The Power Fifty 2009

What This List Is: Our ranking of the most influential Philadelphians. What This List Isn’t: A rehash of the usual suspects

31. David Haas, influencer
Chairman of the Board, William Penn Foundation
New to list

Throughout the year-long battle to force Dow Chemical to close its $16.3 billion purchase of Rohm & Haas, the key player representing the Haas family was third-generation member David W. Haas, 54. His willingness to reinvest family proceeds back into Dow probably helped seal the deal. David’s recent move to shore up the capital in Brian Tierney’s fight to keep the Inquirer suggests a very local-activist deployment of Haas family resources. With the Annenbergs gone, Pew focusing on national issues, and the Lenfests reaching the bottom of their barrel, David Haas may emerge as Philly’s knight in shining coin.

32. Frank Baldino, influencer
Chairman and CEO, Cephalon
New to list

Two decades after incubating bio-pharma global giant Cephalon out of the labs of DuPont, Baldino, 56, has emerged as a go-to corporate guy for the sciences through leadership at Temple, Pennsylvania Bio and the Franklin Institute. Baldino co-founded BioAdvance, which invests in biotech start-ups; though he’s respected by area CEOs, he has yet to flex his civic muscles to lead a charge that creates a life-sciences environment to compete with Boston and San Fran. If he’s up to it, so is the region.

33. Daniel Fitzpatrick, influencer
President and CEO, Citizens Bank, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware
New to list

We know — there are no “local” banks anymore. But this 46-year-old native Philadelphian and La Salle/Drexel grad sure does have a knack for making New England-headquartered Citizens feel like our neighborhood banker. With game-day visibility behind the Phillies’ home plate, and his name attached to committees, task forces, countless nonprofit donations and ribbon-cutting ceremonies, we’re starting to think of him as our very own George Bailey.

34. Jerry Mondesire, influencer
President, Philadelphia NAACP
2005: 35 :: 2000: 83

As president of the local NAACP and publisher and editor of the Philadelphia Sun, Mondesire has the power of the media pulpit. That he occasionally uses it to engage in puffery, like his shots at Donovan McNabb, means he sometimes raises tension. And while his defense of Michael Vick also seemed like grandstanding, it’s his job to speak out about the kinds of treatment previously incarcerated African-American males receive after they’ve done their time. In other words, watchdogs are paid to bark — and Mondesire, 60, does. Loudly. As one observer notes: “Jerry is a guy I would much rather have on my side than the other side.”

35. Ann Weaver Hart, institutional
President, Temple University
New to list

Three years ago, she became the first female prez in the history of the city’s largest (37,000 students strong) public university. But while she’s posted some management wins (she breezed through recent negotiations with faculty on a new contract deal), her profile has remained low. She hopes to change that with Temple’s just-announced “20/20” project, an ambitious multi-year development initiative that aims to do for North Broad what Penn did for West Philly — in effect, renew and reinvent it. We’re hoping this is her way of stepping out of the shadows of Gutmann, Papadakis, Adamany and Liacouras.