slides: NEW: Providence Has the 2nd Most Attractive People in US

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

 Providence; you're beautiful. According Travel + Leisure's "America's Most and Least Attractive People", Providence has the #2 most attractive inhabitants in 35 cities across the country.

According to Travel and Leisure, our nerdy college students and artsy locals, found in coffee bars across the city, make us sexy. All the more reason to stop by Coffee Exchange for that afternoon brew. Providence is more than just good looking--we stole a high score for sophistication, too.

The publication says northern cities embracing a more earthy and hipster vibe tended to edge out the Southern California girls and the New York City rich and famous. This year, the beauty went more than skin deep, and Providence shined.

Our competitors for most attractive:

#1, San Francisco, CA
# 2, Providence, RI
#3, Nashville, TN
#4, Portland, ME
#5, Savannah, GA

Least Attractive:

#1 Washington, D.C.
#2 Salt Lake City, UT
#3, Las Vegas, NV
#4, Anchorage, AK
#5, Memphis, TNTo see where Providence has ranked in other national surveys see the slides below.

  • #2 Most Attractive

    Here is what Travel + Leisure writes about the beautiful people in Providence:

    Here’s proof that the nerd factor can translate into sex appeal. The locals in this college and arts town—which readers loved for both its fine dining and pizza—also scored well this year for being sophisticated. You can get a glimpse of some attractive locals at Providence’s highly ranked coffee bars like New Harvest Coffee Roasters downtown.

  • #4 Hipster

    Providence is really hip. It is now deemed the 4th best hipster city in the U.S. 


    The Grange, the new Dean Hotel and other Providence spots get called out by the New York-based travel publication Travel + Leisure which has ranked Providence #4 on its list of cities with "America's Best Cities for Hipsters."

    4th most Hip in the nation

    Providence gets points for its ranging collection of college students, great shopping and attitude. They might have included the great new emerging media too - may be next time.

    Who's Providence beat?

    Providence scored ahead of cities like NYC, Denver and Portland, ME. Boston was way back at #14 rank.

    Here’s the top five:

    1. San Francisco, CA

    2. New Orleans, LA

    3. Portland, OR

    4. Providence, RI

    5. New York, NY


    Travel + Leisure says: 

    With its high per-capita of nerdy students and artists, this Rhode Island city climbed two spots in the hipster rankings this year—but also scored well for having sophisticated locals. Downtown has an emerging hipster culture (consider the soon-to-open Dean Hotel, housed in a former brothel). On the west side, you can order vegan cuisine at The Grange, hear concerts at the Columbus Theatre (with a clever 1492 seats), or browse the vintage fashions, ceramic poodles, and kitschy kitchenware at Rocket to Mars.

  • #9 Most Strange

    Providence's strange, unusual and weird residents have cause for celebration, because Travel + Leisure has ranked Providence #9 on its list of cities with "America's Strangest People."

    According to the travel publication, Providence's strangeness shines due to its unique theater scene, nontraditional grilled pizza, its flea markets, and its unconventional display at the Big Nazo puppet theater.

    Here's how Travel + Leisure ranks Providence's top unusual attractions nationally:

    Flea Markets: 19

    Theater/Performance Art: 4

    Pizza: 2

  • #11 Worst For Babies

    It looks like Providence may not be the ideal city to raise a child in. A new report by the Daily Beast entitled The 15 Worst Cities to Have a Baby, From New York to Miami has ranked Providence as the #11 worst city to have a baby.

    Here’s the data:

    Cost of baby’s first year: $26,700

    Cost as percentage of household income: 50%

    Ob/Gyns per 100,000 residents: 13.3

    Population under 5 years old: 5.3%

    Avg. commuting time: 24.5 minutes

    Playgrounds per 10,000 residents: n/a

  • Top Under The Radar Spot

    Providence deserves the world's attention, according to a BBC list that placed Providence among the top 21 under-the-radar destinations of the world. The capital city earned a place alongside such exotic locations as the Sequoia and King’s Canyon National Park in California and Kiso Valley in Japan.

    The BBC listed Providence’s prestigious univerisities and art galleries, its 18th Century architecture, and its luscious tree-lined streets as major attractions. The food and art offered by Federal Hill and Fox Point’s Italian and Portuguese communities were also highlighted. The listing recommended visits between May and October when flickering flames light up Providence’s waterways during WaterFire.

    Thanks BBC, but you’ve only scratched the surface of Providence!

  • #22 Fit City

    Providence may have mastered pizza and burgers, but it seems we have a way to go when it comes to health and fitness. The city placed #22 in this year’s American Fitness Index, released in May 2013 by the American College of Sports Medicine, which ranked the 50 largest metropolitan areas in America.

    Placing Providence well behind Boston and Hartford, the report indicated that Providence has high levels of obesity, diabetes, and smoking. On a more positive note, the report praised Providence’s extensive farmer’s markets, parks and playgrounds, and percentage of people cycling or walking to work.

    The top ranked city in the U.S. was Minneapolis, with few listed areas for improvement. 

  • #8 Beer City

    Providence knows how to brew and serve craft beer, according to Travel + Leisure, which ranked it #8 in its latest America's Best Beer Cities reader's poll, released in May, 2013.

