Say Hello to Columbia’s Favorite People. We tallied nearly 20,000 reader votes and are pleased to present the winners in the people category of our 2017 Best of Columbia contest. Congratulations to all!

Looking for a specific category?  Best Athlete, Best Author, Best Bartender, Best Cashier, Best Chief, Best Chiropractor, Best College Coach, Best Dentist/Orthodontist, Best Dog Groomer, Best Elected Official, Best Entrepreneur, Best Firefighter, Best Group Fitness Instructor, Best Hair Stylist, Best House Cleaner, Best Landscaper, Best Life/Business Coach, Best Make-up Artist, Best Manicurist, Best Massage Therapist, Best Mentor, Best Personal Trainer, Best Photographer, Best Police Officer, Best Principal, Best Radio Personality, Best Radio Team, Best Receptionist, Best Repair Service Worker, Best Sales Associate, Best Solo Instrumentalist, Best Tattoo Artist, Best Taxi Driver, Best Teacher, Best Theatrical Performer, Best Tutor, Best TV News Anchor, Best TV Sporscaster, Best TV Weathercaster, Best Uber Driver, Best Veterinarian, Best Visual Artist, Best Volunteer, Best Waiter/Waitress, Best Wedding Planner, Best Yoga Instructor, Best Youth Sports Coach

 

(Pictured from left to right) Anne Churchill, Ed Hanson, Amanda Barnes, Wally Pfeffer, Scotty Cox, Michele Spry, Laura McHugh, Nollie Moore, Jordan Parshall, Monty Murphy, Steve Voss, Amy Eultgen, Elizabeth Schulte, Trent Custard, Amy Hemeyer, Adam Wells-Morgan, Ming Hsieh, Chase Patton, Melissa Kinkade, Trevor (KCMQ), Britney Williamson and Shags (KCMQ.)

 

Best Athlete

Gold: J’den Cox  (Olympic medalist in wrestling)
Silver: Sophie Cunningham (University of Missouri basketball player)
Bronze: Michael Porter, Jr. (University of Missouri basketball player)
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Best Author

Gold: Jordan Parshall (“Nice Buns: Ways to Say I Love You”)
Silver: Jill Orr (“The Good Byline,” An Exercise in Narcissism blog)
Bronze: Laura McHugh (“The Weight of Blood,” “Arrowood”)
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Best Bartender

Gold: Josh Bowles (Logboat)
Silver: Katie Mericle (Tropical Liquers)
Bronze: Britney Garrido (Las Margaritas)
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Best Cashier

Gold: Matt Duncan (HyVee)
Silver: Issac Paisley (Gerbes)
Bronze: Tom Olinski (Schnucks)
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Best Chef

Gold: Scott Cleeton (CC’s City Broiler)
Silver: Patrick Hawkins (CoMo Smoke and Fire)
Bronze: Adam Wells-Morgan (FlyOver)
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Best Chiropractor

Gold: Amanda Owens (Tiger Family Chiropractic)
Silver: Monique White (Columbia Chiropractors)
Bronze: Curt Kippenberger (Focus on Health Chiropractic)
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(Pictured from left to right) Anne Churchill, Ed Hanson, Amanda Barnes, Wally Pfeffer, Scotty Cox, and Michele Spry

Best College Coach

Gold: Gary Pinkel (former University of Missouri football coach)
Silver: Robin Pingeton (University of Missouri women’s basketball coach)
Bronze: Brian Smith (University of Missouri wrestling coach)
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Best Dentist/Orthodontist

Gold: Chase Patton (Willett & Patton DDS)
Silver: Steven Taylor (Central Missouri Orthodontics)
Bronze: Andrew Hamilton (Andrew Hamilton DDS)
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Best Dog Groomer

Gold: Denise Wallace (Lizzi & Rocco’s)
Silver: Ashley Nichols (All Dogs and Cats)
Bronze: Stephene Wilhite (Treats Unleashed)
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Best Elected Official

Gold: Caleb Rowden (Missouri State Senate)
Silver: Claire McCaskill (United States Senate)
Bronze: Eric Greitens (Missouri Governor)
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Best Entrepreneur

