EDITED BY ERICK TRICKEY PHOTOGRAPHY BY ERIC MULL ■ ILLUSTRATIONS BY JEFF SUNTALA
hange. Leaders gain power when they consistently champion it and develop a reputation for it. They have power when the news that they’re backing an effort gives it credibility. In the 2010s, a time when many corporate boards are telling their CEOs not to get too caught up in civic efforts but focus on their companies’ profit-and-loss statements, power gathers around those who defy the trend. By combining strong recession-era corporate leadership with unusual dedication to improving Northeast Ohio, Alexander “Sandy” Cutler of Eaton and Chris-
topher Connor of Sherwin-Williams have earned their peers’ respect and admiration — and the No. 1 and No. 3 spots on this year’s Inside Business Power 100. In a region distracted and held back by political leaders who defended old ways of governing, from machine politics to corrupt self-dealing, power shifts to new leaders who promise to hold themselves to higher standards. That’s why new Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald debuts on our list at No. 9. Influence also accrues around leaders who have built long careers on their integrity, such as Rep. Steve LaTourette, who rides his party’s November victories to our No. 16 spot.
When unemployment still tops 9 percent, educational leaders gain or retain power, as their colleges retrain workers for the changing economy and explore breakthrough technologies and ideas that will lead the next round of change. Hospital CEOs rise in power as health care drives more and more of Northeast Ohio’s economy and federal reforms promise a new influx of patients. And as the early signs of recovery spread, power begins to flow back to companies that make things, from paint and coatings to electrical products to steel. Together, the 100 men and women on our list will play the largest roles in creating the economic structure of Northeast Ohio’s future.
HOW WE DID IT We started our search for the region’s most powerful by turning to those who know power best. We surveyed the leaders on our previous Power 100 list, asking them who wields the most clout in Northeast Ohio today, who gained power in 2010, who lost it and which up-and-comers are already proving themselves. We also invited the business enthusiasts on Inside Business’ e-mail list to offer suggestions and tips, which led us to trends and shifts that our sources in Northeast Ohio’s corridors of power confirmed. Finally, we applied our news judgment about the events and forces that affected our region in 2010 and our sense of which men and women most influenced the region’s economy and which are poised to do the same in the new year. 46
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SANDY CUTLER CHAIRMAN AND CEO, EATON CORP. IBMAG.COM
t is difficult to write about Eaton Corp. CEO Alexander Cutler without exercising that most overworn literary device, the sports metaphor. The Milwaukee native, the man everyone calls Sandy, fueled his competitive spirit as a multisport performer at the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Conn., and Yale University. In 1972, Cutler, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound defensive end, helped Yale’s football team overcome a 17-0 deficit to defeat Harvard 28-17, ending a string of two losses to the Bulldogs’ ultimate rival. Cutler is also an avid tennis player and baseball fan who switched allegiances from the Brewers to the Indians years ago. And in almost every interview, Cutler mentions his passion for teamwork, insisting he is not the star. “There’s no one man on the mound,” he told The Plain Dealer upon his elevation to CEO in 2000. But others argue that he is unquestionably a leader among leaders, the MVP among Northeast Ohio’s power players. Key Corp. CEO Henry Meyer turns to another athletic analogy to explain why. Meyer says Cutler’s approach to leadership reminds him of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s famous quote: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not CHAIRMAN AND CEO, EATON CORP. where it has been.” “That’s what differentiates Sandy,” says Meyer, who has watched Eaton’s CEO work from a close-up vantage point: Cutler is Cutler and his team set a bold path for the also the lead director on Key’s board. company in 2000, announcing goals that “He focuses on a strategic vision,” Meyer “most thought were unreachable,” he says. says, “not just for the moment, but where The result is a diversified, transformed comthings are going … and where they should pany that does more than half of its almost be going.” $12 billion in annual sales outside of the U.S. That was evident when Cutler took over — an expansion that has spurred its planned the top job at Eaton a decade ago. He saw move to a new international headquarters in the company not as the industrial manufac- Beachwood, set for 2012. It has averaged alturer it once was, but as the global manager most 14 percent compounded growth (stock of electrical, fluid and mechanical systems price plus dividend) over the past 10 years. and services it would become. It was strong enough to rebound (there’s the
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sports metaphor again) from the deep recession of 2008-09. In the third quarter of 2010, Eaton posted profits of $268 million, up 39 percent from a year ago. In the same way, Cutler doesn’t see Northeast Ohio as what it has been over the past two decades. He sees it as a region full of potential that can leverage its many assets to spur growth. He’s done his part to make that happen during his extensive service with more than a dozen civic organizations. He’s much more than a cheerleader. “He’ll get in
the mud and wrestle with you,” another local leader once told Inside Business. Perhaps Cutler’s most competitive match has been the 18-month struggle to reform Cuyahoga County government, which has been beset by a corruption scandal unmatched anywhere in the nation. “Frankly, Northeast Ohio has deserved better than the public government it has had over the last 20 years,” Cutler says. “In a very, very loud voice … the people said, ‘We’re tired of a government that’s not transparent, not accountable, that doesn’t appear to be honest and appears to make way too many excuses.’ ” That vision of a better county government turns to reality this month, as newly elected County Executive Ed FitzGerald and the county council take office. Now it’s time for them to lead, Cutler says. “We are blessed to have tremendous leadership in the private sector,” he says. “My hope is that we will now see the public sector step up.” Cutler, one of eight members of the county’s transition executive committee, says three attributes of leadership that he’s cultivated inside Eaton will be essential to the success of the new charter government: You have to embrace dramatic and bold change. You have to be willing to recruit top talent. You need an environment that encourages people to do their best work. “There [has] to be a significant raising of the bar for the senior jobs that will report to the county executive,” says Cutler, who supported FitzGerald’s opponent, Matt Dolan. “Great talent is not defined by somebody you know. Great talent is defined by being truly great talent. If you don’t have that, you can’t accomplish these truly big goals.” The sports metaphor is clear: The team that puts the best players on the field usually wins. And Sandy Cutler knows something about winning. — Stuart Warner
1. Alexander “Sandy” Cutler, chairman and CEO, Eaton Corp. (p. 48)
2. Delos “Toby” Cosgrove, president and CEO, Cleveland Clinic The Clinic’s expansion, from the main campus to Mayfield Heights to Abu Dhabi, shows Cosgrove’s sweeping power. The awkward decision to close Huron Hospital’s trauma center hurt him a little, but even the fact that the protests weren’t angrier shows Cosgrove’s stature. 3. Christopher Connor, chairman and CEO, The Sherwin-Williams Co. (p. 50) 4. Dan Gilbert, majority owner, Cleveland Cavaliers; chairman, Quicken Loans Inc.; principal, Rock Gaming (p. 54) 5. Sandra Pianalto, president and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Her vote on the Fed’s Open Markets Committee has worldwide implications: Its new stimulus policy boosted the stock market in November and led other nations to protest. 6. Anthony J. Alexander, president and CEO, FirstEnergy Corp. (p. 57) 7. Frank Jackson, mayor, Cleveland (p. 56) 8. Thomas Zenty III, CEO, University Hospitals (p. 59) 9. Ed FitzGerald, Cuyahoga County executive (p. 51) 10. Henry Meyer, chairman and CEO, KeyCorp Even with four months left before retirement, Meyer remains influential, pushing for more regional cooperation among business groups. 11. Albert Ratner, co-chairman, Forest City Enterprises Inc. Even in his 80s, Ratner is involved in shaping the community. His backing of a global Cleveland initiative to boost the city’s population is bearing fruit in efforts to create an international welcome center near Cleveland State University. 12. Barbara Snyder, president, Case Western Reserve University Although Snyder isn’t exercising much influence outside University Circle, she’s steadily consolidating the gains CWRU has achieved in its finances and relationships since she took over. 13. Beth Mooney, president, COO, and incoming chairman and CEO, KeyCorp (p. 52) 14. Don Plusquellic, mayor, Akron (p. 56) 15. Sherrod Brown, U.S. Senator (p. 56) 16. Steven LaTourette, U.S. Representative (p. 56) 17. Ronn Richard, president and CEO, The Cleveland Foundation Richard’s feud with the other foundations in town over the Fund for Our Economic Future hurt everyone involved, not the least Richard himself, whom many blame for the dispute. But Richard’s assertiveness in debates over public education and progress in the wind power effort he championed show his clout.