    T+L highlights  as evidence of Providence's hot hops scene: "

  • #28 in Feeling Safe

    How safe does the Greater Providence area feel at night? As safe as Detroit, according to April 2013 Wellbeing Poll results from Gallup.

    When asked by Gallup pollsters whether they felt safe walking alone at night in the city or area where they lived, 70% of residents in the Providence/New Bedford/Fall River MSA said yes. That percentage put Providence at the #28 spot among the US's 50 largest metropolitan statistical areas, and tied with Detroit and Richmond, VA. 

  • #47 in Growth

    Providence maintained its unenviable #47 ranking among the Fastest Growing Cities in the US from Forbes Magazine, released in March 2013.

    The capital city's barely positive growth in population is behind the ranking. With a 2012 population of 1,601,374, Providence has experienced only 0.9% growth since 2000, and only 0.1% growth since 2011.

  • #2 Best Pizza City

    Providence maintained its spot for another year as the #2 Best Pizza City in America in February 2013 results from Travel + Leisure Magazine's Favorite Cities poll. 

    Providence held onto its silver medal, according to T+L's Katrina Brown Hunt, "perhaps because, like Chicago, it offers an only-in-Providence pie: grilled pizza, where the dough is cooked on one side, then flipped before the toppings are added."

    T+ L recommended Bacaro, "whose chef is from Al Forno, home of the original grilled pizza." To go a layer deeper into the city’s pizza culture, sample the pizza strips—topped with just sauce—found at LaSalle Bakery.

  • #56 Best Small Biz City

    Providence ranked a mediocre #56 among 102 of the largest metropolitan areas for small business, according to a February 2013 ranking from The Business Journals of Best Cities For Small Business

    In New England, Providence's ranking put it at #5 among the region's major metropolitan areas. Boston took top honors in New England at #1 (#14 nationally), followed by Portland, ME (#18 nationally), Bridgeport-Stanford, CT (#39 nationally), and Hartford, CT (#55 nationally). Behind Providence's #56 ranking were New Haven, CT (#84 nationally), Worcester, MA (#87 nationally) and Springfield, MA (#95 nationally). Photo:  Adam Jones, Ph.D. - Global Photo Archive/flickr

  • #10 Drunkest City

    It's sobering news in the capital city, according to the January, 2013 assessment of America's Drunkest Cities by The Daily Beast.

    Providence, which ranked #10, had the following to say for itself:

    Avg. alcoholic drinks consumed by adults per month: 14.1

    Percentage of population classified as binge drinkers: 17.6%

    Percentage of population classified as heavy drinkers: 5.7%

  • #39 For Women's Health

    If you're female, Providence is far from the healthiest place to be, according to Self Magazine's latest ranking of the Healthiest Cities for Women.

    "This city has an above-average rate of high blood pressure, and the smoking rate here was nearly 3 percent more than the average of the metro areas covered," according to Self.

    Providence was able to claim the #10 spot nationwide in number of Farmer's Markets in the overall assessment.

  • #6 For Strangeness

    Providence repeats its 2011 performance in the Travel + Leisure Reader's Poll as the #6 most freaky city in America.

    "The Rhode Island capital gets its flair from loads of college students and artists," according to T+L's Katrina Brown Hunt, who advises visitors to head to the West End for a concentration of underground galleries and avant-garde performance spaces. "After all," she says, "Providence ranked No. 3 for its theater scene. Even its No. 2–ranked pizza—often grilled—is quirky."

  • #13 For Attractiveness

    Providence manages to squeak out a middling performance when it comes to attractiveness, based on the latest ranking from Travel+ Leisure's America's Favorite Cities poll.

    The country's #1 most attractive city this year was Miami, FL, followed by #2 San Diego and #3 San Juan, Puerto Rico. Rounding out the Top 5 were Charleston, SC and Los Angeles, CA. Boston, MA was the next-highest performing New England city after Providence, at a less-attractive #20.

  • #5 City for Working Moms

    Providence moved boldly into the Forbes Top 5 Best Cities for Working Mothers for 2012, combining earning power, access to healthcare, reasonable commutes, investments in education, and child care cost. In 2011, Providence came in at #11.

    Here's the latest numbers, used by Forbes:

    Women’s Annual Earnings: $32,187
Physicians Per 100K: 285

    Average Commute: 27 minutes

    Expenditure Per Pupil: $15,375

    Cost of Childcare: $1,140

  • Top 10 City For Romance

    Yahoo Travel credits Providence with having "small-city New England flavor," granting it Top 10 status as an Unexpectedly Romantic US City.

    "Its lovely neighborhoods and compact downtown offer a delightful New England flavor, with just enough urban buzz to keep it interesting," says Yahoo Travel.

    And what better way to light your love fire than at WaterFire? Yahoo's Melissa Burdick Harmon recommends booking a gondola, of course.

    Local restaurants also get love for romance, including Hemenway’s Seafood Grill and Oyster Bar; New Rivers, and Cook & Brown Public House. Photo: maplessinseattle/flickr

  • #1 Best Burger City

    When it comes to burgers, Providence reigns supreme, according to Travel + Leisure.

