From business leaders to politicians, those in power know that it’s work to get to the top and a struggle to stay there. Challenges from opponents can present themselves at any time and then there’s always the next test, the next task, the next obstacle.

Cincy’s 12th annual Power 100 list recognizes those people who hold and use the most clout to benefit the region.

1 John Barrett
chairman, president and 
CEO, Western & Southern 
Financial Group. 

A perennial on the Power 100, he’s been one of the city’s most successful business and community leaders for nearly three decades. Although critics have questioned his approach at times, Barrett’s been one of the region’s biggest boosters of economic development, education, health care and the arts since becoming CEO of the diversified financial services company in 1994. His latest mission is leading, with retired Midland CEO John Hayden, an effort to raise more than $100 million to help secure a National Cancer Institute designation for Cincinnati.

2. Carl H. Lindner III & S. Craig Lindner
co-presidents and CEOs, American Financial Group.

If Cincinnati one day lands a Major League Soccer franchise, it can thank Carl H. Lindner III. Lindner, who, with his brother Craig has run American Financial Group for nearly two decades, stepped up last year to be majority owner of the new FC Cincinnati, a minor league franchise. The Lindners’ late father Carl H. Lindner Jr., was majority owner of the Cincinnati Reds and the family still has a stake in the team. But Carl III and his family have a passion for soccer and want to make the Queen City a big league soccer town.

3 Robert Castellini
chairman, Castellini Co., and CEO of the Cincinnati Reds. 

The best laid plans of mice and baseball owners sometimes go awry. Castellini, who secured the All-Star Game for the city in 2015, acquired the Reds promising to bring a championship to his hometown. Despite spending millions on players, that hasn’t happened and now the team is focusing on rebuilding with younger talent. After winning the Central Division in 2012 with a 97-65 record, the Reds finished last year 64-98, their second consecutive losing season. Ever the optimist, Castellini told The Enquirer at the end of last season: “We’re down but not out.”

4 Mike Brown 
president and principal owner of the Cincinnati Bengals.

A quarter century of playoff futility only intensified last month as the Bengals staged a prime time TV implosion at the hands of rival Pittsburgh Steelers, a finish that cast both the team and the city in a negative light. While it’s undoubtedly painful for Brown, he isn’t likely to make dramatic changes. Brown’s reluctance to make big changes has been a constant irritant to some fans. On the plus side, the team compiled its best record since 1988 and the longest undefeated streak in franchise history during the season.

5 Tom Williams
president and partner, North American Properties Inc.

Long one of the region’s most influential business leaders, Williams has been heavily involved in regional economic development from advocating a new Brent Spence Bridge to being a driving force behind REDI, the Regional Economic Development Initiative, where he is chairman of the board. Last year he focused on the region’s cultural amenities leading the 2015 ArtsWave Community Campaign, which raised more than $12.2 million by drawing new contributions from the region’s small and mid-sized businesses. 

6 Michael Fisher
president and CEO, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. 

As leader of Cincinnati’s largest hospital since 2010, Fisher has extended Cincinnati Children’s reputation as one of the nation’s finest pediatric research and treatment facilities. Last year, Cincinnati Children’s took the wraps off more than $260 million in new facilities, including the 15-story Clinical Sciences tower and the expansion of its Liberty Township campus that will include the region’s first proton therapy center, set to open next year. The hospital is also two-thirds of the way to raising $250 million by 2018 to improve children’s health care.

7 Kay Geiger
regional president, PNC 
Bank, Greater Cincinnati 
and Northern Kentucky.

As the only woman leading a major Cincinnati bank, Geiger is a presence in a number of local institutions from the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, where she’s a former chair, to 3CDC, United Way and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Foundation. PNC Bank also has been a key figure in financing some of Cincinnati’s highest profile projects: from Mercer Commons and Washington Park in Over-the-Rhine to GE’s new global operations center at the Banks.

8 Dr. Richard P. (Rick) Lofgren
president and CEO, UC Health.

In just his second year as head of the region’s only academic health system, Lofgren, an internist and health-care administrator, initiated a restructuring to streamline its separate organizations into a single management structure.

9 Joseph Deters
Hamilton County 
prosecutor.

Hamilton County’s longest serving prosecuting attorney, who admits to speaking without a filter, shocked friends and foes alike last year with his blunt comments in announcing a murder indictment of former UC Police Officer Ray Tensing in the shooting death of Samuel DuBose.

Some saw Deter’s comments defusing a tense situation and a reflection of how far police-community relations have evolved since the 2001 riots. But critics say his comments prejudiced Tensing’s right to a fair trial. Deters, who is seeking re-election this year, also undoubtedly antagonized some voters with his support of the failed Ohio constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana.

10 John Cranley
City of Cincinnati 
mayor. 

It was the best of times, and the worse of times for the mayor in 2015. The year began with Cranley heralding a significant pension settlement with city workers, but ended with overwhelming defeat of the parks levy he championed. Cranley says he didn’t take the defeat personally but says he got the message: voters don’t want new taxes. The mayor also found himself in a dust up over the treatment of fellow Democrats on council including Councilwoman Yvette Simpson, who may challenge him for re-election in 2017.