With the economy creating increased uncertainty --whether public or private sector, for profit or nonprofit -- our 2003 Power 100 list places added emphasis on business acumen and the ability to get things done. Business leaders are focusing more on their bottom lines, sometimes at the expense of civic and charitable activities.
Leaders in those areas will find it equally tough in 2003. As a result, a number of public and nonprofit representatives have fallen on our list, and some have fallen off entirely.
But it takes more than business savvy to make it on our list. We look for individuals who to donate their time and energy to the community, whether it's participating on an urban development task force or the board of a charitable foundation. The bottom line is, through both business and community activities, these are the people who have a big impact on the future direction of Columbus.
Last year's ranking is in parentheses.
1. Les Wexner, chairman and CEO, Limited Brands Inc. (1)
His Limited shares may have lost a third of their value since last summer, but what's a half-billion dollars among friends? Wexner's impact on Columbus --through Limited Brands and personally -- is immeasurable. Whether it's The Wexner Center, Easton Town Center or The American Red Cross, his stamp is there.
2. John F. Wolfe, chairman, publisher and CEO, The Dispatch Printing Co. (2)
In addition to owning the state's largest media conglomerate, Wolfe has his fingers in quite a few important pies through ownership of Ohio Partners LLP.
3. Bob Walter, chairman and CEO, Cardinal Health Inc. (4)
Walter has led this company's amazing transformation from a food wholesaler to become the largest provider of health care products and services in the world. He holds seats on the boards of Bank One, Battelle, Ohio University, Infinity Broadcasting Corp. and Viacom Inc.
4. Alex Shumate, managing partner, Columbus and Cincinnati offices, Squire, Sanders & Dempsey (3)
Shumate's counsel is sought by the best. He serves on the boards of Limited Brands, Nationwide Financial and Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. He's also a trustee of the Capitol South Redevelopment Corp. and Wexner Center for the Arts and is a director of The Ohio State University Foundation Board.
5. Ron Pizzuti, chairman and CEO, The Pizzuti Cos. (6)
This commercial real estate development company founder clearly rounds out the top five players in the city, with his name appearing frequently in conjunction with Wexner, Wolfe, Walter and Shumate.
6. Jerry Jurgensen, CEO, Nationwide (7)
Jurgensen ably leads the $113 billion company while mixing with other power players on the boards of the chamber of commerce and Children's Hospital. He's a member of the Columbus Downtown Development Corp. and Ohio Business Roundtable and was appointed to the Governor's Commission on Teaching Success.
7. Thomas Hoaglin, president and CEO, Huntington Bancshares Inc. (14)
Hoaglin's star is rising as he makes good on his promise to tie Huntington more closely to the Columbus community. He sits on the boards of OhioHealth Corp., The Columbus Partnership, the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Business Roundtable, Capitol South Corp. and COSI, among others.
8. Bob Taft, governor, state of Ohio (10)
With his drubbing of Democrat Tim Hagan reaffirming his political prowess, Taft is determined to position Ohio as a high-tech corridor through his Third Frontier Project. If successful, it could mean the creation and retention of thousands of jobs and assure Ohio's future economic success.
9. Sally Jackson, president and CEO, Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce (5)
Jackson's smart enough to keep Columbus business leaders like Michael Fiorile, Hoaglin and Jurgenson firmly entrenched on the board.
10. Jack Schuessler, chairman and CEO, Wendy's International (67)
Schuessler is broadening Wendy's horizons by adding popular concepts like Baja Fresh to its fold. And he is continuing the tradition of corporate giving started by the late Dave Thomas to causes such as the Wendy's Championship for Children golf tournament. Proceeds from the tournament go to children's cancer research and treatment.
11. Michael Coleman, mayor, city of Columbus (12)
The mayor's solid business reputation was strengthened last year by the unveiling of his plan for downtown development, now being headed by AEP's E. Linn Draper.