    The capital city snagged the highest honor in the May 2012 Travel + Leisure's America's Favorite Cities survey, naming it the #1 Burger City in America.

    Read more about Providence and burgers, here.

    Photo: ndstrupler/flickr.
  • #1 Eye-Healthy City

    Clearly, the eyes have it, locally. Providence was named the  the #1 eye-healthy city in the country in June 2012 by VSP Vision Care, the nation's largest not-for-profit vision benefits and service provider.

    In its first-ever Eye Health City Index, VSP calibrated its ranking based on the percentage of people who received an eye exam in 2011 among those who have Vision Care vision benefits in markets where VSP covers 100,000 people or more.

    Read more about Providence and eyes, here.

  • #5 Best City For Sex

    The residents of Providence seem to be having quite a bit of sex, according to the wellness Web site in its 2012 Youngest and Oldest Cities in America Report, released in March, 2012. So much so, in fact, that the capital city landed in the Top 10 nationally for Best Places for Sex for men and women.

    The survey broke down active and rewarding sex lives along gender lines in the 2012 report. For women, Providence landed as the #8 best city for sex. For men, the city ranked even higher: #5.

    For more on sexy Providence, go here.

  • #6 Best City for Hipsters

    The hip honor for Providence in April 2012 was the latest round of Travel + Leisure's America's Favorite City Survey, where readers rank 35 metropolitan areas on culturally relevant features like live music, coffee bars, and independent boutiques. To zero in on the biggest hipster crowds, T+L says it factored in the results for the best microbrews and the most offbeat and tech-savvy locals.

    Read more about hipster Providence, here.

  • #8 Best Dining Out City

    A new August 2012 ranking by Trulia and ranked Providence as  #8 best place to live in America for eating out.

    The capital city can brag that it has 24.3 restaurants per 10,000 households, according to Trulia's analysis. And on the list of Trulia's Top 10, Providence provides the best bang for the buck, posting a median price per square foot of homes listed for sale at $146--the lowest among the top 10.

    Read more about Providence and dining out, here.

    Photo: Skazama/flickr.
  • Top 10 Hockey City

    As puckheads go, Providence is among the best, according to The sports blog named Providence one of the top ten non-NHL cities in the entire country in July 2012.

    While no specific criteria was given for the blog's choice of top ten non-NHL hockey cities, it did mention that support for minor pro, collegiate and junior teams are generally the most indicative aspects of a community's hockey loyalty.

    Read more about Providence's hockey status, here.

  • #12 Affordable Getaway

    Providence is not only full of riches, but full of them for a great price. The capital city made the Top 20 Best Affordable US Cities Getaways for 2012 in February 2012, courtesy of the getaway gurus at Travel + Leisure magazine.

    Providence snagged the #12 designation on the ranking, based on T+L's popular annual America's Favorite Cities survey. 

    To read more about affordable Providence, go here.

    Photo: Eric Bennett/flickr.
  • #14 Most Walkable City

    Providence has another notch in its walking stick, having been named by Prevention Magazine in April 2012 as one of the 25 Best Cities for Walking in America.

    The capital city took the #14 spot nationwide in the well-known health publication's latest assessment of major American cities where "pedestrians give wheels a run for their money."

    Read more about Providence's walkability, here.

    Photo: o5com/flickr.
  • #18 Rudest City

    Providence kicked off the new year in January 2012 by being named one of the Top 20 rudest cities in America in the annual vote of Travel + Leisure readers. Specifically, the city of stop-sign-ignoring, line-cutting, and the occasional hurled expletive,  took the #18 spot.

    You want to read more about rude Providence? Go here.

  • #21 Porn Capital

    While mayors may have pushed adult entertainment district to the outskirts, Providence still ranked among the 25 most porn-friendly cities in the country, according to Men's Health.

    The ranking of America's Smuttiest Cities, released in April 2012 by the popular magazine, assessed the smuttiness of the 100 largest cities in America. Providence came in at a pretty tawdry #21 overall--just outside the Top 20.

    For more on smutty Providence, go here.

  • #24 Manliest City

    In one the most fantastically unscientific rankings of the year (and one of GoLocal's favorites), Providence jumped three spots in the June 2012  COMBO's "America's Manliest Cities," ranking #24 this year.

    Even better, Rhode Island's capital is the manliest city in all of New England, dominating Boston in the snack-food-sponsored ranking, which finished at a very unmanly #47.

    To read more about manly Providence, go here.

  • #50 For Job Creation

    It was not good news in March 2012 when Providence ranked dead last on Gallup's Job Creation Index among the 50 largest U.S. metro areas in 2011.

    While cities like Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh and Richmond led the United States in job growth, Providence scored the lowest of the top 50 metro areas.

    For more on job creation in Providence, go here.

  • #66 Best City for Seniors

    Providence has just been named the #66 city in the US for seniors, according to the latest Best Cities for Successful Aging Index from the Milken Institute. The index assesses 78 indicators in 8 subcategories to derive its rankings, which were released just last week.

    Among the 8 subcategories in the ranking, Providence posted its best performance by far in Community Engagement, ranking #8 overall, with a score of 91.91, 21 points above the national average for large metros.

