6 People to Follow in 2017

New Year, new influencers. From a real estate mogul/film producer to one of the nation’s top lawyers, here are six must-know people in the year to come. We can’t wait to see what they have in store next…

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Charles Harder

Partner of Harder, Mirell & Abrams LLP

Charles Harder has been a litigation attorney in Los Angeles for 20 years. He was lead counsel for Hulk Hogan in a lawsuit that resulted in a $140 million jury verdict in March 2016, forcing Gawker Media into bankruptcy. In September 2016, Harder filed a lawsuit on behalf of First Lady Melania Trump against U.K. newspaper The Daily Mail, seeking $150 million for defamation. His other clients in public lawsuits have included Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Bradley Cooper, Cameron Diaz, Clint Eastwood, Julia Roberts, and Reese Witherspoon, to name a few. Harder also serves as editor and co-author of the law treatise, Entertainment Law & Litigation. Harder has repeatedly been listed as one the Top 100 Power Lawyers in America—one of only 30 litigators—by The Hollywood Reporter. HMAFirm.com

(Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Charles S. Cohen

Owner, President, and CEO of Cohen Brothers Realty Corporation

Charles S. Cohen has achieved a national reputation for exceptional business acumen, innovation, and creativity. His real estate portfolio includes more than 12 million square feet of prime commercial properties in New York, Texas, Southeast Florida, and Southern California. He redeveloped Manhattan’s Decoration & Design Building, Los Angeles’ Pacific Design Center, Florida’s Design Center of the Americas, and Decorative Center Houston, all of which serve thousands of design professionals and design aficionados. A lifelong film enthusiast, Cohen has produced Academy Award-nominated films; his Cohen Media Group produces and distributes renowned independent and foreign films throughout the world, while the Cohen Film Collection is comprised of more than 800 landmark films. CohenBrothersRealty.com

Mike Milken

Founder and Chairman of the Prostate Cancer Foundation

Mike Milken founded the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) after a lengthy career on Wall Street, where his drive for cancer research spurred him to pursue parallel careers in philanthropy and finance—marked by both medical solutions and well-known innovations in finance. Milken’s first personal encounter with cancer was when his wife’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, something that spurred his quest for social change, capital, medical research, education, and public health. A number of years later, Milken’s father was diagnosed with prostate cancer, which led to Milken founding the PCF, whose competitive research grants to more than 1,600 programs at 200 research centers in 20 countries make it the world’s largest philanthropic source of funds for prostate cancer research. The PCF hosts two major fundraisers each year: The Charles Evans PCF Pro-Am Tennis Tournament in the Hamptons, and the Annual DANIEL Dinner and Fundraiser in New York City. PCF.org

(Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Lorenzo Soria

President of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association

With a near 40-year career as a foreign press correspondent, Argentinian-born and Italian-raised Lorenzo Soria was more than qualified for the job when elected president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) in 2005-2006, again 2015-2016, and most recently through 2017. He has been a member of the HFPA since 1989 and became a board member in 1996. Soria still writes for Italian newspapers and magazines, including La Stampa and L’Espresso. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is launching the 2017 awards season in Los Angeles with the 74th Golden Globes—the fourth produced by Soria—the first weekend of January. GoldenGlobes.com

Neil Portnow

President and CEO of The Recording Academy and GRAMMY Foundation

If you love music, then you need to know Neil Portnow, who honors the best in music at the annual GRAMMY Awards. Portnow’s career spans some 40 years as a music executive; in recent years, he has successfully harnessed the power of music for philanthropy through the Academy’s MusiCares foundation. Aside from encouraging philanthropy through music, Portnow has adamantly led efforts to secure the future of modern recordings, especially in relation to illegal downloading and piracy, and artist compensation rights. The Santa Monica-based Recording Academy, which was started in 1957, founded the The Latin Recording Academy in 1997, which produces the Latin Grammy Awards. The 59th Annual Grammy Awards takes place on February 12, 2017. Grammy.com

Jerry Jones

Owner, President, and General Manager of the Dallas Cowboys

A serial entrepreneur and gifted professional sports team owner, Jerry Jones is one to keep an eye on in 2017. Jones, who has owned the Dallas Cowboys since 1989, became the first owner in NFL history to guide his team to three league championships in his first seven years of ownership (1992, 1993, and 1995 seasons). Parallel to the success of the Dallas Cowboys on the field, Jones’ vision and leadership provided the driving influence behind the concept, design, and construction of AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas—a venue that is recognized internationally as perhaps the most spectacular and state-of-the-art sports stadium in the world. Jones also supports many community-related organizations and youth organizations, such as Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, the National Board for The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and the Kent Waldrep Paralysis Foundation. This former running back is a likely attendee at the 2017 Super Bowl in Houston. DallasCowboys.com

By Norah Bradford

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