18. Luis Proenza, president, University of Akron The university keeps booming under Proenza while he’s also active in Washington through the Council on Competitiveness. UA’s shared-services agreement with Lorain County Community College could become a model for regional cooperation in education. 19. Sam Miller, co-chairman and treasurer, Forest City Enterprises Inc. His 2007 speech at the NEO Success Awards helped spark the Cuyahoga County reform effort. Only now, at 89, is Miller slowing down, but he’s still funding candidates, helping civic efforts and dispensing sought-after advice. 20. Umberto Fedeli, chairman and CEO, The Fedeli Group More than anyone in town, Fedeli stands at the spot where business, politics, fundraising and networking intersect. As Republicans take over state government and the U.S. House, his fundraising for conservative candidates will give him influence. 21. Joseph Roman, president and CEO, Greater Cleveland Partnership Roman and the Partnership have exerted influence on several fronts lately, from the closing of the Medical Mart deal to the Cleveland schools transformation plan to the effort to keep a hub at Hopkins Airport in the wake of the Continental-United merger. 22. David Abbott, executive director, The George Gund Foundation The battle over the Fund for Our Economic Future hurt Abbott’s standing as well as Richard’s, but his work on Ed FitzGerald’s transition shows that Abbott, a former county administrator, is still an influential voice in civic circles. 23. Roy Church, president, Lorain County Community College It’s hard to find a bigger advocate of regional cooperation than Church, an evangelist for community colleges and a supporter of innovative partnerships on economic and work force development. 24. Jerry Sue Thornton, president, Cuyahoga Community College Pay no attention to the Tri-C faculty’s vote of no confidence, the result of difficult contract negotiations. Thornton has the confidence of the school’s board — and the many Cleveland-area power players who consult her for advice. 25. Ward J. “Tim” Timken Jr., chairman, The Timken Co. The longtime godfather of Stark County is becoming a regional player with his strong efforts to promote NEO 77, a budding alliance among the Cleveland, Akron and Canton chambers of commerce.
CHRISTOPHER CONNOR CHAIRMAN AND CEO, THE SHERWIN-WILLIAMS CO.
hris Connor understands the power of a single gesture. When Nike yanked the Godzilla-sized image of LeBron James off SherwinWilliams’ Landmark Building this summer, an old idea popped back into Connor’s mind. “It was very clear to me that we needed very quickly to respond,” says Connor, Sher-
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win-Williams’ CEO. “LeBron left a gaping hole in our heart. We didn’t want a hole on the side of our building either.” Connor had long thought about using the company headquarters’ façade to raise Sherwin-Williams’ profile here. So this October, on the day of the Cavaliers’ home opener, Sherwin-Williams hung its 210-foot-wide banner of the glowing nighttime Cleveland skyline in the Mega-LeBron’s place.
“Our home since 1866,” it reads. “Our pride forever.” That simple statement reaches beyond civic loyalty to symbolize Connor’s civic action. In an era when many CEOs are retreating from community involvement, heeding boards of directors’ calls to focus on the company alone, Connor and Sherwin-Williams are an exception. He’s working to improve Northeast Ohio’s business climate as a Greater Cleveland Partnership vice chair and to attract new business as chairman of Team NEO. His power is in gestures both big and small. Thomas Humphries, president and CEO of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce, came to a Team NEO event this fall with a guest: Carrie Chan of Genius Electronic Optical, a Taiwanese manufacturer of LED lights and cellphone camera lenses that may locate its North American operations in the Mahoning Valley. As Connor introduced himself to Chan, he bowed his head slightly and presented his business card with two hands, as businesspeople do in Taiwan and China. “I saw other people of prominence almost fling their business card to her,” Humphries says. “He’s the one person she remembers up there.” Connor gets personally involved in Team NEO’s business-attraction efforts. “On short notice, he has cleared his calendar to meet with CEOs of large companies that have come to town,” says Tom Waltermire, the group’s CEO. Connor has also made Sherwin-Williams’ Cavaliers tickets, in a box near courtside, available to visiting executives. “He likes having the opportunity to promote the region,” Waltermire says. “He’s frustrated we don’t give him even more chances than we do.” Connor grew up in Akron, where his father, Michael, a Firestone vice president, often volunteered for civic efforts. “[If something] was important in Akron, if the business community needed to be represented, he was involved,” he recalls. Connor says he learned a lot by observing his dad’s business skills and values: his poise and presence, his ease at a podium, his strong sense of ethics and his loyalty to his company. Ethics have also been important to Connor as he’s led Sherwin-Williams’ ultimate realization of its logo’s “Cover the Earth” slogan, its global expansion. Sherwin-Williams had no facilities in Asia and only one in Europe when Connor became CEO in 1999. Today,
it has 13 factories in Europe and 13 facilities in Asia. With that expansion comes the need to take the company’s values overseas, Connor says. Speaking to the Cleveland Council on World Affairs in June, he told the story of touring a Brazilian paint plant before Sherwin-Williams acquired it. He discovered that a single, cigarette-smoking man was performing the work of adding pressurized, flammable propellant to aerosol paint cans without safety protection. Sherwin-Williams changed the process once it took ownership of the plant. “Safety and respect for human life doesn’t mean a government entity insists on it,” Connor says. “It’s part of the culture of who we are.” Connor, 54, joined SherwinWilliams in 1983 as advertising director for its paint stores. His 28 years with the company aren’t unusual; Sherwin-Williams is known for its remarkable skill at retaining and promoting employees. The president and COO, John Morikis, started as a floor-sweeper. Turnover among its retail employees is only about 5 percent annually. “When we share that number with people — Wall Street analysts, others who follow retail chains — that number always blows them away,” Connor says. Connor does his part to let employees know they’re valued, says Tom Hopkins, SherwinWilliams’ senior vice president for human resources. Connor calls a sampling of the company’s 36,000 worldwide employees on their birthdays and anniversaries. He and Hopkins took three winners of a pride-in-Cleveland slogan contest to the Cavs-Heat game in December. They’ve also led the company’s teams in charity bike races such as Pedal to the Point. “The guy doesn’t have to do that,” Hopkins says, “but he’s there in front, wearing riding togs and eating Hostess Twinkies.” — Erick Trickey
