Chairman and CEO, The Sherwin-Williams Co.
This September, Christopher Connor will showcase his leadership skills — by flipping pancakes. But serving as co-chair of the United Way Cleveland’s annual fundraising campaign (and rolling his sleeves up for its flapjack-flip kickoff on Public Square) is just one item on this low-key leader’s to-do list. He was also recently elected chairman of the regional economic development organization Team NEO and serves on the board of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Maybe most notably, since Connor took over as CEO of Sherwin-Williams in 1999, the paint giant’s sales have increased 60 percent. And, in 2008, a new Sherwin-Williams retail store will open, on average, every three days. K. Michael Benz, CEO of the local United Way, describes Connor as a “get-in-the-trenches kind of guy.” He’s not into ceremonial roles. If he’s on your board or chairing your event, he’s ready to work.