Power: The 100 Women Who Run This Town

Ellen Roy Herzfelder
43, Secretary of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs
As Governor Romney’s pick to run the state’s environmental affairs office, Herzfelder will be spending $300 million this year protecting our air and water. The Cohasset resident is nothing less than the state’s environmental conscience. No big development project can begin without her review. Herzfelder previously ran the Intercontinental Energy Corporation, which was founded by her father. The fact that she comes from a family that made millions running power plants, and has no public-sector experience, has some lefties in a tizzy. Nevertheless, Romney believes that Herzfelder’s postgrad degrees from MIT and Harvard and her private sector experience will help her wield the state’s green effectively.

Cheryl Jacques
41, State Senator
It’s a slow news week when Needham Senator Jacques (pronounced “Jakes”) doesn’t get her name in the paper for some populist crusade. Child abusers, telemarketers, and the NRA are just some of the folks who’ve been on the wrong end of her gift for pushing tough-minded bills through the creaky state legislature. An unapologetic liberal and chair of the Senate Committee on Steering and Policy (which develops policy proposals and determines when proposed legislation is heard by the General Court), Jacques is also the state’s foremost advocate for civil unions – which counts a bunch in a city that ranks sixth in the nation in the number of same-sex cohabiting couples.

Anne Davis
Executive Vice President of Administration and Managing Trustee of the Charitable Foundation, New Balance
A one-time counterintelligence officer at the National Security Agency, Davis now coruns, with husband Jim, the fourth-largest athletic shoe business in the nation (behind Nike, Adidas, and Reebok). She handles the privately held company’s hiring, benefits, salaries, worldwide corporate policy, and philanthropic foundation. “I look at Jim and Anne as two pillars that support parts of a structure,” says New Balance president emeritus John Larsen. Jim Davis bought the company in 1972, back when annual sales were $100,000. Last year worldwide sales hit $1.3 billion. And as every competitor has moved its manufacturing operations overseas, the Davises have kept their power center at home, with headquarters right beside the Mass. Pike and nearly 2,000 New England employees.

Cappy Daume
39, Senior Vice President, Spaulding & Slye Colliers
These are tough times in commercial real estate. The office vacancy rate in Boston is 14.8 percent, and nearly 26 percent in the suburbs. But not everybody’s hurting. Since joining Spaulding & Slye five years ago, Daume has handled some of the biggest deals in Boston, deals worth a total of more than $1 billion. Highlights: She brokered the purchase of a 1.1-million-square-foot development for MIT worth $279 million, and she won the Greater Boston Real Estate Board’s “downtown leasing deal of the year” award in 1999 for preleasing a 220,000-square-foot State Street spot to Eaton Vance. She might also have the coolest name in town.


Nancy Achin Audesse
44, Executive Director, Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine
She got it. She beat it. She got it. She beat it. She got it. She beat it. She got it. She beat it. Four times cancer knocked on Nancy Achin Audesse’s door, and four times she refused to answer. If anyone’s suited to watch over the state’s 30,000 doctors, it’s this woman who has spent so much of her life in their hands. Audesse took the job in 1999 and almost immediately improved the state’s ranking from 45th to 27th in disciplining errant doctors. In a former life as a state senator, Audesse fought to improve mammography services. In 1996, the year she lost her aunt and sister to cancer within three days of each other, she launched the Board of Registration in Medicine’s Physician Profile System, the first such program in the country to give patients more information about their doctors.

Jane Christo
61, General Manager, WBUR-FM
Christo’s hard-hitting management style has elevated her from development director to head honcho of National Public Radio affiliate WBUR. In the two decades since, she’s increased the station’s budget sixtyfold to more than $20 million a year, and its audience to more than half a million listeners, some through stations it has acquired on Cape Cod and in Rhode Island. How tough is Christo? She fired a producer for changing a few words in an underwriting announcement and gave popular host of The Connection (and one-time mayoral candidate) Christopher Lydon his walking papers when he and his producer asked to share the program’s profits. Christo now finds herself fending off pro-Israel listeners and donors who say the station and its network take the Palestinian side — and who have withdrawn more than $1 million worth of funding.