12. Jay Schottenstein, chairman, American Eagle Outfitters; chairman, Value City Department Stores (45)
It was a busy 2002 for the retail mogul, whose privately held Schottenstein Stores controls a considerable empire. Schottenstein Stores upped its stake in Columbus-based Value City Department Stores to 67.5 percent and was part of a group that bought 54 leases from bankrupt Kmart. At the end of the year, Schottenstein handed over the CEO reins at Pittsburgh-based American Eagle Outfitters -- but it took two people to fill his shoes.
13. Roger Blackwell, president, Blackwell Associates Inc. (24)
Blackwell's influence -- especially at The Ohio State University, where he is a professor of marketing -- is profound. Donating millions to the Fisher College of Business, he has mentored many emerging business leaders through its programs. Besides, anybody with a hotel named after him (OSU's The Blackwell) has to be high on the list.
14. Jack Kessler, chairman, The New Albany Co. (16)
New Albany is attracting big businesses like State Farm Insurance Co. and Too Inc., and Kessler's company is ready to take full advantage. In the meantime, he's rubbing elbows with fellow Columbus Region Airport Authority board members Don Casto, George Skestos and Dwight Smith.
15. George Jenkins, partner, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP (13)
Jenkins combines powerful past political connections with private investment savvy.
16. John Beavers, chairman, corporate department, Bricker & Eckler LLP (17)
Beavers' specialty practice, focusing exclusively on corporate boards and executives, keeps him in demand by the city's largest and most powerful companies. He also serves as a trustee of the Harry C. Moores Foundation and is a member of the Columbus Foundation Arts Advisory Committee.
17. Mark Barbash, director, Columbus Department of Trade & Development (11)
Barbash not only heads this important economic development department, he also serves on the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission's development committee.
18. Curt Loveland, partner, Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur LLP (18)
With clients like Too Inc. and Max & Erma's, Loveland's work in capital financing has earned him seats on the boards of Applied Innovation Inc. and Rocky Shoes and Boots Inc.
19. Friedl Bohm, chairman, NBBJ (19)
Bohm has left his mark on the city with such designs as Nationwide Arena, the Vern Riffe Center and the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. His architectural firm is the third largest in the world.
20. Don M. Casto III, president, Don M. Casto Organization (25)
This developer of shopping centers, housing and mixed-use entertainment projects is working to help revitalize older shopping centers like Graceland, and serves on the Huntington Bancshares board, the Ohio Bicentennial Commission and the Columbus Airport Authority Board.
21. Rich Langdale, founder, NCT Ventures; executive director, OSU Center for Entrepreneurship (15)
NCT's current and past investment lists read like a who's who in high-tech circles, and Langdale's community involvements include the Columbus Museum of Art and the United Way.
22. Bea Wolper, partner, Chester, Wilcox & Saxbe LLP (8)
Wolper has garnered numerous awards and recognition from the business community, and her sphere of influence includes the National Board of Attorneys for Family-Held Enterprises, Wexner's Director's Circle Council and COSI.
23 & 24. Paul Tipps & Neil Clark, State Street Consultants (20 & 21)
Clark and Tipps' one-two punch as knowledgeable Democratic and Republican party consultants is hard to beat, and their combined connections make them important and effective lobbyists.
25. Roger Geiger, state director, National Federation of Independent Business, Ohio (9)
With more than 36,000 member businesses behind him, Geiger works diligently to improve state business legislation.
26. Curt Moody, president and CEO, Moody/Nolan Ltd. (27)
Moody has gained recognition and awards as a business and community leader, and is a board member of the chamber of commerce, the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.
27. Robert Werth, managing partner, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP (56)
You can't underestimate a man who manages the city's largest law firm and serves on the Ohio Business Roundtable and The Columbus Technology Leadership Council, among others.
28. Kurt Tunnell, administrative partner, Bricker & Eckler LLP (23)
After serving as legal counsel for Gov. Voinovich, Tunnell is sought after for his political connections, as well as his legal expertise.
29. Tim O'Dell, president and CEO, Fifth Third Bank, Central Ohio (29)
There's no separating money and power. O'Dell leads the third-largest bank in Columbus and is on the board of powerful organizations including the Columbus Council on World Affairs and The Ohio State University Hospitals. He's also on the Development Board of Trustees of Columbus State Community College and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra board.