Many people call Ed FitzGerald’s new job the most powerful political position in Northeast Ohio. That gives FitzGerald, Cuyahoga County’s first executive, an especially interesting vantage point for observing what power is: How much of it comes with a job, how much does a leader acquire by stepping out and ED FITZGERALD leading, how much of it is unilateral, and how much depends on cooperation and persuasion? — ET CUYAHOGA COUNTY EXECUTIVE INSIDE BUSINESS: How powerful do you think the county executive job is, as written in the charter? FITZGERALD: I think it’s powerful the way it’s written because it takes all the powers of county government and it consolidates them. All your taxing authority, your economic development programs, your human services programs — all those basic functions of government will be consolidated under the county executive. It’s the things that aren’t written into the charter that I think will determine how powerful the county executive really is. I went down to Columbus [after the election], and I was able to get right into the governor’s office and have an extended conversation with him. I could meet with Bill Batchelder, who’s going to be the new speaker of the house, and Tom Niehaus, who’s going to be the new Senate president, and deal with them as colleagues and as peers. I have already started taking that as part of my mission: to try to play a role in the way state policy is going to affect Cuyahoga County. IB: What sort of influence do you think you’ll have in the community as you start the job? EF: The charter has created a position where Cuyahoga County can speak with one voice. To the extent that I can grow into that role, also to the extent that I can build coalitions, it gives me entree into all kinds of situations I may not have direct control over. IB: Can you give an example? EF: I’m the first person that, in one day, was able to talk to the folks at the city of Brooklyn and the CEO of American Greetings. I’m going to start trying to convene all the local higher education institutions around the same table and figure out what kind of economies of scale or shared strategies we can devise. I’m going to try to convene all of the CEOs of local health systems and try to talk about that as well. IB: What kinds of businesses will benefit from your Fourth Frontier program? EF: Advanced manufacturing, biomedical and biotech. Those are probably the most likely. Small- to medium-sized companies. Not com-
plete startups that don’t have their own capital. An existing local business that has a practical business plan and local capital we can supplement. That’s important, because if you don’t have that, then the county is being the entrepreneur. And it isn’t the county’s job to be the entrepreneur. IB: What are your goals for the Medical Mart and convention center project? What are your biggest concerns? EF: One of the jobs of the county executive is going to be to promote Cuyahoga County as a business destination. The Medical Mart is going to be one of our major selling points if it’s a success. So I’m going to take an active role trying to promote it to the medical industry across the country. I also want to make sure that construction process itself is open and transparent and that it comes in on time and on budget. IB: What can the county do to maximize the Medical Mart’s benefits for the local economy? EF: Make sure it is integrated with local providers. Make sure local people are hired. We want to make sure it’s integrated with local medical institutions as much as possible. When the Medical Mart is used to showcase a medical innovation, we want to try to figure out, “OK, how do we commercialize that idea into our local economy?” IB: What’s the regional part of your economic strategy? EF: Once we create this Fourth Frontier, if a city wants to participate in it, we want to try to create an incentive for them to collaborate. You don’t want to punish a business because the mayor of their town doesn’t want to collaborate on anything, but it makes sense for us to try to come up with some financial incentives. Some counties have a noncompete agreement among themselves. It doesn’t make sense for us to be giving tax breaks and tax incentives to take a company to go from one side of the [county] line to another. I would like to broker that kind of an agreement.
JERRY SUE THORNTON SANDRA PIANALTO
BETH MOONEY PRESIDENT, COO, AND INCOMING CHAIRMAN AND CEO, KEYCORP
metaphorical blank sheet of paper brought Beth Mooney to Cleveland in 2006. That year, KeyCorp chairman and CEO Henry L. Meyer III recruited the rising banking star away from her post as CFO of AmSouth Bancorporation in Alabama. He did it by offering a challenge simple in premise but complex in execution: Take Key back to basics. Make Key’s community banking division more like the good old-fashioned neighborhood bank. Key’s branches resembled “Dairy Queens in the age of Starbucks,” Mooney says. They needed an overhaul, from aesthetics to staffing to technology. Mooney started in Key’s own backyard. Northeast Ohio branches got major facelifts, with photographs of local landmarks on the walls, slick new flatscreens and decor strongly tied to Key’s branding. She updated the branches’ product offerings, technology, ATMs and call centers. The branches offered new enticements such as iPod Touches for new customers. “[Cleveland] was a market where we were second in market share,” says Mooney, 55, currently Key’s president and COO. “[The changes] were not just to lose what was old and tired. … It was part of the message that something’s different at Key.” Mooney’s success at using that blank sheet of paper to reinvigorate Key’s branches earned her a groundbreaking promotion. She’ll succeed Meyer as CEO when he retires May 1, making her the first female CEO of a major U.S. bank and the first woman in Northeast Ohio named CEO of a Fortune 500 company. “Through Beth’s efforts, the community bank is a stronger part of the company now,” says senior bank analyst Peter Winter of BMO Capital Markets. Mooney’s promotion will give Key consistency in its relationship banking strategy, Winter says. The company is now replicating Mooney’s approach in other major markets. Proof of the strategy’s effectiveness, she says, lies in KeyCorp’s survival during the economic crisis. After two years of losses, the bank posted profits in the second and third quarters of 2010. Deposits are up; it has improved its risk profile and has ascended to become the top bank in the Northeast Ohio market. “We were validated by these economic events,” Mooney says. “We had the right
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Key Player model and took the right path. Now I think we have a competitive advantage.” After just four years in town, Mooney’s regional impact is also evident in the head-first dive she’s taken into civic involvement. “I’ve enjoyed watching the way she’s gotten deeply engaged in the community,” says Joe Roman, president and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Partnership. “I see the same interest levels in Beth in being involved in town as I did in Henry. … It’s a culture in the organization that’s clearly not going away.” Mooney sits on the boards of the Musical Arts Association, the United Way, the Cleveland Clinic and Neighborhood Progress Inc., where she co-chaired the search effort for the organization’s new CEO.
