The Influentials: Sam Miller

Co-chairman, Forest City Enterprises

“Until we get
a unified regional or county government with the ability to legislate and lead,” Forest City co-chairman Sam Miller said a year ago, “all we are doing is putting Band-Aids on a body that is broken.” Miller isn’t the first to argue that, but he’s the elder statesman of the Cleveland business community, bankroller of countless local politicians, generous philanthropist and demanding power broker. So when he says it’s time to change the way we’re governed, people start to think it’s possible: A roomful of business leaders gave his speech at the 2007 NEO Success Awards a standing ovation, and more than 150 signed up to volunteer for his effort. Now, he is helping to fund a study, due this summer, of the cost of government in Northeast Ohio. If it says we’re overpaying, expect a big county government reform effort that even powerful political leaders may not be able to stop.

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