30. Jeff Keeler, chairman and CEO, The Fishel Co. (28)
After winning an $8 million contract with Verizon Wireless, Keeler's utility construction firm is in position to take advantage of the telecom and high-tech industries' continuing efforts to build infrastructure.
31. Curt Steiner, co-founder, Steiner/Lesic Communications (26)
Steiner's public affairs management firm is grounded with deep political connections and sways public opinion on issues that affect Columbus and the state.
32. Tanny Crane, president and CEO, Crane Group Inc. (42)
Crane's influence is growing and gaining recognition. She led the United Way of Franklin County's search for a new president, serves on the Dean's Advisory Council at OSU's Fisher College of Business and sits on the boards of the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland's Business Advisory Council.
33. Michael Fiorile, president and CEO, Dispatch Broadcast Group (NEW)
Not only does Fiorile rub elbows with the Wolfes, he's also chairman of the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the board of trustees for the Columbus School for Girls and a board member of the Buckeye Ranch Holding Co.
34. Tami Longaberger, president and CEO, The Longaberger Co. (51)
Longaberger may be putting all her eggs in one basket, but what a basket it is. The company recently recalled more than 200 laid-off workers and signed on thousands of new sales reps. She also serves on the Ohio Business Roundtable and The Ohio State University board of trustees.
35. Maury Cox, president, The Ohio Partners LLC (49)
This former CompuServe CEO has gained power through his high-tech venture capital company, thanks to a growing emphasis on high tech in the state.
36. Melissa Ingwersen, president, Bank One NA Columbus (NEW)
Ingwersen heads the biggest bank in town, which alone is enough to earn her a spot on the list, but she is also broadening her range of influence by sitting on the boards of the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce, Greater Columbus Arts Council, Franklin University, YWCA of Columbus, Grant/Riverside Foundation and I Know I Can.
37. Brad Beasecker, president, Helston Capital Group (37)
Beasecker is a leading contender when it comes to venture capital and a powerful man to know with his connections with Battelle Venture Partners and the Columbus Investment Interest Group.
38. Cheryl Krueger, president and CEO, Cheryl&Co (50)
Parlaying small retail stores into a multimillion dollar business, Krueger has gained recognition and awards for her business acumen and community spirit. She started the Cheryl&Co. Hometown Integrated Project to provide business experience to high school students, and provides cookies to students earning A's through her Cookies for A's Program.
39. Lewis Smoot, Sr., president, Smoot Corp. (41)
Smoot's name is on nearly every major construction project in the city. And when he's not running the company, you'll find him on the board of Huntington National Bank and the Columbus Foundation's Governing Committee.
40. Jack Ruscilli, CEO, Ruscilli Construction Co. Inc. (43)
Ruscilli's has landed big projects with major Columbus companies including Mt. Carmel and White Castle.
41. Walter Cates, founder and president, Main Street Business Association (22)
This powerful advocate for minority businesses will keep pace with the revitalization of downtown.
42. John P. McConnell, chairman and CEO, Worthington Industries Inc. (74)
McConnell is taking the steel processing company into new markets and making a name for himself among other business giants, serving as chairman of the Workforce Development Committee of the Columbus Chamber and as a member of the Downtown Business Plan Advisory Committee and the Ohio Business Roundtable.
43. E. Linn Draper, chairman, AEP (53)
Fighting legal battles over energy trading reporting and new financial concerns, Draper commands respect. He also serves on the Columbus Technology Leadership Council and the Ohio Business Roundtable.
44. Karen Holbrook, president, The Ohio State University (former president Brit Kirwan was No. 36)
Holbrook is already stepping into Kirwan's shoes, filling the vacancy he left on the board of directors of the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce. She is also promising to help raise Ohio's ranking in the Progressive Policy Institute's New Economy Index.
45. Carl F. Kohrt, president, Battelle (NEW)
Kohrt didn't waste any time becoming an integral part of Columbus' high-powered business network. He and former OSU president Kirwan forged a formal collaboration between Battelle and Ohio State's medical school, and he's on the chamber's board of directors.