“She was tireless,” says fellow search committee member Tim Tramble, executive director of Burten, Bell, Carr Development Inc. “She’s one of those rare people at that level who really did the civic work that you wouldn’t generally be recognized for. In the trenches, you don’t see a lot of those people.” Dennis LaBarre agrees. He’s a partner at Jones Day and president of the Musical Arts Association, which supports the Cleveland Orchestra. LaBarre says Mooney, who has sat on an orchestra or symphony board in nearly every city she’s lived, helped the association with its financial modeling. “It wouldn’t have been possible without that combination of her interests, her background with other symphony orchestras, and her financial and banking expertise,” he says.
That Mooney has eased so quickly into such powerful community roles says something about her work ethic and knack with people. Those who know her say she’s down-to-earth and approachable. She laughs easily and seeks out fun. She’s energetic and intense, sometimes so much that it’s tiring. “I have to modulate that intensity so people find me more inspiring than overwhelming,” she says. “I think I have that balance more right than not.” She has a Midwestern plainspokenness that reflects her Michigan roots, with a knack for down-home turns-of-phrase, likely picked up from her many years living in Texas. “Giddyup, let’s get it done,” she often says to spur her community banking staff to action. “When she enters a room, she’s not one of those ‘here I am’ types,” says friend Linda Bluso, partner-in-charge at the Cleveland office of law firm Brouse McDowell. “She’s just quietly, effectively going about commanding a crowd.” Along the way, Mooney has befriended some of the region’s most powerful female executives. Many of them blanketed her downtown office with flowers after the Nov. 18 announcement of her promotion. “You could hear cheers going up all around the city when she got it,” says Cynthia Schulz, director of public affairs and strategy at the Cleveland Foundation. “Beth getting this position is terrific in so many ways: for Key, for the city, for women.” Hundreds of women within Key have flooded Mooney’s inbox with e-mails of support and admiration. “One woman wrote, ‘I’m going to my job this morning and I’m standing taller already,’ ” Mooney says. “I have responded personally to all of these e-mails. I want them to know how much it means to me … and to let them know I intend to make them proud.” — Jennifer K eirn
REBECCA BAGLEY CYNTHIA MOORE-HARDY APRIL MILLER BOISE
WOMEN ON POWER This year’s Power 100 includes 15 women: business leaders, congresswomen, college presidents, and the soon-to-be first female CEO of a major U.S. bank. We asked some of them to share their experiences as women on power’s front lines, the opportunities and challenges they’ve faced and what they think it’ll take to get more women into Northeast Ohio’s C-suites. — as told to Jennifer Keirn
APRIL MILLER BOISE PARTNER-IN-CHARGE, THOMPSON HINE
Power is the ability to impact, influence or lead others. You can do this without necessarily having the title, and there are CEOs who don’t make the list because they’re not using their role to have that type of influence. We tend to assign the title of “powerful” to women only once they’ve attained a certain title. I don’t think the same is true for men. I made the Power 100 when I became managing partner of the Cleveland office of Thompson Hine. Was I less powerful immediately before that announcement? Perhaps. But I think there are other women in our community who are as powerful as I am or as the men on the list. They simply don’t have the title. When people meet me, they think, hmmm, African-American woman, looks relatively young. There’s an assumption that if you’re a woman and a minority, you must not be powerful. When they hear my title, they’re always really surprised. When I’m in a meeting with a group of movers and shakers, I stand out because I look different. People always remember me. That’s something I can use to be more influential.
REBECCA BAGLEY PRESIDENT AND CEO, NORTECH
Power implies that you sit at the top of something, like command-andcontrol. For me, it’s more like sitting
in the middle of something that you’re directing. I think that’s a model the world is moving toward. I once had a guy laugh out loud when I told him my title. Now he’s someone I work with often. I have a 4- and a 6-year-old. I don’t do 7:30 a.m. breakfasts anymore so I can spend time with my kids in the morning. I nursed both kids a year while working 65 to 70 hours a week. I feel camaraderie with women around these issues of balance. Do women take themselves out of the mix because we have other priorities, or does the system take us out of the mix? I see a little of both. There’s not enough flexibility around how we let people work. I tell women, “Act like the job you want, not necessarily the job you’re in. Take leadership one step further than people ask you to. From top to bottom, your actions should be CEOlike.”
CYNTHIA MOORE-HARDY PRESIDENT AND CEO, LAKE HEALTH
When I’m advising a woman, I focus not so much on the challenges of being a woman, but on the challenges of leadership. I say, “Find a mentor.” Some would say, “Find a female,” but I say, “Find someone you admire. Spend time talking about leadership. Listen to their advice.” Being a woman doesn’t give me an advantage, and I refuse to think that it gives me a disadvantage.
JERRY SUE THORNTON PRESIDENT, CUYAHOGA COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Certainly there were times when I felt being a female was not an advantage. But being 5-foot-2 wasn’t an advantage either. I look at influence individually, based on a person’s talents, ability and charisma. When I came to Northeast Ohio in 1992, there were more women in key leadership positions than there are now: Karen Horn at Bank One, Jackie Woods at Ohio Bell, Farah Walters at UH. What’s changed? I don’t know. Beth Mooney’s appointment at KeyCorp was celebrated by women because people think, OK, there’s opportunity. Seeing a reflection of yourself in high-level positions causes people to believe there’s opportunity, there’s an openness in the culture.
SANDRA PIANALTO PRESIDENT AND CEO, FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF CLEVELAND
Perhaps I have been very fortunate, but in my experiences, I have not been treated differently than men who hold similar positions. While there are very few women in the top spots in Cleveland, I believe it is the same situation across the country. I know many successful women who are making tremendous contributions. I believe that as this pipeline of smart, talented and ambitious women grows, so too will the number of women in C-suite positions. IBMAG.COM
Tale of Two Cities CLEVELAND
uicken Loans’ new offices in downtown Detroit look like a collaboration between Willy Wonka and a tech nerd: scratch-and-sniff wallpaper, graffiti art in hallways, coffee bars and TV lounges, panoramic balconies, and conference-room windows revealing spectacular skyscraper views. This August, company founder Dan Gilbert brought 1,700 employees from suburban Livonia to Detroit’s Compuware building, triggering a burst of activity in downtown’s restaurants, stores and parks that many metro Detroiters couldn’t have imagined even 15 years ago. One of Gilbert’s “Isms,” the 18 corporate mantras he distributes to all new employees, reads, “You’ll see it when you believe it.” Another goes, “Numbers and money follow; they do not lead.” His ability to imagine and to defy past trends has made Gilbert one of Detroit’s most influential CEOs. “People in their 20s, coming out of college, they overwhelmingly want to live, work and play in an urban core,” Gilbert says. “That’s why states like Michigan and Ohio are losing so many talented, wealth-creating people to New York, Boston — and South Beach, if you will.” So Gilbert and a few CEO friends, including Compuware’s Pete Karmanos Jr. and racing mogul Roger Penske, are doing their part to give Detroit the vitality other big American cities still possess. Gilbert recently re-christened Detroit’s main street, Woodward Avenue, “WEBward Avenue,” reflecting his aspiration of getting dozens of tech companies to cluster around Quicken Loans and Compuware. “We want to get it to where normal market forces take over, and anyone in technology will want to get there,” he says. To that end, Gilbert and Penske are leading a public-private partnership to establish a light-rail line on Woodward Avenue, which would be the equivalent of Cleveland CEOs footing most of the bill for trains on Euclid. His decision to move Quicken Loans downtown made Gilbert a major power player in the city. He courted former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s help in making the relocation happen. When Kilpatrick flamed out in a 2008 corruption and perjury scandal, Gilbert and his business allies promised to loan the mayor’s family $240,000 if he resigned, a controversial move he defended as necessary to bring Detroit’s nightmare to an end. Now, Gilbert and Mayor Dave Bing are working closely on the light-rail project and the next phase of Quicken Loans’ relocation. The mayor, a former NBA star and businessman, has also been a guest speaker at Gilbert’s entrepreneur school, Bizdom U. “I was born and raised in Detroit,” Gilbert says. “So were my father and grandfather. They had small businesses in the city, [a saloon and a car wash]. I want to be one of the people to bring it back in a big way.”
