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It's a force that can come down like a fist. Power commands respect while it confers credibility. It opens doors to some, while shutting them on others. It shapes society for better or for worse. Power is earned, but just as often it can be bought, inherited and even thrust upon an individual.
If you possess even a modicum of power, you don't ever find yourself wondering whether you have it.
You know who you are.
But do others?
In a region whose composition and identity are in a state of flux, we set out to identify the top 100 power brokers in Northeast Ohio.
It was no small task when you consider that we started with a list of nearly 300 people. They came from all segments of society, working in every conceivable industry sector in a diverse region that, for our purposes, ranged from Cleveland south to Greater Akron, east to the Mahoning Valley and west through Lorain County. Many names for this initial pool were culled from extensive interviews throughout the region, insiders who are familiar with the vagaries of power. One important note: No one employed by Great Lakes Publishing Co., the parent company of Inside Business Magazine, was considered for The Power 100.
There is no mathematical formula to determine power, and there certainly is no predetermined set of guidelines for valuing one's power over another. So before we could assign a power ranking to anyone, we had to develop what we believed represented power in Northeast Ohio. We used this simple definition: an individual's ability to influence the thoughts and actions of not only others, but also of an entire region.
We determined that an individual with power was in a different category than someone with influence. Having power means having the ability to influence, but having the ability to influence doesn't necessarily mean an individual has any significant power.
The initial list was pared down to roughly 130. To streamline that list to 100 and develop an initial ranking, we held everyone against five criteria; respect, profile (how well-known are they?), immediacy (how "in the now" are they?), influence within the community, and influence within respective industries.
Surprisingly, ranking individuals on the back half of The Power 100 was more difficult than determining those on the first half. Those power brokers who fell within the Top 25 were fairly obvious choices, and certainly those ranking within the Top 10 were expected. But, for others, the difference between appearing ahead or behind one's regional contemporaries could only be answered with a phone call.
In the occasion of a run-off between individuals for rank, we asked: If a Top 10 power broker receives a phone message from two lesser members of The Power 100, who does the Top 10 call back first? Who has the clout to become the priority of Northeast Ohio's power elite?
The results are on the following pages as a glimpse at the makeup of power in the region. On a macro level, it provides insight into how Northeast Ohio has changed over the decades and, perhaps, where it's headed (for more thoughts on that, see "The Changing Face of Power" on page 43).
Determining power is subjective, and we'd like your feedback on our choices. Forward your suggestions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you belong on next year's Power 100?
If you have to ask, you already know the answer.
1 SAM MILLER | CO-CHAIRMAN, TREASURER FOREST CITY ENTERPRISES INC. | CLEVELAND
Philanthropist. Civic leader. Power broker. Legend has it Miller once convened a meeting of the region's top CEOs to fund a local initiative he'd gotten behind. Miller had the room's doors locked and told the execs to get out their checkbooks; no one was leaving until his pet project was fully funded. He got the money. That's the kind of power and respect Miller has consistently held in Northeast Ohio, influence that transcends generations of fellow power brokers.
2 THE MOST REVEREND ANTHONY PILLA BISHOP | DIOCESE OF CLEVELAND | CLEVELAND
As shepherd of an 800,000-member flock of Greater Cleveland Catholics, Bishop Pilla's influence reaches beyond Cleveland and Akron and into Ashland, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina and Wayne counties. He has the ear of the region's business, political and civic communities, and his perceived influence is extensive. However, sex scandals have plagued not only his diocese, but others around the nation, weakening his power and keeping him from the No. 1 spot.
3 DAVID A. DABERKO CHAIRMAN, CEO | NATIONAL CITY CORP. | CLEVELAND
Leader of one of the two most powerful banks in town, Daberko augments his power with his commitment to civic leadership. His chairmanship of Cleveland Tomorrow, now merged into what's being called Greater Cleveland Tomorrow, put him at the table of every big decision made by the business community.
4 HENRY L. MEYER III CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENT, CEO | KEYCORP | CLEVELAND
Leader of Cleveland's other banking titan, Meyer distinguishes himself through various civic and cultural board work, namely as chairman of the boards of directors of University Hospitals Health System and …