Revealing Tampa Bay’s most powerful business leaders: TBBJ’s Power 100

Welcome to the debut of the Tampa Bay Business Journal Power 100.

Today, we reveal the first 25 people to make the list, with the remaining 75 coming in groups on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. These list makers work in nearly 20 different sectors, and the groups of 25 are being unveiled in random order.

Here’s how we created the list:

The Power 100 is the work of the TBBJ newsroom. We began with a white board and an expansive list of power players across our seven-county region. We held dynamic discussions and argued, and then narrowed it down to who we believe are the 100 most influential names at this point in Tampa Bay business.

There were no set criteria. Instead, we asked ourselves questions like these: Who’s using their money, their connections or their positions to drive business in Tampa Bay? Whose influence extends beyond their own company and their own industry? When the mayors in Tampa, St. Petersburg or Clearwater need something done, who gets the call?

Success does not always mean power. There are far more than 100 successful, high-profile business leaders in Tampa Bay. Some big names didn't make our list. We focused on the people who have the greatest impact and influence on the Tampa Bay business community right now.

A key value proposition of the TBBJ is to identify and cover the most powerful people in town. It’s our job to know who’s wielding the most influence and how they do it. But it’s equally important to note our belief that a little humility must be applied to this project: There are many CEOs and businesses out there that we don’t yet know well — but aim to. We don’t know what we don’t know.

Strong community leaders are wielding power in other areas, too, but we aimed to focus on the B2B scene.


Kelsey Lehtomaa