haig, Jr.
Haig’s a political animal — most famously serving as U.S. Secretary of State under Reagan (who can forget “I am in control” after the 1981 assassination attempt) – but he’s also seen many fronts of battle (Korea and Vietnam, where he received the Distinguished Service Cross) and been a NATO commander. Rather than retire in glory to the pages of military textbooks, Haig Jr. began his second career as consultant extraordinaire for a range of top-shelf corporations: Chase Manhattan Bank, United Technologies, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Amway and most lucratively, AOL. Haig supplied a booster shot for the then-struggling startup in 1989, and, as a result, “AOL has made him a very rich man,” says aol-cofounder James Kimsey. A West Point man, Haig uses his rigorous training to perform risky, and sometimes downright kooky, ventures with minimal casualties, like airline video gambling, prison labor and dirigible-provided phone service.
The CEO of Diogene, the making-a-real-name-for-itself biotech company in Germantown. Diogene focuses on developing genetic tests, and has already brought to market a test that can help women determine if they are at risk of developing cervical cancer. Jones gave the firm the best ten years of its life before retiring last year.
Washington Still in the U.S. Senate after 43 years, the last remaining son of Joe Kennedy remains a liberal lion, ready and able to fight the good fight. His later years have been relatively uneventful (compared to his youth) and the Senator continues to serve his state, his party, and his country. According to his Senate website, the one-time Harvard end almost became a Green Bay Packer, but opted for “another contact sport, politics”. May not have followed brother Jack into the White House, but he is president of the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation, which gives $2 million a year.
The Kay fortune was built by and for vets returning from WWII, anxious to marry and feather a nest with little chicks (now known as Boomers) in the peace and home-sweet-home of post-war America, And what better place to do so but in a Kay bungalow? Not only were Abe and Jack building houses for those returning G.I.s, they were heavily involved in the relocation of Jews from Cyprus to Palestine with the aid of refurbished freighter Exodus. This passion for Judaica — and the improvement of the lives of Jewish people — led to Jack Kay’s establishment of a hospice in Jerusalem (Hadassah Hospital) and a donation of $1.5 million to Israeli Studies at the University of Maryland.
Mark Kingdon used his time at Century Capital wisely, starting his own company — Kingdon Capital — in 1983 with the knowledge culled from his experience. He’s already received a lifetime achievement award (and was the first ever, in 2003) from Institutional Investor/Alternative Investment News. Once one has achieved their lifetime goals, it seems logical to spread the wealth around — Kingdon does just this, serving as a member of the Columbia College Board of Visitors, the boards of the Harlem Children’s Zone, the New York City Police Foundation and the Academy of Political Science. In 1998, he endowed the C. Lowell Harriss Professorship of Economics in honor of his undergraduate teacher and mentor.
Lanier is a romantic figure; an Austrian by birth, he brings European flair to his design and redevelopment work in the district. Considered by many to be a visionary, Lanier plans to redevelop Georgetown and change the shape of our fair city into something even more pleasing. He may describe himself modestly as a “bean counter,” but his world view is substantially broader; Lanier plans to change run-down buildings into magnets for big-spending shoppers, introduce European-inspired Main Street retail and transform Georgetown into, in his words, an “urban village.” Involved already with nearly 50 buildings, Lanier’s company, EastBanc Inc., is currently working on two big mixed-use projects with revenues in the $400 million range, mostly thanks to patient European (German, more specifically) investors.
Anybody who has been down to Bethesda recently — and who can remember the Bethesda of the mid-1990s — knows that big things have been happening to the once nondescript little town. It’s almost a nightspot in its own right, with Jaleo, Aveda and foreign cinemas aplenty. Landow and Co. were key players in developing many of the area shops, restaurants and luxury condos. Mainly, though, Landow has been a major developer for the Democratic Party; an erstwhile chairman of the Maryland D.P., he’s a staunch supporter of both Gore and Clinton, through thick and thin. The thin was most apparent during the scandal years of Clinton’s antic-filled stay at the White House, when Paula Jones’ attorneys accused Landow of trying to influence testimony in favor of the famous groper; he took the Fifth. He’ll be remembered with fondness if the Dems take the White House in 2008.
The co-founder of Valhalla Partners (2002), Art Marks is a tech company and venture capital hall-of-famer in the Mid-Atlantic region. With 30 season under his belt, he’s been with New Enterprise Associates, where he created its technology practice and was directly involved in more than 60 portfolio company investments. Art’s present company responsibilities include BDMetrics, NHC Systems, Register.com, SafeNet, and Trilogy, Inc. He is the current Chairman Emeritus and former Chairman and President of the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association (MAVA).
When Roger Mody sold Signal Corp to Veridian for $227 million in 2002, his story was the stuff of which dreams, and movies, are made. A company that began with three employees doing commercial publishing had morphed into a technology service giant with 1,600 employees, 60 offices, and $300 million a year in revenue. Having worked since the age of 12, Mody, an Indian, decided to stop working and start giving. His foundation supports the American Heart Association, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Youths of Tomorrow, and the 2005 Sneaker Ball, which he chaired. Last year his charitable contributions topped $200,000. Having recently sold one 30,000 square foot mansion, he’s now building another one in an area real estate folks call McLean’s Gold Coast.
