By City & State
Even if you’ve never been to Long Island, you’ve probably heard of the Hamptons, a summer sanctuary for the rich and the well-connected. You may know that plenty of New York City families moved to Long Island a generation or two ago, when they had the money to afford it. And you might recall that Billy Joel was raised there too.
But there’s a lot more to Long Island than that.
Nassau and Suffolk counties boast world-class research facilities, nationally known academic institutions and top-notch companies. The region is home to plenty of entrepreneurs, business founders, real estate developers, consultants, communications executives and more. And while it has a reputation for being white and wealthy, it is also destination for immigrants and is more diverse than many realize.
In this special list, we took a closer look at these Long Island leaders to identify who the real movers and shakers are in driving the agenda in the region – and the state as a whole. Since we cover politicians on a day-to-day basis, we limited this list to those who are not strictly in government but instead influence it from the outside.
We partnered on this project with Jennifer Solomon, a Long Island communications professional. Solomon reached out to insiders and experts to compile this list, ranking each person based on their accomplishments, sway in political and policy matters, economic clout, philanthropic efforts, ties to powerful politicians and the constituencies they represent.
It’s worth noting that many of the people on this list are white and male – an imbalance that simply reflects reality as best as we could tell. We sought to balance that by presenting an additional – and more diverse – list of younger Long Islanders on the rise.
Without further ado, we’re pleased to present the Long Island Power 50.
1. Scott Rechler
Chairman and CEO, RXR Realty LLC
As a leading real estate developer in New York state, with over 500,000 square feet in development on Long Island (as of the last quarter of 2017), Scott Rechler has spent his career building up the region. Now, in addition to running RXR Realty, Rechler’s position on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board and his role as chairman of the Regional Plan Association have positioned him to effect meaningful (although occasionally resisted) change for residents across Nassau and Suffolk counties. Rechler is “in the room where it happens” when it comes to Long Island’s most urgent and contentious issues: enhanced connectivity to New York City, transit-oriented development, downtown revitalization, affordable housing and sustainability. A Long Island native, Rechler has been characterized as a problem-solver. His ability to make allies of elected officials has elevated his influence behind the scenes and amplified it in the public sphere. If his “roll up your sleeves” attitude toward economic development and regional sustainability is contagious, Long Island could be headed toward a brighter future.
Click here to see the rest of the Long Island Power 50.
The RXR platform manages 61 commercial real estate properties and investments with an aggregate gross asset value of approximately $18.5 billion, comprising approximately 24.4 million square feet of commercial properties, inclusive of a multi-family residential portfolio of approximately 2,600 units under operation or development, and control of development rights for an additional approximately 3,700 multi-family and for sale units in the New York Metropolitan area. Gross asset value compiled by RXR Realty in accordance with company fair value measurement policy and is comprised of capital invested by RXR and its partners, as well as leverage.