For the past two years, Winter Park Magazine has published compilations of the city’s Most Influential People. But in a city filled with achievers — many of whom are passionately involved in civic affairs — we’ve only scratched the surface so far.
So we’re doing it again in our summer issue. As usual, we’re asking past selectees to nominate others. But this year, I thought we’d cast an even wider net and ask our readers for their opinions.
We’re also putting out a call on social media before winnowing our way through what will certainly be dozens of worthy contenders.
I like the Most Influential People project because it always results in a mixture of mover-and-shaker types with people you may not yet know — but who quietly make a difference. The list has included businesspeople, clergypeople, professors, politicians, philanthropists, city employees, arts administrators, volunteers, community activists and Winter Parkers from all walks of life.
Even if they’ve agreed on little else, the selectees have shared a love for Winter Park. Indeed, one reason that 32789 is the most interesting zip code in Central Florida is because of its people. There’s a story worth telling at just about every address.
So, who in Winter Park is exceptional in your opinion? Who has done — and continues to do — things that make the city a better place? Who impacts lives? I’d like to hear from you.
Past selectees have included: Dan Bellows, Cindy Bowman LaFronz, Jeffrey Blydenburgh, Daniel Butts, Grant and Peg Cornwell, Julian Chambliss, Patrick Chapin, Carolyn Cooper, Mary Daniels, Jeff Eisenbarth, Sue Foreman, Shawn Garvey, Steve Goldman, Sarah Grafton, Jane Hames, Jill Hamilton Buss, Debra Hendrickson, Catherine Hinman, Phil Kean, Allan Keen, Linda Keen, Randy Knight, Debbie Komanski, Linda Kulmann, Steve Leary, Lambrine Macejewski, Anne Mooney, Ronnie Moore, Patty Maddox, David Odahowski, Betsy Rogers Owens, John Rife, Thad Seymour, Shawn Shaffer, Susan Skolfield, Sam Stark, Dori Stone, John and Gail Sinclair, Fr. Richard Walsh, Harold Ward, Bill Weir, Pete Weldon and Becky Wilson.
They aren’t eligible again, but everyone else is. Please send me a brief email sharing who you believe belongs on this year’s list — maybe consider an “unsung hero” who doesn’t get the kudos that he or she ought to. In the email, please explain briefly why that person (or persons) ought to be recognized.
We’ll have a big blowout in July — as we have for the past two years — celebrating the selectees and the city that they help to make such a special place. My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org.