Mindy d’Arbeloff
44, Vice President for Marketing and Communications, the Lyons Group
Calling d’Arbeloff a “party chick,” as the Herald did a while back, is like calling Tom Brady “some guy who wears tights.” As marketing maven for the biggest nightclub conglomerate in town (the Lyons Group runs 21 clubs and restaurants, including the Paradise, Avalon, Axis, and the new Kings), d’Arbeloff is responsible for throwing what she calls “super-high-exposure” parties where the glitterati — bank presidents, mayors — meet, network, and shell out money for various charities. Wanna hit one of these legendary fiestas? Get in line.


Soosie Lazenby
36, Founder and President, Sports & Entertainment Matters
Lazenby counts among her close friends Anna Kournikova, Celtics star Antoine Walker, and Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra. In her former incarnation as head of the Massachusetts Sports Partnership, she secured deals to bring the 2006 NCAA Women’s Final Four basketball tournament to Boston and the 2006 World Curling Championships to Lowell. In February, she merged her company, SportsMatters, with entertainment marketing company McMahon & Shaffer to create Sports & Entertainment Matters, which continues to coordinate and promote the charities of star local athletes including Garciaparra and hoops stars Walker and Paul Pierce. She also develops sports-related branding opportunities and events in Boston for Reebok, Boston University, and Allied Domecq (the behemoth that owns Dunkin’ Donuts, Maker’s Mark, and Baskin-Robbins). Lazenby’s company also runs the Boston Music Awards. If you’ve got her number in your Rolodex, chances are you’re sitting in the front row.

Lois Silverman
62, Founder and Chair, the Commonwealth Institute
One of the first women in Massachusetts to take a company public (Concentra Managed Care, which she founded in 1978), Silverman now applies her skills to helping other women entrepreneurs through the Commonwealth Institute, which offers mentoring programs it says have resulted in average increases in revenue of 116 percent for participating woman-owned companies. She is a trustee of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, an overseer at Tufts Medical School, and a member of the board of the International Women’s Forum.

C. Kim Goodwin
43, Managing Director, Chief Investment Officer, Equities, State Street Research
On Wall Street as in politics, power is measured in part by how often a person is called on for advice. By that standard, Goodwin, who oversees the $10.7 billion equity department as State Street’s chief stock picker, is among the heaviest heavyweights in this city’s financial services industry. When USA Today convened gurus to prognosticate on the stock market’s performance in 2003, she was the only Bostonian — not to mention the only woman and the only black — on the elite five-member panel. A few weeks later, she was invited to share her wisdom with Time, and she’s a regular on Louis Rukeyser’s Wall Street on CNBC. “Clearly,” Rukeyser says, “[Goodwin’s] brilliant career in the world of money still has a long way to go.”

Michela Larson
52, Partner, Sapphire Restaurant Group (Rialto, blu, Noir)
Larson practically invented restaurant PR in the ’80s, wooing droves of diners to her off-the-beaten-track Michela’s in the warehouse wasteland of East Cambridge. She also has vision: The aforementioned East Cambridge is now an envied restaurant, office, residential, and shopping neighborhood. It was in Michela’s kitchen that Larson first employed the then-unknown Todd English (Olives), Barbara Lynch (No. 9 Park), and Stephen Brown (Davio’s). When chef Jody Adams’s turn at the stove came, Larson not only turned her into a celebrity chef but also made her a business partner. All this makes Larson the godmother of the city’s entire restaurant industry.

Mary Anne Marsh
46, Principal, the Dewey Square Group
The Dewey Square Group specializes in political consulting in “high-stakes, high-risk” situations — a perfect fit for Marsh: The Globe has called her one of the eight most influential behind-the-scenes women in Massachusetts politics. A Democratic political pundit with a hotshot national rep, this spin doctor gets quoted on issues in papers all over the country, and she’s appeared on Fox News, CNN, NBC, and MSNBC. Look for Marsh to throw some more weight around in 2004.