    For more on seniors in Providence, read here.

    Photo: Mood Board Photography
  • #95 Best Drivers

    In March 2012, Men's Health magazine crunched all the numbers and came up with the worst drivers in the United States. They ranked the cities from 1 to 100 and guess where the Capital City came in? At nearly the bottom of the barrel, at #95. Only 4 other major metropolitan areas were worse than Providence.

    Go here for more on Providence's drivers.

  • #178 City For Business

    For businesses looking for the best city to locate, Forbes Magazine released an annual ranking of which cities and metro areas are strongest – a comprehensive measure ranging from education and job growth to the overall business environment.

    The news was bad for Providence, which ran a discouraging #178 out of 200.

    For more on Providence's business ranking, check here.

  • #50 Joe Dowling, Chief Investment Officer, Brown University

    The Providence native was head of a controversial Hedge Fund, Narragansett Asset Management, in Greenwich Connecticut.

    The New York Post wrote in 2006, "Narragansett's returns over the last two years have not been up to snuff and, through the first eight months of this year, the firm is down 2 percent…" The Post said funds from that fund were returned to investors.

    Dowling takes over for Cynthia Frost, who helped grow the Brown Endowment to $2.86 billion, a better than 12% increase for the year ending June 30, 2013.

    Dowling is a graduate of Harvard and Harvard Business School.

  • #49 Ken Block, Candidate for Governor and CEO of Simpatico Software

    The new Republican is the founder of Simpatico Software and Cross Alert System. Block spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to build the Moderate Party and as its candidate, but left it this week to run for governor as a Republican.

    Net worth is estimated between $10 million and $15 million. The Dartmouth grad is likely to pour hundreds of thousands of his own dollars into the race.

  • #48 Charlie Townsend III, CEO, Aloha Partners

    Aloha Partners sold wireless spectrums to AT&T for a reported $2.5 billion. The company then purchased more wireless spectrums from LIN Media and is now the 8th largest owner in the US.

    Townsend, a Virginia and Harvard MBA grad, has also been an active supporter of Lincoln Chafee through the years.

  • #47 Jack Yena, Chair of the Board, Johnson and Wales University

    Chairman of the Board emeritus of Johnson & Wales University, Yena helped to build the college into a university and expand it across America – now with campuses in Denver, Charlotte and North Miami.

    Under his leadership, the JWU board has attracted top-level business and community leaders.

  • #46 Angus Davis, CEO, Swipely

    The Rhode Island native who founded TellMe Networks -- and sold it to Microsoft for $800 million -- is at it once again, testing his tech mettle with Swipely, the marketing rewards company that just raised a $12 million Series B round this past May.

    One of Forbes's "most promising CEOs under 35," he has been particularly active in education reform in the state, serving on the Board of Regents, helping bring Teach for America to Rhode Island, and pushing for the Race to the Top grant -- not without ruffling more than a few feathers along the way.

  • #45 Stanley Goldstein, Co-Founder of CVS (Retired)

    Goldstein and his brother Sidney built CVS into a healthcare and retail power. Since retiring in 1999, Goldstein has been a political force and financial donor to a range of education efforts including charter schools and The Met school in South Providence.

  • #44 Mark Pelson, PCI Private Equity

    A lawyer by training, he is a partner in several Providence Equity funds

    He has served as Chairman of Lambert's Cove Acquisition Corporation since its inception. He is a partner in several Providence Equity funds where he has served on numerous corporate boards.

    Pelson serves on the Board of Overseers of Children's Hospital Boston and is the chairman of The Wolf School in East Providence, Rhode Island. Politically active in the 2012 election cycle, he gave to Romney for President and to both Democrats David Cicilline and Sheldon Whitehouse.

  • #43 Artemis and Misha Joukowsy, AIG and Philanthropy

    The father and son team have pursued different tracks. Artemis joined the leadership team at Brown University as Chancellor after a storied career at AIG, the insurance behemoth.

    Artemis is now retired but Misha is chairman of GCi Acquisition Corp., specializing in composite technology and design and is a member of the Brown University President's Leadership Council since its inception in 2004. Since 1987 he has been a member of the Brown University Adjunct Faculty, Engineering Department. He and his family have been philanthropic supporters of Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital and have established several joint chairs.

  • #42 Donald Carcieri, Former Governor

    The two-term former Governor was a former Old Stone Bank and Cookson America exec before making the switch to politics -- and wielded enough influence even prior to winning the seat to convince Cookson to headquarter at the former train station in Providence, now the current home to the RI Foundation.

    His tenure as Governor was rocky at best, and what is proving now to be its defining moment is the doomed 38 Studios deal he helped usher through.

    His deep pockets and fundraising ties could explain his role on Cranston Mayor Allan Fung's exploratory committee for a run at Governor in 2014. Fung says he would have opposed the 38 Studios deal, so the question of Carcieri's influence on the Mayor's campaign -- whether it is policy or money -- will be watched closely.

  • #41 Guerra Family, Real Estate Developers

    Architect and developer Antonio Guerra purchased the then-mothballed Brown and Sharpe complex from the company in the late 1960's. Over 40 years, Guerra, who was joined by his son Tom and his son-in-law Tony Thomas, painstakingly rehabbed each building and developed it into the premier work-live complex in the state.

