Power: The 100 Women Who Run This Town

Teresa Heinz Kerry
64, Chair, the Heinz Family philanthropies
Heinz Kerry needs no introduction, either here or inside the Beltway. But what the hell. Raised in Mozambique, she came to the States and married future Pennsylvania Senator John Heinz of the ketchup family fame, was widowed when his plane crashed in 1991, then married Senator John Kerry in 1995. (The former staunch Republican registered as a Democrat in January, after her husband announced his presidential candidacy.) Though she shuns the spotlight, Heinz Kerry holds tons of clout as a social policy expert and as head of a foundation that distributes $4 million a year. Last year, Massachusetts adopted a new prescription-drug plan for seniors that her foundation developed. If John Kerry fares poorly in 2004, his wife may end up with more clout than him.

Carol Fulp
51, Vice President for Community Relations, John Hancock Financial Services
During her long career in nonprofit organizations, Fulp has sat on the boards of the United Negro College Fund, the Big Sister Association, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston YMCA, the Museum of Afro-American History — you could build a house with all these boards. The Newton resident is also a trustee of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and a member of the senior executive team of the Partnership (run by fellow power listee Benaree Wiley). At her so-called day job, Fulp oversees John Hancock’s corporate charity arm, which hands out some $4 million each year to programs all over Boston.

Heather Campion
45, Executive Vice President for Corporate Affairs, Citizens Financial Group
Before she joined the area’s second-largest bank as a senior executive in 1997, most of Campion’s experience had been in politics and academia. She cut her teeth on President Jimmy Carter’s White House staff and later worked on the presidential campaigns of Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis. They may have lost, but Campion won herself the associate director job at the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. In her current role at Citizens Financial, she heads up government relations, public affairs, and media relations, making her essentially the smiling face that fronts this huge bank, which just finished its 10th straight year of record earnings. Campion also controls the bank’s charitable foundation.


Rear Admiral Vivien S. Crea
51, Commander, First Coast Guard District; Commander, Maritime Defense Command One
After the buildings fell on September 11, Crea left her desk job in Washington, DC, to work the front lines of national security. Now she’s in command of the Coast Guard’s entire Boston-based northeastern fleet. With 2,000 miles of waterfront under her charge (from Maine to New Jersey), she has at her disposal 3,500 sailors, 350 Coast Guard vessels, and eight aircraft. (She personally can pilot turboprops, helicopters, and jets.) The first woman to make admiral in the Coast Guard and the first to command one of the nation’s nine Coast Guard districts, she lives in a lighthouse in Beverly. To boot, she’s got a sense of humor. When questioned by an NBC-TV reporter about what she brings to the job that a man wouldn’t, she replied, “Well, I wear skirts.”

Joan Vennochi
50, Columnist, the Boston Globe
Vennochi is herself this city’s most artful chronicler of power, particularly in politics and business. She’s a foil to a mayor who goes pretty much unchallenged elsewhere, and a contrarian about a lot of what the chamber of commerce types are pushing. Her institutional experience (she’s been reporting in this town for more than two decades) makes it hard to argue with her. It also makes her one of the most powerful women in the local media, and the most powerful woman columnist in town.

Karen Kaplan
42, President, Hill, Holliday’s Boston office
Two decades ago, Kaplan started at Hill, Holliday as a receptionist. Today she runs the Boston office of this advertising powerhouse, which pulls in $1 billion in annual billings. More than 400 people report to her, including 100 hired last year alone. Tough times? Not at Hill, Holliday. An indication of how hot Kaplan’s firm is today: The Boston office dreamed up the Budweiser advertisement that ran after kickoff during the Super Bowl, arguably the most coveted TV ad spot of the year. Just about every media critic in America gushed over the ad, which featured the famous Bud Clydesdales playing football. “Anheuser-Busch’s Clydesdales ad from Hill, Holliday was the day’s gem,” noted the Chicago Tribune. Other Hill, Holliday clients include Dunkin’ Donuts, the Boston Globe, Fleet-Bank, and John Hancock.

Marian L. Heard
62, President and CEO, United Way of Massachusetts Bay
Heard has a knack for wresting money from tightfisted local CEOs. The woman known in the Financial District as “St. Marian” can also invoke Governor Mitt Romney, who put the Democrat on his transition team — and whose wife, Ann, is on her board of directors. “Marian has probably had more impact on this community than anybody in the last 12 years,” said one speaker at a benefit last month. Heard controls $38 million a year that’s handed out to human service agencies, which are getting desperate now that the governor has all but wiped out social spending.

Barbara Hostetter
Philanthropist, the Barr Foundation
Nobody in Boston has more money to give away than Hostetter. The $850 million Barr Foundation, which she runs with her billionaire husband, Continental Cablevision founder Amos (he manages its investments; she oversees its donations), accepts grant proposals on an invitation-only basis. Over the past five years, the Hostetters have turned their foundation into the city’s biggest charity based on asset size, giving away more than $40 million a year. Think she’s in it for the glory? Nope. Most of her gifts are anonymous.