It’s impossible to sum up the political career of Colin Powell in a few words — he’s been the first African-American, well, almost everything in the government. When Powell left his post as Secretary of State, his business career began fast-tracking as well. In 2005, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, perhaps Silicon Valley’s most famous venture firm, announced that the former four-star general would be joining the firm as a part-time partner. He also invested in the Fred Malek – Jeffrey Zients group’s 2005 bid to buy the Nationals — apparently Powell is set to cut as large a figure on the sea of commerce as he did guiding the ship of state.
Otto Ruesch (who died of pancreatic cancer in 2004, tragically) and wife Jeanne Ruesch were best known as philanthropists, particularily where the arts and religion were concerned. They gave heavily to the Corcoran — where Jeanne Ruesch is chairman of the board of trustees — and The Kennedy Center, Washington Performing Arts Society, the Washington Jesuit Academy, Gonzaga College High School — where the Ruesch brood went — and the Woodstock Center at Georgetown University. The Ruesches were named Founders of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus for their ceaseless support of Jesuit institutions in the D.C. area. The husband and wife team were also co-CEOs of Ruesch International, a firm specializing in financial transaction services across country lines. Managing more than $10 billion of these per annum, Ruesch Intl. may be snapped up by Travelex’s foreign exchange division in 2007 for a purported $440 billion, which would make Jeanne Ruesch able to rebuild the entire Corcoran in the style of her choosing, should she so choose.
Timothy John Russert, Jr.
NBC’s Washington bureau chief, the law-trained Russert is one of the handful of most recognizable journalists on television. The Buffalo native hosts Meet the Press on Sunday mornings and co-hosts election night coverage. Rusert’s 2004 bestseller, BIG RUSS AND ME, honored his father and his Irish-Catholic upbringing.
Prior to taking the reins at real-estate firm Randall Hagner, Sargent was Vice President and Director of Marketing for Freedom Federal Savings in Massachusetts, a $500 million dollar institution. He’s also the Chairman of Capital Express Group, Ltd. The 103 year old firm Randall Hagner was purchased in January of this year by J Street development head Bruce Baschuk, a former CEO of the Cafritz Co. That’s the end of a three-generation family legacy of Sargents in command. He finds plenty of time to do good deeds as the Chairman of the Washington Hospital Center; he’s also on the Historic Site Board for local treasure Decatur House.
Peter “N. G.” Schwartz
Schwartz holds up his end as being a real estate giant and now he’s bolstering up Washington’s East End. One Judiciary Square, developed by the Peter N.G. Schwartz Companies, is one in a chain of local landmarks under his belt. Schwartz prefers to fly under the radar, however, letting his eponymous foundation do the talking. The Georgetown Center for Liturgy counts him on its board of advisors, and while he’s not helping the church, Schwartz helps children. The Peter N.G. Schwartz Foundation implements values programs in elementary schools and donates funds to underprivileged college-bound students, and the International Child Art Foundation has Schwartz to thank for all those refrigerator drawings — he’s on the executive board.
Paradigm Development, Sloter’s baby, is a full-service real estate development, construction and property management firm with operations throughout the mid-Atlantic region. With two kids of his own, Sloter’s pet causes are naturally for the advancement of youth services. He’s chairman of the local board of KidsPeace National Center for Kids in Crisis and a board member for the Washington Center and the Harbor School. Like so many of these real estate tycoons, Sloter works to help everyone afford his homes, specifically as a member of the Arlington Housing Commission and District of Columbia Comprehensive Housing Strategy Task Force.
It’s one thing to make money, it’s another to manage it wisely. Those in the know turn to the CEO of Robert E. Torray Companies, an independent money management firm based in Bethesda. Torray and wife Nancy keep the cash local when paying it forward; recently, the Torrays committed to an annual scholarship at Montgomery College to support ten full-time students annually. Torray is passionate about high-quality, equal-opportunity education. He also pledged a stunning one million dollars to the D.C. Central Kitchen, a nonprofit that feeds needy and homeless familes in the District. Avid music lovers, the Torrays sponsor the Torray Symphony Series, which unites the Pittsburgh Symphony and the West Virginia College of the Creative Arts.
President of the Vradenburg Foundation, until December 2003, the Harvard Law grad was Strategic Advisor for AOL Time Warner. Mr. Vradenburg joined America Online as Senior Vice President and General Counsel in early 1997 and in 1999 was named Senior Vice President for Global and Strategic Policy. In January 2001, Mr. Vradenburg was named Executive Vice President for Global and Strategic Policy for AOL Time Warner. Before joining AOL, Vradenburg served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of CBS, Inc., and as Executive Vice President of Fox, Inc. He also served as a Senior Partner in the Los Angeles office of Latham & Watkins and as co-chair of its Entertainment & Media Practice Group. Established a foundation in the name of his late mother, Bee, that gave $5 million to aid the arts in Colorado Springs, CO.
The Zirkins are heavily involved in civil rights activism, with Nancy focusing on women’s rights. She’s been Director of Public Policy for the American Association of University Women and has been fighting the good fight since 1971 when she worked on the Muskie campaign. Harold Zirkin’s an investment lawyer in Bethesda.