46. Dwight Smith, president and CEO, Sophisticated Systems Inc. (46)
This year, Smith's company rebounded from financial woes, and he gained new respect and admiration from fellow business execs. He's involved in the Governor's Small Business Advisory Council, the Greater Columbus Chamber board of directors, the board for Junior Achievement of Central Ohio, his own foundation fostering entrepreneurship and the High-Technology Start-Up Business Commission.
47. M. Valeriana Moeller, president and CEO, Columbus State Community College (NEW)
Moeller is everywhere power players should be. She serves on the board of trustees of Fifth Third Bank Central Ohio, the Columbus Medical Association Foundation, COSI, Columbus Urban Growth Corp., and United Way, and on the board of directors of the chamber. How does she have time to run a college with more than 20,000 students?
48. Blane Walter, chairman and CEO, inChord Communications Inc. (66)
At last count, Walter's family of public relations and marketing firms was the 32nd largest firm of its kind in the world. And his familial connection to Cardinal Health's Robert Walter (his father) doesn't hurt. Father and son are forging strategic partnerships combining the strengths of both companies.
49. Nancy Kramer, president, Resource Marketing (32)
Kramer left Ten Worldwide and will be buying back Resource Marketing over a period of years. Despite the break-up -- or perhaps because of it -- Kramer is well thought of in the business community. She's on the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce's board of directors and the Downtown Business Plan Advisory Committee, and was the first woman sought after to take a leadership role in the newly formed U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce Ohio Affiliate.
50. Andy Geiger, athletic director, The Ohio State University (60)
Athletics are thriving at OSU thanks to Geiger and his big business connections. OSU's trustees agree -- they granted him a two-year extension on his contract. Geiger will be with OSU at least until 2006.
51. James Conrad, administrator and CEO, Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (39)
Taft's confidence in Conrad and his ability to help the business community is evident -- he recently confirmed Conrad will continue as bureau chief during a second Taft administration.
52. Frank Kass, CEO, Continental Real Estate Cos. (48)
A major player on the real estate and development scene, Continental has landed multimillion dollar contract in Columbus and throughout the country.
53. Michael Petrecca, managing partner, Columbus office, PricewaterhouseCoopers (58)
Petrecca quietly but effectively consults with many of Columbus' business elite.
54. Dick Emens, partner, Chester, Wilcox & Saxbe LLP (52)
Emens is the leading expert in family business. He has co-authored a book on the subject, is the founder of the Family Business Center of Central Ohio,and serves on the board of trustees of Franklin University.
55. Herb Glimcher, chairman, president and CEO, Glimcher Realty Trust (55)
A leader of megamall development, Glimcher's successes include hosting an event that raised more than $1 million for nonprofit organizations across the country.
56. Kyle Katz, president, The Katz Interests Inc. and New World Restaurants Inc. (47)
This business owner, restaurateur and developer is also president of the Pen West District and knows and feeds the well-connected in Columbus.
57. Al Dietzel, vice president of special projects, Limited Brands Inc. (31)
Although planning to retire this year, Dietzel is still a player in many organizations, including ProjectRead.
58. Bob Weiler Sr., chairman, The Robert Weiler Co. (54)
Weiler's real estate savvy is evident in the hot properties he's owned, from downtown to Polaris and beyond.
59. Sam Gresham Jr., president and CEO, Columbus Urban League (57)
Gresham not only knows but is liked and respected by just about everyone who matters in corporate Columbus. His is a voice that is sought out -- and listened to closely.
60. Jan Allen, owner, Jan Allen Consulting (30)
Allen remains a powerful person to know, thanks to her ties to the Democratic Party.
61. Rick Milenthal, CEO, Ten Worldwide (34)
They say it's lonely at the top. That surely holds true for Milenthal, since two members of last year's leadership team, Nancy Kramer and Martin Beck, have left the company. Now Milenthal is left to call the shots.
62. Terry Foegler, president, Campus Partners for Community Urban Redevelopment Inc. (38)
Foegler has been slowly and methodically reclaiming nearly all the salvageable property along High Street in the campus area for redevelopment. What goes up on that land will be largely his call.