INSIDE BUSINESS | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2011
leveland’s casino exists only in a video for now, but as we glide past it like robot birds along a virtual Huron Road, one thing is clear: It doesn’t look like Vegas at all. DAN GILBERT Glitzy, flashy, radiant with the MAJORITY OWNER, CLEVELAND glow of money, sure. But also sur- CAVALIERS; CHAIRMAN, QUICKEN LOANS INC.; PRINCIPAL, ROCK GAMING prisingly inviting, with a plaza and patio umbrellas and a glass-walled lounge and a cavalcade of chic fashion stores all facing the street: a sort of neo-Rodeo Drive on the Cuyahoga. “Most casinos, I think, are done wrong and put in the wrong place,” says Dan Gilbert, Cavaliers owner, Quicken Loans founder, and principal of the Rock Gaming casino venture. “They’re not in an urban core, where you create excitement and synergy.” The usual strategy of blocking patrons from the outside world so they gamble more offends Gilbert’s sense of how a city should work. “We want it to be two-way traffic,” he says. “We’re not looking to create a bunkerlike casino.” Sure, Gilbert stands to make scads of cash off his Cleveland casino, but its design also fits his urban vision. He thinks Cleveland’s future, like his native Detroit’s, depends on building a strong downtown where young, smart, talented people want to live and work. That drives Gilbert’s “obsession with integration,” says Joe Roman, president and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Partnership. “I like his vision,” Roman says. “I like that he’s thinking very grand with the [casino] designs.” Gilbert loves cities. That’s why his entrepreneur’s school, Bizdom U., will require students to start their businesses downtown when it expands to Cleveland this year. That’s why Quicken Loans opened an online home lending center with 400 employees in the MK Ferguson Building in 2006. It’s why Cavs president Len Komoroski stands in for Gilbert on the Group Plan Commission, which is exploring ways to reinvent downtown’s Malls and Public Square. Although Gilbert’s based in Detroit, he’s had a major impact on Cleveland since he bought the Cavaliers in 2005. Maybe that’s because he sees how alike Cleveland and Detroit are: both struggling cities that hit bottom about 30 years ago and are clawing their way back. “[His] mantra is: Why should the East and West coasts have all the fun?” says Komoroski. Gilbert also fits in here because he’s a businessman who’s used to winning. So he craves an NBA title as hungrily as Cleveland’s glory-starved fans. The infamous letter after LeBron’s Decision went over way better here than in the other 49 states. National commentators thought he sounded like a psycho ex-girlfriend. But that night, Gilbert knew Cleveland felt like a psycho ex-girlfriend. “Our absolute No. 1 goal — beyond profits, beyond anything — is to deliver Cleveland a championship,” he says. “It’s going to take a bit of time. We’re going to do it the right way now and focus on the team and not a one-man show.” He’s not a Clevelander, but Gilbert gets Cleveland. — ET
GOOD YEARS, BAD YEARS
TOP 100 GREATER AKRON
Here’s how 2010 treated some longtime members of the Power 100.
Virginia Albanese, president and CEO, FedEx Custom Critical NEW The chair of the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce, Albanese is involved in local economic competitiveness efforts and a talent initiative to engage and retain young professionals.
Anthony J. Alexander, president and CEO, FirstEnergy Corp.
president, GAR Foundation
Briggs became chairman of the Knight Foundation board in March, which translates to more influence nationwide and in Akron, where the foundation is heavily invested in organizations such as the Austen BioInnovation Institute and the University Park Alliance. BRAD WHITEHEAD president, Fund for Our Economic Future
The Cleveland Foundation’s decision to cut off grants to the future fund slashed Whitehead’s budget by a third. But he’s staying in the game by remaining visible, continuing innovative projects such as EfficientGovNow and talking up Cleveland’s network of business-support groups in Time. FRANK SULLIVAN CEO and chairman, RPM International Inc.
After eight years as CEO and two as chairman, Sullivan’s influence stretches from Medina, RPM’s hometown, to Cleveland, where he’s on the Rock Hall and Greater Cleveland Partnership boards and vice chair of the Cleveland Foundation. He’s recognized as a leader in his industry, coatings and sealants manufacturing. People often turn to him for sound advice. DANIEL TROY Lake County commissioner
Troy squeaked back into office with less than 51 percent of the vote this fall, almost upset by a challenger riding the Republican wave and needling him for taking contributions from Jimmy Dimora. But he’s still the most vocal, high-profile politician in Lake County, and the county commission’s recent 2-1 vote to join the Lake Erie wind turbine project shows Troy can still be a pivotal figure. JAY WILLIAMS mayor, Youngstown
Williams is reportedly a candidate for the Obama administration’s auto czar job, which would give the Mahoning Valley new clout in Washington. It’s a reminder of the 39-year-old mayor’s national alliances and profile. ANTHONY CAFARO JR. co-president, The Cafaro Co.
The Cafaro shopping empire heir started the year with a promotion to company co-president. A year later, his father is fighting a corruption indictment, and his uncle has pleaded guilty to making a false statement about a campaign contribution. Now, the 35-year-old Cafaro, a respected civic leader active in the chamber of commerce, has the task of rebuilding the family name.
