1. Les Wexner
Chairman and CEO, Limited Brands Inc. (1)
Still no challengers for the top spot. His name and influence are everywhere, from the Wexner Center for the Arts and the Wexner Institute for Pediatric Research at Children’s Hospital to Wexner Heritage Village. Also a founding member and chair of the OSU Foundation and the Columbus Partnership.
2. John F. Wolfe
Chairman, publisher and CEO, The Dispatch Printing Co. (2)
In addition to his media conglomerate, Wolfe is one of the largest contributors to local community programs. He also has part ownership in the Columbus Blue Jackets.
3. Thomas Hoaglin
President and CEO, Huntington Bancshares Inc. (4)
Hoaglin’s influence continues to increase; in addition to leading the largest locally owned bank, he is chairman of the Downtown Development Corp.
4. Jerry Jurgensen
CEO, Nationwide (5)
Jurgensen intends to play a role in downtown development. On the boards of the Columbus Chamber, Law Enforcement Foundation of Ohio and Columbus Children’s Hospital, and a member of Ohio Business Roundtable, Downtown Development Corp. and Columbus Partnership.
5. Michael Coleman
Mayor, city of Columbus (8)
The mayor has proven again and again that he is dedicated to revitalizing downtown and improving the city’s economy. He has also successfully convinced the public and private sectors to work together for the common good.
6. Bob Walter
Chairman and CEO, Cardinal Health Inc. (3)
Walter is facing some tough challenges as profits fall and Cardinal Health plans to cut more than 4,000 jobs this year. Still, he leads a $65 billion company and is a major influence on what happens in the area.
7. Ron Pizzuti
Chairman and CEO, The Pizzuti Cos. (7)
Pizzuti controls 2,000 acres in several markets, including prime development acreage near Rickenbacker Airport.
8. Tanny Crane
President and CEO, Crane Group Inc. (13)
Crane runs one of the largest family-owned companies in town, and her expertise is sought by Wendy’s International and the chamber of commerce. She is a member of The Columbus Partnership.
9. Alex Shumate
Managing partner, Columbus and Cincinnati offices, Squire, Sanders & Dempsey (6)
This former deputy chief of staff to the governor leads the firm’s legislative counseling and administrative law activities and is a trustee of the Columbus Partnership, the John Glenn Institute and the Wexner Center for the Arts.
10. Jay Schottenstein
Chairman, American Eagle Outfitters; Chairman, Retail Ventures Inc. (10)
Schottenstein’s company has lost money every year for the past four years. Now he’s shaken up the top leadership and appointed merchandisers at the head of all divisions. Will this new formula work?
11. Jack Schuessler
Chairman and CEO, Wendy’s International (9)
Schuessler leads a major player in the restaurant industry, as well as a large contributor to the community. He is a member of The Columbus Partnership.
12. Larry Hilsheimer
Managing partner and vice chairman, Columbus office, Deloitte & Touche LLP (30)
More business and community leaders are recognizing Hilsheimer’s influence. He replaced Michael Fiorile as chairman of the Columbus Chamber and is on the Dean’s Advisory Council at Fisher College of Business.
13. Robert Werth
Managing partner, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP (14)
Leads the city’s largest law firm and serves in leadership roles on important community boards. Werth is a new chamber board member.
14. John Beavers
Counsel for Boards and Executives Group, Bricker & Eckler LLP (15)
Beavers leads the firm’s new Counsel for Boards and Executives Group and is a member of the Ohio Business Roundtable, a trustee of the Economic Club of Columbus and on the Mayor’s Steering Committee for Operations and Efficiency Review.
15. Mark Barbash
Director, Columbus Department of Trade & Development (16)
Barbash is working with Mayor Coleman to unify the region’s efforts at attracting new businesses.
16. Don M. Casto III
President, Don M. Casto Organization (18)
Casto’s retail developments are everywhere. He is revitalizing Graceland and playing a big role in the redevelopment of downtown.
17. Ty Marsh
President and CEO, Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce (11)
Marsh has led efforts to retain jobs in the area and has ties with other high-profile agencies, including The Columbus Partnership.
18. Friedl Bohm
Chairman, NBBJ (17)
From the tallest apartment complex in Singapore to Seattle’s Museum of Flight, NBBJ continues to be a powerful force in architecture, with Bohm firmly entrenched as its leader.
19. Jack Kessler
Chairman, The New Albany Co. (12)
Kessler was elected to stay on the combined board of JP Morgan Chase, now a $58 billion entity, rubbing shoulders with leaders such David C. Novak, chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands Inc., which owns KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut.
20. Curt Loveland
Partner, Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur LLP (19)
Loveland’s expertise is sought by Applied Innovations Inc., where he is now a board member. He also serves on the executive advisory board of the Ohio University College of Business and the board of directors of the Business Technology Center.
21. George Jenkins
Partner, Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease (20)
Jenkins combines powerful past political connections with private investment savvy. Among his board seats are technology companies ECNext and C.P. Technologies; he also serves on the Kent State board of trustees.
22. Bea Wolper
Partner, Chester, Wilcox & Saxbe LLP (22)
Wolper’s influence is felt at COSI, where she is a board member; also serves on Wexner’s Director’s Circle Council and Mount Carmel College of Nursing.
23. Michael Fiorile
President and CEO,`Dispatch Broadcast Group (23)
Fiorile wields a great deal of power as head of this media conglomerate.
24 & 25. Neil Clark & Paul Tipps
State Street Consultants (24 & 25)
With the state having more and more governing power, these two are in powerful positions. Limited Brands, Cardinal Health and Bank One are just a few of the companies that have sought their expertise and influence.