Thursday, January 14, 2010

Jackson vs. Plusquellic, reform's coattails: the Inside Business Power 100

Give up on those "quiet mayor" complaints already. Frank Jackson keeps gaining in power and influence, not in spite of his mild personality, but because of it. That's my conclusion in one of several pieces I wrote for the Power 100, in the January issue of Cleveland Magazine's sister publication, Inside Business.

Plenty of politicians appear among the business and non-profit leaders on our list of Northeast Ohio's 100 most powerful people. Jackson ranked #2, below only the Cleveland Clinic's Toby Cosgrove. Hotheaded Don Plusquellic, Jackson's mayoral polar opposite, came in at #12, after shaking off his enemies in last year's recall election while retaining the confidence of the Rubber City's business community. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and congressmen Steve Latourette and Tim Ryan also made our top 25.

I handicapped Northeast Ohio's congressional delegation, scoring who's gained and lost power lately (George Voinovich down, Betty Sutton up). I also calculated Issue 6's effects on local political figures -- Jimmy Dimora, Tim Hagan, and Peter Lawson Jones dropped out of our top 100 entirely.

Of course, political buzz can shift fast: since IB went to press just before Christmas, Chris Ronayne seems less likely to run for county executive, Joe Cimperman lost some city council committee assignments, and Bill Mason's presence in the car when his campaign treasurer was pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving has sparked speculation about his political fortunes. (Oh, and Frank Jackson's "no layoffs" record? No longer true.)

One more Power 100 piece may appeal to political junkies: my interview with Sam Miller, Forest City co-chair and influential political donor. "The very person that, let’s say, is a precinct committeeman, a relative nobody politically — one day, you wake up and discover he’s a senator for the state," Miller counsels aspiring power brokers. "When you helped him as a precinct committeeman, that he’ll never forget."


Jill said...

Erick - I wrote this brief post about the gender diversity, or lack thereof, in the lists. I recognize that the lists reflect a large pool, and that some of the segments may simply be dominated by men. And I know that the magazine does work to highlight women at different times throughout the year, but if I might be so bold, I'd love to suggest that the magazine do at least one story this calendar year on why it is or isn't that we don't have greater diversity throughout that 100 - why or why not? Are the numbers just not there to begin with and in fact the 100 reflects what we have in the population being scanned? Or are there perhaps model programs the magazine could highlight in terms of recruitment and training, or other characteristics and choices that can lead women and minorities into this level of performance and expectation?

I know you wouldn't want us to conclude that it's all just a bunch of hooey anyway. ;)

Thanks for your work.

Jill said...

Here's the link for the post:

Region's Power 100 includes 17 women, same as US Senate

Erick Trickey said...


Feel free to send me a list of women you think should be on our Power 100 list. We can publish it as a letter to the editor or on my blog, or we can add them to the names to consider for next year’s list.

I think there’s some good news when you compare our list to the 2008 version. Out of the 32 people we added to the list, 14 are women (44%), and the total number of women more than doubled, from 8 to 18. That’s hardly 50, but it is a surge in female leadership in a time of change.

Examining how women lead and advance can be fascinating – Susan Goldberg had some interesting thoughts on the topic when I profiled her in 2008, and our profile of April Miller Boise in the latest issue of IB touches on what it’s like to be the first woman to run a major Cleveland law office. IB looks at ways women have broken the glass ceiling with the Athena Awards section every October, profiling professionals who’ve created opportunities for women in Northeast Ohio. I doubt we’ll dwell on the Power 100 list in print until we compile it again next year – it’d seem a bit self-referential – but we will think about other, fresh ways of looking at female leadership.