I frequently like to take walks on the banks of the Ohio River. It continues to draw me for strolls to take in the river and imagine what life was like when paddle wheelers and boat commerce was bustling here.

These walks have always been sort of a ritual to reminisce and dream of what our publication could be in this modern and vibrant region. Looking at downtown still seems a bit daunting with its big buildings — many steeped in history — and the strong companies they house. Those structures make me wonder more about the establishment that built this city, and the inner workings that must play out on a daily basis among those who carry power.

I think this eager sense of wanting to know which people are the ones making things happen drove us to ask the question some four years ago: If we had to determine who the most powerful people are in the Tristate, how could we do it? Would others want to read about it?

Through all the factors considered in deciding The Power 100, one key question determined how much weight we placed towards each individual. If this person made a personal call to you and requested a favor, how willing would you be to act? The discussions to whittle down the list to only 100 are a great opportunity for the Cincy staff to come together to communicate what they hear on the streets, see firsthand, or draw from months of reading the headlines.

Now, going into the fourth year of dealing out The Power 100, the answer of whether you, the reader, would be interested in this seems pretty clear. Year after year, this issue continues to be the top seller, in many instances selling out at newsstands prior to us conducting our first weekly check.

Many of the people you see listed are the no-brainers, such as those in high-ranking governmental positions, or CEOs of large companies that sometimes are thrust into the limelight on the national or international level. Others, however, seem to play their cards closer to the vest, like old riverboat gamblers; they’re more comfortable working behind the scenes, with little fanfare.

Keep in mind some are on the list even if we disagree with the way they wield their influence. This is not always a popularity contest. Henry Van Dyke once wrote that “It is with rivers as it is with people: The greatest are not always the most agreeable nor the best to live with.”
Another new year, and another Power 100. We welcome your input. Perhaps we missed someone who deserves consideration. Please let us know. If it’s you personally who wants in the game, there is one thing you should be aware of: Bluffing won’t go far in this river town.