    Recently, they acquired American Locomotive Complex for just under $20 million.

    Combined, these real estate holdings exceed an estimated $200 million.

  • #40 Jonathan Fain, Chairman of Teknor Apex

    Most Rhode Islanders know very little about the compound company headquartered in Pawtucket. The company has facilities around the world and has sales in excess of $600 million.

    Fain stepped down as president and will be an ever-greater influence on a range of community issues. The company is one of the largest privately owned companies in southern New England.

  • #39 Jason Macari, President and CEO Summer Infant

    Macari has been Summer Infant's Chief Executive Officer and a director since March 2007. He founded the company in 2001 and led it to its IPO.

    Before Summer Infant, Macari was vice president of product development and general manager of Safety 1st, Inc., a manufacturer of safety and juvenile products in MA.

    Macari earned an Engineering degree from WPI and his MBA from Bryant University. His net worth in stock and compensation for 2011, according to Forbes, was more than $4 million combined.

  • #38 Charles M. Royce, Royce Funds/Ocean House/Weekapaug Inn

    It takes a lot of wealth, impact on Rhode Island and roots to make the list for a summer resident, but Royce checks off all three. Royce is a Brown grad and went on to found the wildly successful Royce Funds.

    He has invested tens of millions in developing the Ocean House in Westerly and the Weekapaug Inn into brimming expressions of Victorian architecture.

  • #37 Christina Paxson, President, Brown University

    The 19th President of Brown University, Paxson has a PhD in Economics and is a leading figure in national circles having held such roles as researcher with the National Bureau of Economic Research and editor with The Future of Children.

    She came to Brown with an already exceptional resume in academia, which included Dean of Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs -- where she founded the Center for Health and Wellbeing in 2000.

    Her predecessor Ruth Simmons's last year of compensation was reported at $1.2 million. Paxon's own emerging influence in the state will no doubt come into play as Brown looks to expand further in the city's emerging "Knowledge District."

    Husband Ari Gabinet, VP and General Counsel at Oppenheimer Funds, makes the pair a true Providence power couple.

  • #36 Terry Murray, Former CEO of Fleet Bank

    From growing up in Woonsocket to Harvard to a near-entry position at Industrial National Bank, Terry Murray grew and merged Fleet Bank from a regional to global player.

    At his height he was one of the most powerful bankers in America and along with Citizens Bank had created a banking center in Providence.

    The merger with Bank Boston and the Fleet Boston became the 7th largest lender in America before being bought by Bank of America.

    Murray is no longer the force in politics and business in Rhode Island, but he still casts a long shadow and is a giving force.

  • #35 Doug Sgarro, Chief Legal Counsel, CVS

    The Barrington resident is the top lawyer at CVS and has served on a range of boards including EDC and the Children’s Museum. The Hamilton grad went on to University of Virginia for Law School.

    In 2011, Forbes reported he earned in excess of $5 million in compensation.

  • #34 John and Letitia Carter, Philanthropists

    The Carters sold EFD in 2000 to Nordson and started an aggressive effort of philanthropy across Rhode Island.

    From Women & Infants Hospital to Vets Auditorium to education and public radio, the Carters have donated millions to positively impact Rhode Island.

  • #33 Tom Gilbane, Jr., CEO and Chairman, Gilbane, Inc.

    Gilbane as well as Paul Choquette have been two of the leaders in growing Gilbane from a strong regional construction force to a national firm over the past four decades. Gilbane has served on many of the top corporate and philanthropic boards in the region over the years including Fleet Bank, United Way, US Lacrosse, and as a trustee at Babson College.

    Gilbane, Inc has emerged as a multi-billion company and one of the top 150 privately held companies in the United States.

  • #32 Brian Goldner, CEO Hasbro

    Goldner reinvented Hasbro from a toy manufacturer to an entertainment company. Creating a movie and entertainment culture was no easy task but it paid off with wins like the Transformer movies.

    In 2010, Goldner scored $23 million in compensation.

  • #31 Ira and Suzanne Magaziner, Consultants

    Ira Magaziner designed Brown's curriculum as an undergrad, made millions as a business consultant before selling his firm Telesis to Towers Perrin and helped design Hillary Clinton's healthcare program when Bill Clinton was President, but the truth be told, it's Suzanne Magaziner that Hillary comes to visit.

    Now, the couple's son Seth has announced he wants to be the next General Treasurer in a race pitting him against Frank Caprio.

  • #30 Chace Family, Developers

    Kim Chace held an annual position on the Forbes 400 list and held a board seat for many years on Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Board. Chace died in 2011, and his vast fortune was spread among his wife, Elizabeth, the founder of Residential Properties; his son, who is a wealth management consultant; and his cousin, developer Buff Chace.

    Each of the three has been active in business and philanthropy. Buff has the highest profile largely because of his battle with the city of Providence over tax stabilization and his plans for the Superman building.

  • #29 Thomas Tisch, Chancellor at Brown University

    The former Wall Street investment banker brings strong financial experience to Brown. As one top government staffer says, Tisch leads with "an iron hand" as it relates to his management and negotiating approach.

