Who will be the 2013 Person of the Year? Help us decide: Our View

We need your help to assemble a list of people who made a difference this year.

2:36 PM, Oct. 28, 2013  |  Comments
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We try every day to tell the stories that make a difference in our community.

Every one of those stories involves people whose actions have had an effect on others - good, bad or mixed. Our community wouldn't be what it is without individuals who got to work and got involved to make an impact.

Those are the people the Daily Herald Media Editorial Board will consider when we decide who will be the 2013 Person of the Year. The criteria are simple: The person must have had an impact on our area this year.

The 2013 Person of the Year could be involved in business, in the nonprofit world, in government, education or in the religious community. The person might be a well-known public figure or someone whose efforts haven't been sufficiently recognized.

One thing to know: It's not a lifetime achievement award. We're blessed with all sorts of extraordinary folks in our community - people who have done extraordinary things in their lives. For this award, we're looking for people who made a difference in this calendar year.

Big shoes to fill

Some of the winners and finalists for past awards illustrate the many different ways that "local impact" can be defined.

? The Daily Herald Media 2012 Person of the Year was Karla Westcott , the world-class kayaking judge whose tireless volunteer efforts landed Wausau a massive international competition downtown, the 2012 International Canoe Federation Junior & U23 Canoe Slalom World Championships, which brought to town athletes from 27 countries and pumped tens of millions of dollars into the local economy.

? In 2011, the award went to the SquareUp Committee , the group of citizens whose fundraising efforts gave us the beautifully renovated 400 Block in downtown Wausau.

? In 2010, we honored Jim Campbell and Mike Thompson , founders of the local Honor Flight chapter, for their impact in honoring World War II veterans and creating a communitywide discussion about the Greatest Generation.

? In 2009, we gave the award to Lori Weyers , president of Northcentral Technical College, for leading that institution's myriad programs designed to help displaced workers and others seeking to cope with the worst of the recession.

? And in 2008, the first time we named a Person of the Year, we honored then-Weston Village Administrator Dean Zuleger, for a group of community initiatives that made a difference to thousands.

It's a diverse group, and our lists of finalists have been even more varied: Mao Khang of The Women's Community for efforts to fight domestic violence; U.S. Reps. Dave Obey and Sean Duffy; business leaders whose work helped shape the community; and many, many more. It's fun to look down the lists and be reminded of all the impressive people in our community.

Who made a difference this year? Let us know.

How we do it

The Daily Herald Media Editorial Board will consider all the names submitted to us, and we'll make our own nominations, too. We'll give consideration to the widest range of candidates we can find, and in December we'll print the names of every nominee we receive.

Help us decide. Visit www.wausaudailyherald.com/personoftheyear to submit your nomination online. You also can print out a nomination form there.

If you have questions or concerns, get in touch. Email opinion@wdhmedia.com or call Community Conversation Editor Robert Mentzer at 715-845-0604.

The deadline for nominations is noon Nov. 18. We'll announce the winner in mid-December.

We're excited about featuring some of this year's people of impact. And we need your help to make sure we're giving consideration to all the great people in the community who have made a difference.

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Special Reports