William Batchelder, speaker of the Ohio House NEW The Republican leader and former judge served 30 years in the state House before the term limits era, giving him an institutional knowledge and authority now rare in Columbus. Rob Briggs, president, GAR Foundation; chairman, Knight Foundation Daniel Colantone, president and CEO, Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce William Considine, president and CEO, Akron Children’s Hospital Frank Douglas, president and CEO, Austen BioInnovation Institute NEW The scientist and former MIT professor, once a teenage preacher in Guyana, is now a leader in moving Akron’s economy forward. The Geoffrey Beene Gives Back Foundation named him a “Rock Star of Science” in November. Paul Greig, chairman, president and CEO, FirstMerit Corp. Joe Kanfer, chairman and CEO, GOJO Industries Richard Kramer, chairman, president and CEO, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. NEW At 47, Kramer is one of the youngest chairmen in Goodyear’s history, but he’s had a leading role in company strategy since 2003, with his eye on emerging markets. Lester Lefton, president, Kent State University NEW Under Lefton’s leadership, Kent State is taking a leading role in fields important to Northeast Ohio’s resurgence: flexible electronic materials, liquid crystal displays, urban design and government collaboration. Christine Amer Mayer, COO and legal counsel, GAR Foundation NEW Although Mayer is still in her 30s, she’s taking on an increased leadership role in Akron’s nonprofit community. Don Plusquellic, mayor, Akron Luis Proenza, president, University of Akron Russ Pry, Summit County executive Tom Strauss, president and CEO, Summa Health System Frank Sullivan, chairman and CEO, RPM International Inc. Betty Sutton, U.S. Representative Mary Taylor, Lieutenant Governor, Ohio Ward J. “Tim” Timken Jr., chairman, The Timken Co.
CUYAHOGA COUNTY David Abbott, executive director, The George Gund Foundation Monte Ahuja, chairman, University Hospitals NEW He didn’t just give UH $30 million to build the Ahuja Medical Center in Beachwood; Ahuja is also a good thinker and strategizer who has ably helped Tom Zenty lead the hospital system. Rebecca Bagley, president and CEO, Nortech Ronald Berkman, president, Cleveland State University NEW Cleveland State’s collaborations, from the Campus International School to Berkman’s quest to bring a medical school program to CSU, make Berkman a player and the school a potential economic growth engine. April Miller Boise, Cleveland office partner-in-charge, Thompson Hine Rick Chiricosta, president and CEO, Medical Mutual of Ohio Thrust into leadership after the untimely death of predecessor Kent Clapp, Chiricosta has provided stability and financial discipline and prepared his company for the uncertainties of health care reform. IBMAG.COM
William Christopher, president, Alcoa Engineered Products & Solutions; chairman, Greater Cleveland Partnership Christopher has increased Alcoa’s operations in Cleveland and jumped into the Partnership’s efforts to improve the Cleveland schools and secure Hopkins Airport’s hub status after the Continental-United merger. Paul Clark, regional president for Northern Ohio, PNC Lonnie Coleman, president and CEO, Coleman Spohn Corp. The chair of Team NEO’s minority business attraction committee, Coleman is a statesman in the African-American business community and his industry nationwide: He recently finished a term as president of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America. Christopher Connor, chairman and CEO, The Sherwin-Williams Co. Delos “Toby” Cosgrove, president and CEO, Cleveland Clinic Edward Crawford, chairman and CEO, Park-Ohio Holdings Corp.
POLITICAL SHAKEUP November’s election brought dramatic changes in the fortunes of our representatives in Cleveland, Columbus and Washington — while the slow march of setbacks and scandals eroded other politicians’ stature more gradually. Here’s who had a good year and who had a bad one. FRANK JACKSON Mayor, Cleveland
Jackson had a pretty tough 2010. His plan to leverage a giant LED lighting contract to attract 350 jobs is on life support. The water department, the carrot he dangled to entice suburbs into “no poaching” agreements, is plagued with customer-service snafus. His endorsement of Terri Hamilton Brown in the county executive race didn’t help her much at all. For now, he’s still got more clout than Ed FitzGerald, an unknown quantity. But a year from now? Maybe not.
Alexander “Sandy” Cutler, chairman and CEO, Eaton Corp.
Terry C.Z. Egger, president and publisher, The Plain Dealer
As Plusquellic decides whether to run for a seventh term as Akron’s mayor, he approaches the same battlefield he faced in his 2007 race and the failed 2009 recall. On one side, Akron’s business community and other allies celebrate him for his track record of results. On the other stands everyone rubbed raw by his grudges and temper. Plusquellic’s near-loss four years ago still bugs him. So do Akron’s budget troubles. But is he up for one more campaign and four more years as the center of attention?
Art Falco, president and CEO, PlayhouseSquare Foundation Umberto Fedeli, chairman and CEO, The Fedeli Group Ed FitzGerald, Cuyahoga County executive NEW William Friedman, president and CEO, NEW Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority In the wake of his predecessor’s sinking, Friedman is steering the port on a more prudent course: redevelopment of port land north of Cleveland Browns Stadium, a partnership with the offshore wind turbine effort and a realistic plan to attract container shipping. Marcia Fudge, U.S. Representative Lyle Ganske, Cleveland office partner-in-charge, Jones Day Dan Gilbert, majority owner, Cleveland Cavaliers; chairman, Quicken Loans Inc.; principal, Rock Gaming David Gilbert, president and CEO, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission; CEO, Positively Cleveland Brian Hall, CEO and chairman, Innogistics Frank Jackson, mayor, Cleveland Ray Leach, CEO, JumpStart Inc. Randell McShepard, vice president of public affairs, NEW RPM International Inc. With equal credibility in the business community and black political circles, McShepard is widely trusted and respected for his ideas, including those from his think tank, PolicyBridge. Henry Meyer, chairman and CEO, KeyCorp Sam Miller, co-chairman and treasurer, Forest City Enterprises Inc.
SHERROD BROWN U.S. Senator
With George Voinovich’s retirement, Brown becomes Ohio’s senior senator and the only senator from Northeast Ohio. That alone makes him a go-to guy. But his reluctant vote for the Obama-Republican tax-cut compromise foreshadows a tough two years ahead. The populist partisan will have to adjust to the half-victories of divided government — even as the national GOP makes him a target in the 2012 election. STEVE LATOURETTE U.S. Representative
LaTourette, an effective partner with Northeast Ohio’s business community even during four years in the minority, should become a major player in the new Republican Congress. He’s said to be one of new speaker John Boehner’s closest friends in the House. And his move to the Appropriations Committee two years ago may pay off big for Ohio now. TIM RYAN U.S. Representative
He’s still an influential leader in the Mahoning Valley. But the Democrats’ loss in the November election will sap Ryan’s clout in Washington. He’s likely to lose his seat on the Appropriations Committee and its defense subcommittee. JOE CIMPERMAN Cleveland city councilman
Beth Mooney, COO, president and incoming chairman and CEO, KeyCorp
Supporting Issue 6 gave him a boost in 2009, but Cimperman lost key council committee assignments as 2010 began, a sign he may have fallen out of favor with council president Martin Sweeney. But Cimperman’s maintaining his reputation as a creative forward thinker on council with his support for initiatives such as a sustainable food economy.