    Tisch was the managing partner at Four Partners and serves on the Board of Sears Holding Company. He attended Brown and his father was the iconic head of CBS, Laurence Tisch.

  • #28 Elizabeth Meyer, Newport Democratic Donor

    Meyer was linked to the defeat of the 2012 ballot question in Newport approving expansion of table games for Newport Grand.

    The Newport philanthropist is a big donor to Democratic causes. In the 2012 election cycle, Meyer gave nearly $100,000 to Democrats across the country.

    From the early 1990's through to today she has given nearly $500,000 to Democrats across the country including John Kerry, Patrick Kennedy, Barack Obama, and the late Ted Kennedy.

  • #27 Tom Ryan, Chairman of the Board, CVS

    Ryan began as a pharmacist with CVS in 1974 and worked his way up through the ranks to become chief executive 20 years later. The architect of the $21 billion Caremark acquisition in 2007 rocketed CVS from its regional roots to a $100 billion national powerhouse second only to Walgreens.

    To the victor go the spoils -- Ryan's exit package at retirement in 2011 was reported to be $58 million in pension payments -- and $33 million in stock options.

    A trustee at his alma mater, URI, Ryan was the chief benefactor of the 7,657-seat arena named after him on campus. Although he now resides in Florida, Ryan has reportedly been active in conversations pertaining to pharmacy studies as they relate to housing a new joint RIC-URI school of nursing in the Dynamo House in Providence.

  • #26 Michael Mahoney, CEO, Boston Scientific

    Barrington resident Michael Mahoney is President and CEO of Boston Scientific Corporation. He oversees all aspects of the global development, marketing and sales of the company's broad portfolio of medical device solutions. Mahoney took over the CEO position last year.

    Boston Scientific recorded $7.2 billion in sales in 2012. The Natick-based company would be a great partner for Brown, URI, and Lifespan.

  • #25 Michael Perik, Former CEO of Princeton Review

    Perik was CEO for the Princeton Review and left and then purchased one of his divisions for $4 million. The business is focused on Community College Partnerships.

    Politically, Perik is an influential Democratic fundraiser. He and his wife Liz host a major national leadership event at their Jamestown home for Nancy Pelosi to benefit the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The event has raised millions for Democrats.

    Perik received a B.A. from the University of Toronto and a Master in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

  • #24 Joe MarcAurele, CEO, Washington Trust

    MarcAurele began the Citizens Bank exodus when he left the RBS parent company to take over as President of Washington Trust in 2009. His successor Ned Handy now follows in his footsteps in making the move to the oldest community bank in the nation and the largest independent bank in Rhode Island. MarcAurele netted well over $1 million in annual compensation at the helm of Washington Trust.

    MarcAurele, who cut his teeth in the Fleet ranks, has had an active and dedicated presence in the Rhode Island philanthropic community, from serving as President of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank and a trustee of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce and Rhode Island Hospital Foundation.

    His economic policy influence ranges from the board of RIPEC at the state level, to serving as a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Community Depository Institution Advisory Council.

  • #23 Merrill Sherman, Former CEO of BankRI

    In a de facto business partnership, Kim Chace and Sherman teamed up to build BankRI into one of the leading community banks in region.

    Sherman sold the bank to Brookline Bancorp and scored in excess of $13 million on the exit.

    Today, Sherman is the special master on the massive pile of foreclosure cases. She is also a close advisor to Gina Raimondo.

  • #22 Shivan Subramaniam, Chairman and CEO, FM Global

    Subramaniam was named chairman in 2002, three years after being named president and CEO. Prior, he was chairman and CEO at Allendale Insurance, one of the RI predecessor companies to FM Global.

    Trained in mechanical engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology in India, he earned two master's degrees in the US: New York University, and another in management from MIT.

    He serves on the Board of Citizen’s Financial Group and Lifespan Corporation, and as a trustee of Bryant University.

    He has been one of the CEO constants in RI with one of the longest tenures.

  • #21 Neil Steinberg, CEO, Rhode Island Foundation

    Today, Steinberg has been working to recreate the largest private foundation from a very quiet organization into a force for positive change.

    His influence as head of RI Foundation is ever growing as he works to create a new, involved and activist organization that is promoting Rhode Island to Rhode Islanders and promoting innovative ideas to recreate the Rhode Island economy.

    He made his money back in the day at Fleet Bank in the glory days. His final position at Fleet was President of Fleet Bank's Rhode Island division.

  • #20 Al Verrecchia, Chairman of the Board, Hasbro

    For more than a decade, Verrecchia was the operational executor to Alan Hassenfeld’s vision for the toy company. When Hassenfeld gave up the CEO position, Verrecchia assumed the role while grooming Goldner to take over the helm.

    Verrecchia has played a key role as a bridge in the transformation from a toy manufacturer to an entertainment company – the shift from Mr. Potato Head to Megan Fox.

    Today, Verrecchia serves on the boards of Iron Mountain, FM Global and Lifespan. Previously, RIEDC and CVS.

    He has been a big donor to his alma mater URI.

