When the NJBIZ staff established the 2020 editorial calendar and scheduled this list for this week, COVID-19 was still something happening somewhere far away. It was only just a few months ago, but it seems like ages. This issue of NJBIZ is the second that writers and editors have assembled while working remotely in compliance with mandates to stay away from offices in an effort to “flatten the curve” and control the outbreak. COVID-19 is now something happening right here, right now.
That fact makes this Power 50 roster especially relevant. Readers will notice that hospital leaders are heavily represented – and with good reason. They are on the front lines of the fight against the disease. The decisions they make – on deploying resources, managing the crisis and maintaining staff morale – will go a long way toward determining how quickly New Jersey recovers. After all, a healthy workforce is essential for businesses to get back to full capacity and rekindle economic growth.
The challenges they face are unprecedented. “This is unique,” Barry Ostrowsky, the CEO of
RWJBarnabas Health, told NJBIZ just before this issue was published and while he and others were still trying to assess the magnitude of what is coming. “None of us in our careers and our lives have ever seen anything like this.”
With no models to rely on, confronting the outbreak will require imagination and critical thinking across sectors. So all of the leaders listed here will play critical roles during and after the crisis. As government officials at all levels have repeatedly made clear, the state and the nation will get through this pandemic by working together. Public health experts, business owners, corporate executives, educators and legal and financial advisers will be called upon to keep society functioning and provide crucial guidance to institutions and individuals.
New Jerseyans can be confident the folks listed here will bring their intelligence, talents and energy to bear the crisis. Not everything they try will work, but they’ll keep trying to make the state a better place to live, work and do business.
As always, the top ten honorees are ranked numerically; the others are listed alphabetically. Take a look and let us know what you think of the list.