Fred Nance, partner, Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP, Cleveland; general counsel, Cleveland Browns
Don Misheff, managing partner, Ernst & Young A. Malachi Mixon III, chairman, Invacare; chairman, Cleveland Clinic
Michael Petras Jr., president and CEO, GE Lighting NEW It’s not just that Petras oversees 17,000 employees worldwide. His strong objections helped change the debate over Mayor Jackson’s proposed LED lighting deal. Sandra Pianalto, president and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Richard Pogue, senior advisor, Jones Day Albert Ratner, co-chairman, Forest City Enterprises Inc. 56
INSIDE BUSINESS | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2011
Cuyahoga County prosecutor
A year ago, Mason looked like a survivor, the only county official to support Issue 6 and keep his job under the new charter. But 2010 chopped at the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s stature like a dull axe hacking at old wood. From January’s revelation that Mason was in the car when his campaign treasurer was stopped for DUI to his ruined September golf outing, which reporters crashed to ask why he didn’t bust Frank Russo and Jimmy Dimora, Mason had the worst year of any local public official not under indictment. No wonder he announced he won’t run again in 2012.
Power Lines F irstEnergy CEO Anthony Alexander has long been known for going the extra mile. Or 1,100 miles. In 2008, Alexander learned that Akron’s Austen BioInnovation Institute, a biomedical think tank and lab that FirstEnergy helps fund, was in the running for a $20 million grant from the Miami-based Knight Foundation. Alexander decided to go to Florida personally and make a case for the Institute. “I knew that the foundation gets lots of applications,” Alexander says. “So I wanted to take it over the top and really show the foundation how important [the institute] was to the community.” So Alexander loaded up a FirstEnergy plane with a dream team of Akron business and political moguls — Mayor Don Plusquellic, University of Akron president Luis Proenza, the CEOs of Akron’s three major hospitals — who flew with him to Miami to plead the case before the Knight Foundation’s board. “Each of us had a role in the presentation, explaining why the [BioInnovation Institute] was important to us,” Alexander explains. “It was a pretty good sales call,” he adds with a laugh. A few months later, Alexander learned the Austen BioInnovation Institute had won the grant. It was all very typical Tony. “Tony believes in the importance of engaging his team in the community,” says Daniel Colantone, president & CEO of the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce. “As a leader, he’s a visionary. He always gets things done.” Alexander’s most recent coup is the pending $4.7 billion acquisition of Allegheny Energy, a Pennsylvania-based electric utility company serving four states. If approved — and most analysts expect it will be — the deal will create the largest customer-based power company in the country, servicing 6 million customers in 10 states. The merger means FirstEnergy will increase its powergenerating ability by 70 percent, making it one of the most powerful energy companies of any kind in the country. “Allegheny Energy’s stock was selling for a cheap price,” says Lasan Johong, an energy analyst for RBC Capital Markets Equity Re-
search in New York. “[Personally], I think Allegheny could have waited for a better time to execute the merger.” Financial observers say Alexander’s strengths as a negotiator and communicator enabled him to seal the deal. He convinced both companies’ shareholders and stakeholders of the value of the merged company, making the merger a “win-win for everyone: the consumers, the company and for the industry itself,” Johong says. Alexander’s persuasive skills were also critical in getting regulatory agencies in four states to sign off on the transaction, says Mark T. Clark, FirstEnergy’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. “Tony is recognized as one of the best and brightest in our industry,” Clark adds. “He saw the value of the Allegheny merger, in terms of its potential to reduce risk, improve the balance sheet and provide avenues for growth.” Through all the negotiations, Alexander insisted that the merged company be headquartered in Akron. “Any time companies combine, one of the first real issues is where the headquarters are located,” Alexander says. “FirstEnergy has a close relationship to the communities we serve in Northeast Ohio. When we put together the transaction, … we maintained that having our headquarters in Northeast Ohio was very critical to us.” It was not a surprising position for Alexander, 59, an Akron native who began his career in the tax division of Ohio Edison, which later merged with Centerior Energy to form FirstEnergy. He’s long taken a special interest in the region’s economic health and its ability to attract and maintain young talent. After taking over as CEO of FirstEnergy in 2004, he
ANTHONY ALEXANDER PRESIDENT AND CEO, FIRSTENERGY CORP.
got behind Taking the Stage, a collection of leadership seminars designed to help women advance in the company. Every year, he visits dozens of FirstEnergy work sites across the country, meeting with employees to gain insight into their thinking. “I think the most successful companies are the ones that realize in the end that your success is really tied to your employees,” Alexander explains. “They are your most important asset.” It’s this kind of strategic thinking and vision that makes Alexander an admired leader. “It’s the highest honor to have FirstEnergy in our community,” Colantone says. “The world would be a better place if there were lots of Tony Alexanders in everyone’s communities.” — R ebecca Meiser
Charles Ratner, president and CEO, Forest City Enterprises Inc. Ronn Richard, president and CEO, The Cleveland Foundation Joseph Roman, president and CEO, Greater Cleveland Partnership Chris Ronayne, president, University Circle Inc. Ann Rowland, assistant U.S. attorney NEW Rowland’s work as the lead prosecutor in the Cuyahoga County corruption investigation caused a government to fall.
Ed Oley, president and CEO, Mercy Regional Medical Center NEW Oley has taken the former Community Health Partners from deficit to surplus after performing similar surgery at the system’s Oberlin hospital. Kenton Thompson, regional president, First Place Bank NEW A troubleshooter for his bank, Thompson is rising fast in Lorain County’s civic scene thanks to his engaging personality and generosity toward local causes.
Baiju Shah, president and CEO, BioEnterprise
Bruce Beeghly, president, Altronic Inc.
Bob Smith, president and CEO, Spero-Smith Investment Advisers NEW He’s got Mayor Jackson’s ear. He’s the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s go-to guy when small businesses need representation. And as vice chair of the port authority, he led the search for the new CEO after playing a key role in Adam Wasserman’s departure.
Anthony Cafaro Jr., co-president, The Cafaro Co.
