Sunday, April 29, 2012 by Keith

Chris Connor, CEO of Sherwin Williams photographed by Keith Berr

I recently had the opportunity to work with Christopher M Connor, an OSU Grad and CEO of Sherwin-Williams (SHW) for 12 years.

His office called us to see if I was the photographer that had been photographing Thomas F. Zenty III, CEO of University Hospitals and making him "look good". Chris Connor sits on the board of UH with Tom and that’s how business happens.

Chris is a very interesting guy; he joined Sherwin-Williams in 1983 as advertising director for its paint stores and has been with the company for 28 years. He knows how to market.

In an era when many CEOs are retreating from community involvement, heeding boards of directors’ calls to focus on the company alone, Connor and Sherwin-Williams are an exception. He’s working to improve Northeast Ohio’s business climate as a Greater Cleveland Partnership vice chair and to attract new business as chairman of Team NEO. 

He talked with everyone as I walked with him through the SW facilities. He’s a guy that doesn’t have to do a lot of the things he does, like leading the company’s teams in charity bike races such as Pedal to the Point wearing riding togs and eating Hostess Twinkies. 

Ethics are important to Connor, as he’s led Sherwin-Williams’ ultimate realization of its logo’s “Cover the Earth” slogan, its global expansion. Sherwin-Williams had no facilities in Asia and only one in Europe when Connor became CEO in 1999. Today, it has 13 factories in Europe and 13 facilities in Asia.

I’m fortunate to live in a town where I get to meet and work with some really fascinating people.

Chris Connor

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