The Top 25
The Power 100 List
Greater Akron, Cuyahoga County, Lake County, Lorain County, Mahoning Valley
#1 Sandy Cutler,
Chairman and CEO,
#3 Christopher Connor,
Chairman and CEO,
The Sherwin-Williams Co.
Tale of Two Cities
#4 Dan Gilbert,
Majority owner, Cleveland Cavaliers; chairman, Quicken Loans Inc.; principal, Rock Gaming
#6 Anthony Alexander,
President and CEO, FirstEnergy Corp.
In Good Health
#8 Thomas Zenty,
CEO, University Hospitals
#13 Beth Mooney,
President, COO, and incoming chairman and CEO, KeyCorp
County Executive Ed FitzGerald talks economic development
Good Years, Bad Years
Tracking ups and downs
How November's winds blew in change
2010 honorees who didn't
make the list
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.
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.
President and CEO, NorTech
Power implies that you sit at the top of something, like command-and-control. 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 CEO-like.”
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.
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.