  • #19 Paul Choquette Jr. and Paul Choquette, III, Gilbane, Inc.

    The father has been a dominant force in Rhode Island since John Chafee was Governor. Choquette was legal counsel to the Governor in the early 1960s. Starting then, the former Brown football star has helped Gilbane to grow into a major national construction force.

    The senior Choquette has served on most every major board including Lifespan, the Brown Corporation, Trinity, and the RI Economic Development Corporation.

    The younger Choquette was also a football star at Brown and has worked his way up the family business and was named to Gilbane Building Company's Mid-Atlantic Business Unit.

  • #18 Gina Raimondo, General Treasurer of RI

    The former venture capitalist is now an all but announced candidate for Governor. The architect of pension reform was the darling of reformist and local and national business communities for her leadership and expertise.

    Two years later, she is under nearly constant attack from unions, Forbes columnist Ted Siedle, and Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi for her shifting pension dollars to hedge funds.

    Raimondo's resume is unmatched -- Harvard, Yale, and a Rhodes Scholarship to attend Oxford. Raimondo is married to Andrew Moffett, a business consultant at McKinsey & Company and formerly the Chairman of the Providence Water Supply Board.

  • #17 Fred Carpionato, CEO Carpionato Properties

    The mega-developer owns and operates many of southern New England's biggest developments. The properties include the massive Chapel View in Cranston and the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick.

    His controversial purchase and teardown of the old Produce Market on the backside of Providence Place Mall still stains the city.

    He is major donor to Jack Reed's Narragansett Bay PAC.

  • #16 Connie Howes, CEO, Women and Infants (Retiring)

    Howes is the million dollar women in Rhode Island healthcare. She is stepping down as CEO of Women & Infants Hospital, but will remained involved in the future of the hospital and its parent organization.

    While Lifespan has faltered financially, she has kept W&I moving forward. Her compensation as CEO of Women and Infants in 2011 was just under a million and compensation from Care New England another $935,000.

    The former corporate attorney is a big influence on Rhode Island's healthcare system.

  • #15 Marc Crisafulli, Managing Partner, Hinckley Allen

    Crisafulli is managing one of Providence's largest law firms, has become a super lawyer on many of the biggest deals and lobbying for his old team at GTECH and for Twin River. He earns tens of thousands lobbying, but his big payday was his exit from GTECH, which included a multi-million payout.

  • #14 Jaymin Patel, CEO of GTECH

    Only 45, Patel is a major strategic and financial force in driving GTECH – the largest lottery entity in the US and now a part of the Italian company, Lottmatica.

    Prior to taking over for Bruce Turner as CEO, Patel was the CFO. Today, GTECH is a force in one of the largest segments of Rhode Island’s state revenues -- gaming. GTECH is the lottery technology to the state and builds much of the gaming equipment used by Twin River. GTECH continue to be an economic and political force – three other members of the 50 Richest and Most Influential have ties to GTECH.

  • #13 Maureen McKenna Goldberg and Robert Goldberg, Supreme Court and Lobbyist (respectively)

    The third-highest ranked power couple on the list. Maureen McKenna Goldberg has served on the Rhode Island Supreme Court for more than 15 years.

    Her husband, Robert Goldberg is the top lobbyist in Rhode Island -- his clients are a who's who of RI and US corporate America, including CVS, FedEx, Johnson and Wales, Bryant University and GTECH. Goldberg earns an estimated $1 million plus per year in lobbying and associated legal work.

  • #12 Joe Paolino, Jr., Paolino Properties

    Walk around the core of downtown Providence and most of the buildings are owned and managed by the Paolino real estate empire. Joe Jr., the former Mayor of Providence and one-time candidate for governor of Rhode Island, is firmly in place as the head of the holdings with the passing of Joe Sr.

    Paolino is becoming one of the leading forces behind the scenes both at the state political level and in the city.

    His efforts to push Angel Taveras towards a gubernatorial run and Buddy Cianci for a return to City Hall are just two of his ongoing efforts.

  • #11 David Mixer, Managing Partner, Point Judith Capital

    Mixer walked out of Columbia Capital with more than $100 million reportedly after doing 77 deals in 12 years. He came back to Rhode Island and first founded Rex Capital and then joined Point Judith Capital. At Point Judith, he teamed up with Rhode Island's General Treasurer Gina Raimondo. His estimated worth is $200 million.

    Along the way, Mixer bought an island off of Jamestown.

  • #10 Rick Bready, CEO, Nortek (Retired)

    Rick Bready left the CEO position after building Nortek into a leader in home and commercial building products. He restructured the company twice.

    His philanthropy is significant, giving his undergrad alma mater St. Anselm $1.25 million and giving Moses Brown $1.5 million in 2007, according to

    His Newport mansion is now being marketed by Lila Delman for $19 million. Bready purchased it for just under $3 million.

    Today, he serves on the board of Roger Williams University.

  • #9 John Taylor, Chairman, Twin Rivers Worldwide Holding

    Taylor began his career as a junior staffer to Governor Ed DiPrete and has grown over two decades to be one of Rhode Island's most successful CEOs.

    After his stint in government, Taylor went on to play a key role at GTECH and then spun off with former CEO Guy Snowden to create a venture fund.

