People to Watch: The It List

EXCERPT FROM “People to Watch: The It List”
November 2003

Who will be Philly's next Georges Perrier? Who has the refined Main Line taste to be the next Barbara Eberlein? Who will take over where Paul Vallas leaves off? We wanted to know who would make up our next power generation, who would shape the future of our city. So we asked the people who already have.

We mailed more than 700 surveys to the players on our power Rolodex, asking them to name the rising stars in their industries. There was no age limit — the 22 who made the final list range from age 24 to 47 — and just one guiding principle: that in the next decade, these people will become household names.

Narrowing down the huge list of entrepreneurs, image-makers, artists, attorneys, designers, doctors and politicians wasn't easy. (Choosing from the rising politicos was especially difficult given that their futures depend somewhat on the outcome of this month's mayoral election, so we struck that category from the list, to be revisited later.) As we homed in on the final 22, it became clear that what we had been looking for all along were people who are not only on the verge of success, but who are incredibly passionate about what they do — whether that's redeveloping blighted neighborhoods or designing couture clothes for hip-hop stars — and who represent, in all their varied talents, the brilliant, diverse future of this city …


Peter Breslow, 37
Partner, Breslow Partners

Peter Breslow is the first to admit that his big mouth is an asset. When he was a scrappy kid growing up in the Northeast, it got him into trouble. Now, his mouth lands him and his family's business, Breslow Partners, big accounts. Since he joined the public-relations agency in 1997, it has gone from a mom-and-pop shop with a regional reach to competing with New York agencies for top food and hospitality clients, including restaurants in Manhattan, Baltimore, and Charleston, South Carolina. Its biggest account to date — Atlantic City's Borgata — came after Borgata reps took note of the national attention the Breslows won for Old City nightclub 32°. (Letting customers pay with Euros led to a mention in the Wall Street Journal.) “We saw bigger names with flashier packages,” says Victor Tiffany, vice president of food and beverages at the Borgata, “but Peter's integrity screamed through. In PR, there's often a lot of fluff, a lot of talk. I had a sense that Peter could deliver.” He did, getting the Borgata coverage in Food & Wine and the New York Times. “They really hustled,” Tiffany says.

Of course, Peter attributes the agency's success to its founder — his mom, Tina, who started it in 1985 and still works there part-time. (Peter's sister, Jennifer Breslow Mansfield, is the other Breslow partner — she's the coo.) As the front man, Peter has picked up where his mom — once labeled “superflack” by this magazine — left off. Now he's talking of expansion, and possibly a New York office. “We always knew we could compete with the bigger agencies,” Peter says. “Borgata gave us the stamp of credibility.” Peter has also shot a TV pilot for a series, called Staying Hip, that he co-hosts with restaurateur Audrey Claire Taichman. The episodes bring viewers inside exclusive, trendy boutique hotels like New York's Mercer. A local production company is shopping the show around to cable networks. Who knows? Combine that mouth with a TV hosting gig, and Superflack Jr. could one day be as big as the Naked Chef.

Best advice he ever got: “Fake it till you make it.”
TV character he most identifies with: “Arliss Michaels. He does for athletes what I do for chefs and restaurateurs.”
Le Bec or Buddakan: “Savona.”
Pat's or Geno's: “Geno's.”
Local power player he most admires: “Pat Croce. This guy sets goals, achieves them, then sets the bar even higher.”