Joanna Sullivan, the longtime editor of the Baltimore Business Journal, knows a thing or two about the power players of Baltimore. Power is all about access and impact, she tells us. And, as always, money talks. Below, so does Sullivan.
What book or film most changed your life?
It would have to be All the President's Men. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein definitely played a role in my career choice, though I've yet to meet a source in a parking garage.
Who is your favorite Baltimorean, living or dead?
I guess I'm supposed to say H.L. Mencken. But it's actually my husband, Michael. With him as a tour guide, I fell in love with this city.
What's the bravest thing you've ever done?
Three years ago, Michael and I got on a plane to Ukraine to adopt our son, Maxim. It was both a terrifying and exhilarating journey. It was worth the three years of paperwork.
What is the greatest problem facing Baltimore today?
Besides the obvious crime, I worry about a lack of leadership in government, business, and philanthropy. So many of our most powerful business leaders are in their 70s and older. They have done much to make this city a better place to live. But I don't see a new crop of people ready to take their places.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Cheese. The stinkier, the better.
Is editing the BBJ a powerful position?
The position is powerful; I'm not. We have the potential to affect someone's business or life every day. That keeps me up at night sometimes.
You guys do a lot of lists of powerful people. What's your criteria?
Impact. We always look at whether a person has made a significant impact on the community. Money, of course, is what our readers want to know about. Who's making it? Who's spending it? And what are they doing behind the scenes to make things happen?
How do you think Baltimore power is different from other towns?
People stay here for a long time, so they wield power for a long time. That's not always the case in more transient places.
What's one item on your desk that makes you happy?
My cubicle is filled with my son Max's artwork, including the "newspaper" he created one day. Unfortunately, he recreated The Baltimore Sun and not the BBJ.