When a politician takes credit for a major airport overhaul, a new rail tunnel or an expansive housing project, there’s a team of developers and construction companies who actually built it. When elected officials praise the creation of good jobs, there are business leaders and entrepreneurs generating the new opportunities – and a strong union movement that helps keep wages competitive. When government bureaucrats tout the thriving tourism industry, there’s a complex transportation network that gets them here – and plenty of attractions to draw in tourists.

The individuals carrying out these behind-the-scenes tasks are not elected, but often they are just as powerful as the officials that voters put into office. In this list, we put the spotlight on these players – The Influentials.

The third installment of this year’s Influentials list focuses on five of the most important sectors in Queens: real estate and construction, airports and airlines, business, organized labor, and nonprofits. In the coming months, we’ll turn our attention to their counterparts in Staten Island and the Bronx.

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In Queens, you’ll meet some of the city’s most influential union leaders, executives of the borough’s major construction companies and airlines, and civically engaged professionals from a wide range of occupations. We recognize their accomplishments, their drive and their dedication.

Five Queens business influencers you need to know.
Five Queens organized labor influencers you need to know.
Five Queens real estate and construction influencers you need to know.
Five Queens airports and airlines influencers you need to know.
Five Queens nonprofits influencers you need to know.