63. Phil Urban, president and CEO, Grange Insurance (59)
Not only is Urban part of the mayor's downtown business plan task force, but his company's Grange Bank, which began operation in 1999, turned a profit a year a head of schedule.
64. John Christie, president and COO, Worthington Industries (44)
Christie's connections go beyond Worthington Industries through his tenure as vice president at Battelle and as a past president of the Columbus Chamber.
65. Zuheir Sofia, chairman, Sofia & Co. (61)
Sofia's heavy-duty OSU connections make him influential -- he's a trustee of The Ohio State University, chairman of the board of the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, chairman of the OSU Investments Committee and serves on the boards of University Hospitals and the Ohio State University Foundation.
66. Patrick Grabill, chairman and CEO, Homestead Communities (65)
In another major break-up of 2002, Grabill retired from newly merged Coldwell Banker King Thompson realty and joined forces with Continental Real Estate's Frank Cass, among others, to form Homestead Communities.
67. John B. Gerlach Jr., chairman, president and CEO, Lancaster Colony Corp. (NEW)
As if running a billion-dollar corporation weren't enough, Gerlach is also a member of the board of directors of Huntington Bancshares Inc., Children's Hospital, Franklin University, Recreation Unlimited Foundation and The Ohio State University Foundation, and was just appointed to the Columbus Foundation governing committee.
68. Doug Borror, chairman and CEO, Dominion Homes (NEW)
Borror, a recognized leader in the homebuilding industry, was appointed by Gov. Taft to the OSU board of trustees last year. He's squeezing this additional leadership role in with his roles as a board member of Huntington Bank, Columbia Gas of Ohio, Capitol South Redevelopment Corp. and Recreation Unlimited.
69. Dimon McPherson, retired chairman, Nationwide (62)
McFerson is clearly still among the top movers and shakers in town, serving as a trustee of The Ohio State University, on the board of COSI, on the governing board of United Way of America and as honorary chairman of local charity events.
70. Pat Dugan, partner, Squires, Sanders & Dempsey LLP (63)
This merger and acquisition guru is a past judge of Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur Of The Year program and chairs the program committee of the Columbus Venture Network.
71. John Rosenberger, executive director, Capital South Community Urban Redevelopment Corp. (64)
With the downtown at stake, and Mayor Coleman taking a renewed interest in revitalizing parts of it, Rosenberger's organization will become even more important this year.
72. J. Daniel Schmidt, president, JDS Cos. and Downtown South Association (NEW)
Schmidt's been called the go-to guy downtown, thanks to his dedication to increasing housing in the center city and his assistance to the city on redeveloping the Main Street corridor. Now, he's set his sights on renovating an area of the Italian Village.
73. Sandy Harbrecht, president, Paul Werth Associates Inc. (68)
Harbrecht's consultative expertise is used not only by clients of the public relations firm, but also by her community affiliations including the Dean's Advisory Council for OSU's Fisher College of Business, the board of directors for the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce, the Council for Ethics in Economics and the Ingram-White Castle Foundation.
74. Linda Hondros, president, Hondros College (40)
Hondros' connections to the real estate community and other business leaders make her a powerful influence.
75. Robert Schottenstein, president, M/I Schottenstein Homes Inc. (69)
Despite analysts' prediction that the home-building market bubble is due to burst in 2003, Schottenstein is still a major player.
76. Leonard Schlesinger, executive vice president, Organization, Leadership and Human Resources, Limited Brands Inc. (NEW)
With Dietzel retiring, Schlesinger is the heir apparent as Wexner's right-hand man.
77. Alan Wasserstrom, president, N. Wasserstrom & Sons (NEW)
Wasserstrom and brother Rodney are the third generation to lead this fourth largest (by number of employees) family-owned company in Columbus.
78. Karen McVey, CEO, Women in New Growth Stages (35)
Through her company and personally, McVey serves as a mentor to women business owners.