    Taylor scored on a number of investments with his firm Faulkner and Howe and then bet big by investing in Twin River.

  • #8 Scott Donnelly, CEO of Textron

    The former GE executive came to Textron under the tutelage of Lewis Campbell, and while just in his 40s, took over at the helm in 2009.

    Now, Donnelly has been a force both in redefining the direction for Textron and its impact. Textron is headquartered in Providence, and with 32,000 employees in 25 countries and total revenues of $11.3 billion, Textron is one of the world's best-known multi-industry companies. Textron businesses include Bell Helicopter, Cessna, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, Jacobson, Kautex and Textron Systems and Textron Financial Corporation.

    Donnelly lives in Barrington and takes a leadership role on Lifespan's Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute Advisory Council.

    Forbes lists Donnelly's 5-year compensation at $18.273 million -- which ranks #149 for CEOs.

  • #7 Larry Merlo, CEO of CVS

    Merlo runs one of America's largest corporations -- CVS/Caremark -- and in 2012 earned over $18 million and is entitled to $20 plus million lump sum beyond his annual compensation when he does retire. He ranks #104 on Forbes's list of the highest paid CEOs in America.

    In April, CVS passed American Express to assume the position of the 40th largest company in America -- not bad for the Woonsocket-based company. Merlo has been focused on building CVS and has yet to take the activist role his predecessor Tom Ryan did with the Ryan Center, the Economic Policy Council and the CVS Golf Classic.

  • #6 Carolyn Rafaelian and Giovanni Feroce, Alex and Ani

    The Rhode Island based company is on a roll -- and rumored to be pointed to an IPO in 2014. The duo of Rafaelian and Feroce has created one of the biggest buzzes in fashion in the past decade. With revenue growth jumping from $4.5 million in 2010 to an estimated $200 million this year (4,344% growth), Alex and Ani was flagged by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest growing companies in America.

    In addition, they have created more jobs in RI than the RI EDC could hope for and have almost single-handedly helped reestablish manufacturing in Rhode Island.

    Add on millions in gifts to Bryant and RIC, and the legacy of Alex and Ani exceeds many of the established Rhode Island companies.

  • #5 Paul Salem, Providence Equity Group

    Salem went to Brown with his partners Creamer and Nelson and serves as one of the two Senior Managing Partners at the firm.

    Prior to joining Providence Equity, he had stints at both Morgan Stanley and Prudential Investment.

    Salem has been involved with a number of the biggest media deals ever conducted -- AT&T Canada, Wired magazine, Hulu, and even some less-than-successful deals like Providence Equity's investment in Univision.

    His wife Navyn is the founder of Edesia, a global nutrition solution - one of the most heralded efforts to combat hunger.

  • #4 Glenn Creamer, Providence Equity Group

    If Jonathan Nelson is worth $2 billion as Forbes claims, then Creamer is estimated to be in the $1 billion range. Creamer grew up in Pawtucket and went to Brown University.

    He got his investing teeth sharpened like a number of the Providence Equity guys by working at Narragansett Capital.

    Creamer is active in Catholic charities and serves on the Board at RISD.

  • #3 Alan Hassenfeld, Former Chairman and CEO, Hasbro

    The former CEO of Hasbro is a major influencer through a wide range of roles in Rhode Island.

    He took over Hasbro from his brother Stephen and kept the company moving forward. In the 1990's he pushed hard for ethics reform in Rhode Island.

    His ability to play hardball came through when rival Mattel tried a hostile takeover of Hasbro and Hassenfeld used the full court political press to fight off the toy-making rival.

    The family foundation, the Hassenfeld Foundation, made donations of more than $4.2 million in 2010. In 2011, the Foundation made a $50 million gift to New York University.

    In addition, Hassenfeld has diversified his investments into a range of companies and start-ups.

  • #2 Stephanie and Lincoln Chafee, First Lady and Governor

    His stock has dropped since he announced he would not seek re-election, but Stephanie's may be rising.

    The Governor has just over a year remaining in the Governor's office and has the opportunity to make a big impact, but since his declaration of not running in 2014, he has been relatively quiet.

    The Chafees are wealthy, and Stephanie's side of the family (Danforths) are in the 1% of the 1%. Back in 2006, Roll Call magazine ranked Chafee as the 9th richest member of Congress.

    The husband and wife team's combined wealth is estimated at between $150 million and $200 million.

  • #1 Jonathan Nelson, Founder Providence Equity

    No matter how you cut it, Jonathan Nelson makes most everyone else on the list look like a pretender.

    The Brown grad and Rhode Island native created a multi-billion dollar company with its headquarters in Providence. He graced the cover of the leading business publications for being a player in one of the biggest business deals in the history of the United States. His firm manages $29 billion in assets. His gifts to Brown University are substantial by any reckoning -- according to, Nelson gave his alma mater a $10 million personal gift, and his family foundation gave Brown four gifts totaling another $6.06 million.

    Massachusetts prep school Middlesex School also received a $1 million gift.

    Forbes ranks Nelson as the #227 Richest American with a net worth of $2 billion.

    When it comes to leading American business titans -- Nelson is definitely on the A-list.