MaryAnn Guerra – Phoenix Businessperson of the Year
The Phoenix Business Journal’s annual survey for Businessperson of the Year ended with MaryAnn Guerra, CEO of BioAccel, standing tall above the rest of the nominees. After a slow start, Guerra surged and finished with 5,264 votes, or about 37 percent of the tally. Second place went to Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwell, and third place went to GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons.
Bill Cosby – Fall From Grace
At the age of 77, Bill Cosby, one of the world’s most acclaimed comedians, television personalities and advertising pitchmen (remember the Jell-O pudding ads?), has fallen hard and fast following allegations of sexual misconduct and rape. Infidelity rumors are nothing new for Cosby, which makes these mounting allegations even more believable.
In less than a month after news of the accusations started to break, 20 women came forward with claims that Cosby had engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior with them, from fondling them to slipping drugs into their drinks and then raping them. Clearly where there is smoke there is fire, but with so many women coming forward this has become a massive forest fire for Cosby. His attorney (but not Cosby himself) has denied the allegations, calling them baseless, but with 20 women pointing their fingers at Cosby, the court of public opinion has already ruled.
Kirk Douglas – Legendary Actor
Nothing has kept legendary actor Kirk Douglas from moving forward—not a helicopter crash in 1991 in which two other people died, or even a severe stroke in 1996. Douglas, who recently turned 98, is releasing his newest book (he’s written 10), titled Life Could Be Verse. It’s a collection of poetry and stories that span more than six decades of his life. One of Hollywood’s best-known leading men during the ’50s and ’60s, Douglas has appeared in almost 100 films, including the iconic film Spartacus, and was awarded an honorary Oscar in 1996. Douglas teamed up in several movies with another icon from the Golden Age of Hollywood, Burt Lancaster.
Bashar al-Assad – A Monstrous President
Bashar al-Assad has been the president of Syria since 2000. He succeeded his father, Hafez al-Assad, who was Syria’s president from 1971 until his death in 2000. In early 2011, anti-government protests were met with a military clampdown as al-Assad promised reforms. By July 2012, the International Committee of the Red Cross declared that the conflict in Syria had reached the level of civil war. Bashar has gassed his people, imprisoned and executed protestors and even resorted to starving entire cities. The United Nations’ General Assembly has condemned Assad for committing “gross human rights violations,” but that has not stopped this madman. In the last three years, more than 200,000 people have been killed, with reports that almost 65,000 of the dead were children. One has to wonder, when will the powers of the free world stop this slaughter of innocent people?