David Grant President and CEO: The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Morristown.
What he does: Runs a grants-making institution that awarded $16 million in 2007 to arts, environmental, educational and Morris County nonprofits.
Why we love him: He counsels, teaches and inspires nonprofit leaders.
Grant took over the reins of the Dodge foundation in 1998 after spending more than 20 years in education. His hands-on style, patient demeanor and sharp intellect have attracted many fans.
"You don't play hockey casually in Minnesota. You don't play basketball casually in North Carolina. You don't participate in the arts casually here," says Grant, who lives in Hoboken.
The key to his success, he says, is simple.
"I would rank the quality of empathy very high," says Grant. "It is important for foundation people to remember what it is like to ask for money. Absolutely essential is a core respect for the people who are working in the civic sector.