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Pottawatomie Power Polls Closed

Top 25 to be honored at invitation only gala Oct. 10


September 17, 2020

Fifty-eight Pottawatomie County leaders have been nominated as the most powerful and influential in The Countywide & Sun's once-every-decade community poll that closed Aug. 30.

For the fourth time in 30 years - every ten years - the newspaper has compiled a list of the people considered by their peers as the most influential, the people who make things happen.

And for the first time ever, the top 25 leaders of this decade will be honored at a gala set for Oct. 10 at Crossing Hearts Ranch in Tecumseh. The in-person event will feature U.S. Senator James Lankford as the guest speaker and announcement of the Top Ten, who will later be interviewed about their views on leadership. Those interviews will be published in The Countywide & Sun over a four-week period beginning Oct. 15.

Letters initially went out to more than 50 people asking them to name the five people they think are the county's most influential. The letters went to local leaders and those who made the list in previous years. As the responses came in, letters were sent to any new names not on the original list. The rolling poll began in late July.

The 2020 nominees include 21 women, a much higher percentage than in previous years. Here are the names of all 58 nominees, in alphabetical order:

Mike Adcock, Chance Allison, John A. "Rocky" Barrett, Tim Barrick, Casey Bell, Jennifer Bell, Tom Bierd, Ed Bolt, Marilyn Bradford, Michelle Briggs, Tim Burg, Suzie Campbell, John Canavan, Linda Capps, Tom Dahlman, Melissa Dennis, Susan DeWoody, Richard Driskell, Cami Engles, Bob Evans, Richard Finley, Travis Flood, Bill Ford, Joe Ford, Randy Gilbert, Suzanne Gilbert, April Grace, Tina Hanna, James Harrod, Kaye Harrod, Dell Kerbs, Katie Landes, Charlie Laster, Kathy Laster, Marty Lewis, Marion McMillan, Rachael Melot, Angi Mohr, Gene Rainbolt, Anthony Rhone, Ron Sharp, Ronnye Sharp, Daniel Shaughnessy, Nick Shepherd, Misty Smith, Randy Smith, Larry Sparks, Jill Spencer, Danny Sterling, Joe Taron, Heath Thomas, Gloria Trotter, Bob Weaver, Sarah Weeks, Terry West, James Wilder, Matt Wiley, and Tom Wilsie.

The Top Ten in 2010 were, from first to tenth, Kris Steele, Bill Ford, Randy Gilbert, John A. Barrett Jr., Joe Taron, Charlie Laster, Linda Peterson, Marilyn Bradford, Brad Henry, and Marion McMillan.

Barrett, Bradford, Ford, Henry, and Taron also made the list in 2000, but only Taron made it all three times. Of course, several of those in previous polls are deceased or out of public life.

Sponsors are already coming on board for the gala. Platinum sponsors are First United Bank and the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, and Gold sponsors are Gilbert Insurance/Gilbert & Sons Trucking and the Tecumseh Chamber of Commerce.

In addition, ads congratulating the nominees are running the newspaper beginning this week. To participate in the advertising or sponsorships, contact Suzie Campbell at 598-3793.


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