We heart these people

Meet Portland's most influential
By JEFF INGLIS  |  February 10, 2010

FEAT021210_PMIintro_main 

We all know Portland is a busy, exciting place to live. It takes a lot of people's amazing energy to keep it going, though. Who's doing the moving and the shaking?

We started with a simple question: Who are the people without whom Portland would be the poorer? But that's not the only criterion. Who is making Portland, and Maine, great for all of us to live, work, and play in today, and even better for tomorrow? Who is spending their time and energy really contributing deeply, in a way we should all notice and appreciate (even if they're too modest — and busy — to seek that publicity themselves)?

We thought about this ourselves and talked about it (quietly) around town. One person we consulted put it perfectly when rephrasing what we had asked her: "Who do I look up to and admire the hell out of?"

Perhaps the best thing, though, is that this list (which we split into categories largely for logistical reasons — many of these people cross the artificial lines we created) could also have been called "Portland's Most Humble," given many of the responses we got after telling people they made the list. "Aw, shucks, thanks," read one e-mail. "Can't be that elite if I'm in it," wrote another PMIer. "Did you mean to send this to me?" and "Are you sure you've got the right person?" were also common responses — even from people with very prominent community roles. But we suspect that most of the people felt like the person who wrote "I'm embarrassed and very, very pleased."

And yes, we know we missed some people — any list like this will never be complete — so if this list is missing you (or someone you know), please let us know. Give me a call at 207.773.8900 x105 or drop me an e-mail at jinglis@phx.com.

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