The 2009 Power 100

by Editorial


Don and Megan Beyer
Owners, Don Beyer Volvo
Driven: Among the earliest supporters of Obama’s campaign, both Beyers served on the finance committee, and Don was an influential member of the Transition Team. Next Turn: Rumors circulate that Beyer has been tapped to be the next ambassador to Sweden.

Steve and Jean Case
Chairman, Revolution LLC; Chairwoman, The Case Foundation (respectively)
Healthy Optimism: After expanding his portfolio to include health and finance companies, the AOL-co-founder raised almost $50 million in capital last month for a company that will compete with PayPal. Sweet Success: Case owns nearly half of the Maui Land & Pineapple Co., where the trademarked “Maui Gold” variety is grown on tens of thousands of acres in Hawaii.

Wesley Combs and Bob Witeck
President and CEO, Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc. (respectively)
Dynamic Duo: Combs and Witeck founded one of the area’s most innovative marketing firms; clients today include American Airlines, Ford, and IBM. AHA! Moment: Their co-authored book, Business Inside Out was the first to identify gay consumers as a unique sector of the economy, and it remains the gold standard on marketing to the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.

James A. Johnson
Vice Chairman, Perseus, LLC
Many Hats: From Fannie Mae and Brookings to the Kennedy Center and Democratic campaigns, Johnson has been wielding power in diverse sectors for decades. Lower Profile: A role in Obama’s vice-presidential vetting process ended abruptly after it was reported that Johnson procured $7 million in loans from now-defunct Countrywide Financial Corp.

Sheila Johnson
CEO, Salamander Hospitality; Majority Owner, Washington Mystics
Diversified: The first black female billionaire in America continues to expand her empire, which includes stakes in three professional sports franchises, a resort in Middleburg (Salamander Farms), a resort in Florida (Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club) and producer credits on two films. Good Bet: An early and ardent Obama supporter, Johnson served on the campaign’s Women’s Committee and traveled the country raising money for the candidate.

Vernon and Ann Jordan
Senior Managing Director, Lazard Freres & Co. LLC
The Word: One of Washington’s best-known lawyers and power brokers, Jordan’s collected speeches, titled “Make It Plain: Standing Up and Speaking Out,” were published in 2008. Family Ties: One of the most connected women in Washington, Ann Jordan is White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett’s cousin.

Ted Leonsis
Founder, Lincoln Holdings LLC; Majority Owner, Washington Capitals
Act II: The renaissance man has moved on, from AOL exec to professional sports team owner, philanthropist and film producer. His documentaries, “Nanking” and “Kicking It” both made it to Sundance. Icing on the Cake: Leonsis’ NHL Capitals boast the league’s MVP, Alex Ovechkin, and recently advanced to the Eastern Conference finals.

J.W. (Bill) Marriott Jr.
Chairman and CEO, Marriott International
Travel Advisory: The hotel baron has been outspoken recently about the vilification of business-related travel and events, and the loss of nearly 200,000 jobs in the industry last year. Recession?: Though Marriott International reported a $23 million loss in the first quarter of 2009, the company plans to build over 30,000 rooms this year.

Abe Pollin
Chairman and CEO, Washington Sports and Entertainment
Legacy: Pollin’s dedication to the community is reflected all over the city; this winter, take a stroll down Abe Pollin Way NW on Abe Pollin Day (December 3rd). A New Era: Following a tough season for his NBA Wizards franchise (19-63), Pollin has hired Flip Saunders as the new head coach, reportedly saying only four words to him: “don’t let us down.”

David Rubenstein
Co-founder, The Carlyle Group
Making Waves: The king of corporate takeovers is making rare appearances on the press circuit these days to discuss buyout mistakes and economic recovery. On Display: Two of Rubenstein’s prized possessions: a signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation (at the American History Museum), and a copy of the Magna Carta (at the National Archives).

Daniel Snyder
Owner, Washington Redskins; Chairman, Six Flags
TouchDown: With one of the highest-grossing football teams in the NFL, the pressure is on Snyder (and head coach Jim Zorn) to take the Redskins all the way. Roller Coaster: Football aside, Snyder has his plate full – literally – as owner of the popular restaurant chain Johnny Rockets and board chairman of Six Flags, the world’s largest amusement park operator.

Michael Sonnenreich
Chairman and CEO, Kikaku America International
Artist at Heart: This former president of the Washington National Opera and pharmaceutical company player knows his way around a guitar fret board, and remains a constant on the city’s arts scene. Doubt: While a member of President Nixon’s National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, Sonnenreich was an early skeptic of the “war on drugs,” predicting that it would be unwinnable and alienate young people.

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