79. Larry Hilsheimer, managing partner, Columbus office, Deloitte & Touche LLP (70)
With the more intense focus on accounting practices, Hilsheimer's expertise keeps him in demand. He also serves on the chamber board, Young President's Organization and other community groups.
80. Paula Inniss, president, Ohio Full Court Press (85)
Last year, Inniss was honored for her business and community leadership with her induction into the Junior Achievement Hall of Fame with fellow laureates Roger Blackwell and Curt Moody.
81. David P. Blom, president and CEO, OhioHealth (NEW)
After 19 years within the system, Blom leads the area's largest hospital system and is working to turn around the health service provider's operating losses.
82. Bill Habig, executive director, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (73)
The focus on transportation in Central Ohio is sharpening, and Habig will be the man who makes things happen.
83. Artie Isaac, president, Young Isaac Inc. (75)
Isaac works behind the scenes and moves among the city's most influential businesspeople.
84. Robert Massie, director and CEO of Chemical Abstracts; chairman, Columbus Technology Council (NEW)
With technology the key to economic development, Massie is in the right place at the right time, rubbing elbows with local business powerhouses.
85. Tom Button, vice president, Park National Bank, Columbus (78)
Button heads up the Columbus commercial lending department, financing privately held companies.
86 and 87. Cameron James, CEO, and Ken Mills, president, Mills/James Productions Inc. (89 and 90)
Mills and James keep their company successful by diversifying service offerings to businesses and staying abreast of the latest video, teleconferencing and production technologies.
88. Mark Butterworth, chair, Columbus Venture Network (92)
Working with Wolfe and Cox, Butterworth has a front row seat when it comes to new tech companies in the state.
89. Daniel Slane, president, Slane Co. (NEW)
Slane is a leading real estate/mall developer and mingles with the city's most influential leaders as an OSU trustee.
90. Brian Ellis, president, Nationwide Realty Investors (77)
He's the point person on all Arena District development and a trustee of the Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District.
91. Cameron Mitchell, president, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants LLC (80)
Despite slow sales and a struggling economy, Mitchell's restaurants are leading the pack in Columbus, and he plans to expand in the coming year.
92. Sue Doody, president, Lindey's Grant Avenue Investments (87)
Doody and the Doody family's Bravo Development are among the restaurant industry's successes. In 2002, Brio was recognized by the industry as the hottest new restaurant concept in the country.
93. Robert C. White, founder and chairman, The Daimler Group (NEW)
White leads one of the largest commercial real estate development firms in the state, and his Westar development is attracting tenants including the Building Industry Association to Westerville.
94. George Skestos, founder, Homewood Corp. (81)
Skestos is a long-standing, well-respected player in the business community -- you'll find him on the OSU Board of Trustees, Huntington Bank's board and the Columbus Regional Airport Authority's board.
95. Gene T. Harris, superintendent, Columbus Public Schools (NEW)
Despite plenty of naysayers, Harris was instrumental in winning voter approval for a $392 million bond issue to rebuild or renovate 38 schools. Now she needs to show that better schools make better students.
96. Janet Jackson, executive director, United Way Central Ohio (NEW)
This former municipal court judge and city attorney is an expert politician, which will serve her well as she forms relationships with business leaders.
97. Bill Schottenstein, owner, Arshot Investment Corp. (79)
Another key player in the development arena, he works with John Wolfe and Don Casto among others.
98. Doug Kridler, president and CEO, Columbus Foundation (NEW)
Kridler heads the region's largest foundation, putting him in a position to improve the community. He'll be forming connections with governing committee members Abigail Wexner, Ann Pizzuti and Lewis Smoot.
99. Adam Troy, managing partner, Omni Management Group (NEW)
Troy's firm is the largest African-American owned commercial real estate development company in the Midwest. Troy and his firm have received a lot of publicity for their participation in developing the downtown and Easton area, particularly CityGate, and Troy has also served on the mayor's downtown business plan task force.
100. Patricia Gibson, president, PMG Video Communications Inc.; president, U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce Ohio Affiliate (NEW)
As president of the newly formed U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce, Gibson is working closely with strong women business leaders including Nancy Kramer and Janet Jackson.