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Power Issue Top 25 of 2013

The Power List
75 people who shape and influence Hampton Roads

Power: Now you've got it, now you don't

This year marks the third edition of the Inside Business “Power List,” our annual, journalistic radar screen for tracking the movement of power through the corner suites, boardrooms, power lunch restaurants and up and down the shifting financial fortunes of Hampton Roads’ movers and shakers.


Scroll down to meet the honorees.
Learn more about each honoree by clicking on their name or photo.

  • 01. Bob McDonnell

    Updated: May 15, 2013 - 10:54 am

    Posted: May 10, 2013

    Gov. Bob McDonnell tops this year's Power List for the second year in a row. The last year of his four-year term has included seeing the state unemployment rate fall to 5.3 percent in March, the lowest since pre-recession.

    McDonnell was behind a push to privatize the Port of Virginia, although his spokesman made it clear that McDonnell was for either privatization or the restructuring of Virginia International Terminals, the state-owned, quasi-private company that has managed the port since the 1980s.

  • 02. John O. 'Dubby' Wynne

    Updated: May 15, 2013 - 10:55 am

    Posted: May 10, 2013

    Economic competitiveness is topping John O. "Dubby" Wynne's agenda this year.

    The former CEO of Landmark Communications and current chair of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation is focused on bringing the cities of Hampton Roads together to diversify the regional economy. At No. 2 this year, he moves up from No. 3 on the 2012 list.

    "If we really want to start functioning as a region, the economy is the place to start because the economy floats all boats," Wynne said.

  • 03. Bruce Thompson

    Updated: May 15, 2013 - 10:55 am

    Posted: May 10, 2013

    Some call him "Virginia Beach's Donald Trump," but many will tell you the name Bruce Thompson carries its own weight.

    The Norfolk-born developer has jumped a dozen slots to No. 3 on the Power List over the past year, opening award-winning properties, inking a major hotel deal with the city of Norfolk and launching an aggressive bid to obtain and redevelop the 86-year-old Cavalier on the Hill - what city officials say is "the most important property in the city."

    "All in all, it's been a pretty exciting year for us," Thompson said.

  • 04. (and 5.): Paul Fraim, Will Sessoms

    Updated: May 15, 2013 - 10:56 am

    Posted: May 10, 2013

    We'll let Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim and Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms decide who's No. 4 and who's No. 5. We're calling it a tie.

    "Damn," Sessoms replied good-naturedly when told of the tie.

    Sessoms saw two major election successes in past year - the voters re-elected him, for one, and in the same election, voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum that gave the city council the go-ahead to pursue light rail.

    "There was a lot of political capital [attached to] the light rail, and it had me sticking my neck out there," Sessoms said.

  • 06. Gary McCollum

    Updated: May 15, 2013 - 10:56 am

    Posted: May 9, 2013

    Gary McCollum continued to lead a segment of one of the most dominant companies in the region last year, but he also took on some unrelated leadership roles.

    McCollum, senior vice president and general manager of Cox Communications Virginia, got involved in some nonprofit efforts last year and moved three slots up the list to No. 6.

    One initiative is called E3: Elevate Early Education, a statewide group McCollum co-founded aimed at advocating for early childhood education and securing investments.