Barbara Snyder, president, Case Western Reserve University Terry Stewart, president and CEO, NEW Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum He turned around our marquee tourist attraction after some rough years. He’s recruited an impressive board. He’s a popular figure in town. It’s hard to imagine the person who wouldn’t return his call. Michael Symon, owner and chef, Lola and Lolita NEW Thanks to Symon’s Iron Chef fame, there’s national buzz around Cleveland’s restaurant scene, which could prove to change our image in the 2010s as much as LeBron in the 2000s and the Rock Hall in the 1990s. Jerry Sue Thornton, president, Cuyahoga Community College Nina Turner, Ohio state senator Thomas Waltermire, CEO, Team NEO Don Washkewicz, chairman, president and CEO, Parker Hannifin Corp. Brad Whitehead, president, Fund for Our Economic Future Thomas Zenty III, CEO, University Hospitals
LAKE COUNTY Morris Beverage Jr., president, Lakeland Community College Jim Brown Sr., president, Classic Auto Group James Hambrick, chairman, president and CEO of Lubrizol NEW Though he hasn’t quite found his signature community project, Hambrick is involved in plenty of civic initiatives, including practical work force programs. Steven LaTourette, U.S. Representative Cynthia Moore-Hardy, president and CEO, Lake Health Richard Osborne Sr., president and CEO, OsAir Inc. Daniel Troy, Lake County commissioner
LORAIN COUNTY Sherrod Brown, U.S. Senator Roy Church, president, Lorain County Community College Jim Cordes, Lorain County administrator Frank DeTillio, president, Lorain County Chamber of Commerce Kevin Flanigan, president, General Plug and Manufacturing Co. Ted Kalo, Lorain County commissioner Dan Klimas, president and CEO, Lorain National Bank
INSIDE BUSINESS | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2011
Jim Cossler, CEO and chief evangelist, NEW Youngstown Business Incubator A major figure in the Cleveland-Mahoning Valley-Pittsburgh “tech belt” effort, Cossler is bringing new businesses to the region and helping reinvigorate downtown Youngstown. Sam Covelli, president, Covelli Enterprises Inc. Denise DeBartolo York, chairperson, The DeBartolo Corp. Tom Fleming, president, Aim NationaLease NEW Fleming is a behind-the-scenes influential mover in the Valley who’s been a very effective member of several community boards. Thomas Humphries, president and CEO, Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce Joel Mastervich, president and COO, V&M Star NEW Within three months of his promotion to president, Mastervich presided over the groundbreaking for a $650 million steel mill and hosted a visit from President Obama. Anthony Payiavlas, president, AVI Foodsystems Inc. Tim Ryan, U.S. Representative Jay Williams, mayor, Youngstown Bruce Zoldan, president and CEO, B.J. Alan Co.
NO LONGER ON LIST Bruce Akers, mayor, Pepper Pike Harry Allen Jr., founder and president, Great Lakes Power Harriet Applegate, executive secretary, North Shore AFL-CIO Federation of Labor John Beckett, chairman, R.W. Beckett Corp. David Brennan, chairman, White Hat Management LLC Armond Budish, Ohio House minority leader Capri Cafaro, Ohio Senate minority leader Robert M. Campana, owner, Campana Development Joe Cimperman, councilman, Cleveland Lee Fisher, former Lieutenant Governor, Ohio Lee Friedman, CEO, Cleveland Scholarship Programs; former president and CEO, Cleveland Leadership Center Susan Goldberg, former editor, The Plain Dealer Susan Hamo, president and CEO, Akron/Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau Robert Keegan, former chairman, president and CEO, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. LeBron James, former forward, Cleveland Cavaliers Anthony Lariccia, vice president, Merrill Lynch & Co., Canfield Bill Mason, Cuyahoga County prosecutor The Rev. Marvin McMickle, pastor, Antioch Baptist Church Judy Rawson, former mayor, Shaker Heights Roger Read, former president, University of Akron Foundation Eugene Sanders, CEO, Cleveland Metropolitan School District Gary Taylor, chairman and founder, InfoCision Management Corp. George Voinovich, former U.S. Senator Dr. Woodrow Whitlow, former director, NASA John H. Glenn Research Center Martin Zanotti, former mayor, Parma Heights
In Good Health
everance Hall was packed elbow to elbow with some of Cleveland’s most prominent local leaders. Tom Zenty, CEO of University Hospitals, had called the 1,200 attendees together by invitation for a surprise November announcement. As camera crews arrived, an excited buzz circulated among UH’s doctors and staff. Trumpets sounded and Zenty introduced the largest donation ever to the hospital system: $42 million from Jane and Lee Seidman of Pepper Pike toward the new cancer center nearing completion a block away. What one attendee called a “triumphant celebration” launched a bold new chapter in Zenty’s tenure at UH: the public phase of a $1 billion fundraising campaign. The gala also marked an accomplishment that will come to fruition early this year, when the Seidman Cancer Center opens its doors in University Circle and UH’s new Ahuja Medical Center opens in Beachwood. The debuts represent the grand culmination of Zenty’s Vision 2010 — a five-year strategic plan to grow and improve the hospital system. “We are bringing world-class medicine as close to the people of Northeast Ohio as we can possibly provide it,” Zenty says. “We are moving into Concord, Medina, Twinsburg, to where people live and work.” The Ahuja Medical Center was strategically placed right off I-271 so it’d be accessible to people in all of Cleveland’s eastern suburbs, Zenty says. And the Seidman Cancer Center will be the only freestanding cancer center from Cleveland to Columbus. Both were built with
room for expansion. One floor of the 120bed Seidman Center has been mothballed, with room for 30 additional beds. The Ahuja campus has room for two more patient towers, additional offices and 456 more beds. The hospital system will wait for need before it builds out the facilities. “We didn’t overextend ourselves by any means,” Zenty says. The two gleaming new buildings stand as symbols of Zenty’s leadership, his knack for balancing business savvy with top-notch care for patients. “He cares about the quality of the experience while maintaining a financially strong organization so that UH can continue to be a leader in the industry,” says Heather Ettinger, a UH board member and managing partner of Fairport Asset Management in Cleveland. It’s a 180-degree change for UH, which was bleeding red before Zenty took the reins. In 2003, when Zenty arrived from CedarsSinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, UH was struggling with huge operating losses and falling quality of care. Zenty unloaded the insurance plan QualChoice and several struggling facilities, including Laurelwood Hospital in Willoughby and St. Michael Hospital in Cleveland. UH quickly rebounded, saw upgraded bond ratings and experienced operating surpluses for the first time in years. UH, a nonprofit organization now supported by more than 50,000 donors, has been in the black every year since Zenty arrived. The $1 billion fundraising campaign quietly launched in Zenty’s first year, Dis-
cover the Difference, recently reached the $685 million mark and opened its public phase at November’s Sev- THOMAS ZENTY III erance Hall CEO, UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS gala. Zenty deflects praise for UH’s progress, saying he prefers to involve physicians, senior management, the board of directors and the public in his decision-making. He describes his management style as consensusdriven, engaging and communicative. “When I talk with professionals who work with him, including those who have come from competing organizations, they talk about how he has created a culture that is respectful of all opinions,” Ettinger says. Board member April Miller Boise, partnerin-charge of Cleveland’s Thompson Hine office, says Zenty impressed her when he told her he trusted his own staff to assist the board’s strategic planning committee — a job usually given to external management consultants. “Tom hires people with excellent credentials and then empowers them to do their job the very best they can,” Miller Boise says. “He trusts their judgment and doesn’t try to micromanage. Tom is comfortable working with very intelligent people.” Next year, Zenty and his team will introduce a new strategic plan for UH’s next three years. The hospital will roll out system-wide electronic medical records and adapt to the new federal health care law. He calls the passing of the health care law one of the defining moments of his year because UH needs to plan for patients’ increased access to care and the costs that will come with it. “Tom is a visionary,” Miller Boise says. “He is very forward thinking, always considering what’s going on with health care reform and how that will impact UH and our patients.” — Sarah Filus