Gold: Tyson Hunt (Logboat Brewing Company)
Silver: Adam Guy (Brasserie French Steakhouse, Upper Crust Bakery, Cherry Hill Event Center, The Champagne Ballroom)
Bronze: Rebecca Miller (Peggy Jean’s Pies)
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Best Firefighter

Gold: Gale Blomenkamp
Silver: Danny Spry
Bronze: Marc Wright
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Best Group Fitness Instructor

Gold: Kelly Adams (Columbia Strength and Conditioning)
Silver: Steffanee Richardson (Lindsey Stinson Personal Training)
Bronze: Amanda Barnes (Be By Barnes)
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Matt Duncan, Jill Orr, Steven Taylor, Cosmo (Y107,) Rebecca Miller and Abbie Cook

 

Best Hair Stylist

Gold: Melissa Kinkade (The Clip Joint)
Silver: Paige George-Loesch (A Show of Hands)
Bronze: Amy Hemeyer (Regeneration Salon & Spa)
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Best House Cleaner

Gold: Ashley Robertson (Mother and Daughter Cleaning Service)
Silver: Toni Calhoun (Fairy Godmother)
Bronze: Dawn Sands (For the Love of Cleaning)
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Best Landscaper

Gold: Tim Rost (Rost Landscaping)
Silver: Josh Woodward (Woodward Lawn Care)
Bronze: Steven Voss (Voss Land & Tree)
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Best Life/Business Coach

Gold: Rachael Sparks (Inner Spark Counseling)
Silver: Kim Becking (Looking Forward to Living Life)
Bronze: Adam Sachs (Adam Sachs Coaching)
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Best Make-Up Artist

Gold: Melissa Kinkade (The Clip Joint)
Silver: Alana Harper (Alana Harper Esthetics)
Bronze: Colissa Nole (Salon Nefisa)
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Best Manicurist

Gold: Ming Hsieh (Polished)
Silver: Abbie Cook
Bronze: Bobbi Wood (Varsity Nails)
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Best Massage Therapist

Gold: Leslie Edwards (Riversong Spa & Salon)
Silver: Jamie Meyer (Massage Envy)
Bronze: Allison Sower (CoMo Massage)
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Rachael Sparks, Gale Blomenkamp, Tia Stamper, Adam Guy, Billie Stock, Adam Sachs and Ashley Cooper

Best Mentor

Gold: Dan Scotten (Central Missouri Food Bank)
Silver: Nollie Moore (Columbia College)
Bronze: Chuck Worstell (The Foundation for Higher Good)
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Best Personal Trainer

Gold: Ericka Hill (Wilson’s Total Fitness)
Silver: Amanda Barnes (Be By Barnes)
Bronze: Lindsey Stinson (Lindsey Stinson Personal Training)
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Best Photographer

Gold: Casey Buckman (Casey Buckman Photography)
Silver: Scott Schaefer (Schaefer Photography)
Bronze: Billie Stock (Billie Stock Photography)
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Best Police Officer

Gold: Corey Bowden
Silver: Keisha Edwards
Bronze: Candy Cornman
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Best Principal

Gold: Eric Johnson (Hickman High School)
Silver: Jennifer Ruckstadt (Rock Bridge High School)
Bronze: Elaine Hassemer (Our Lady of Lourdes Interparish School)
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Best Radio Personality

Gold: Cosmo (Y107)
Silver: Scotty Cox (Clear 99)
Bronze: Aric Bremer (Clear 99)
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Best Radio Team

Gold: Scotty and Cara (Clear 99)
Silver: Cosmo, Jax and Jaime (Y107)
Bronze: Shags and Trevor (KCMQ)
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Lindsey Stinson, Steffanee Richardson, Paige George-Loesch, Stephene Wilhite, Tawny Baker, Michele Curry and Ruth Acuff

 

Best Receptionist

Gold: Liz Schulte (Veterans United Home Loans)
Silver: Jordan West
Bronze: Tia Stamper (Veterans United Home Loans)
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Best Repair Service Worker

Gold: Ross Mutrux (Mutrux Automotive)
Silver: Brice Cottle (Automotive Specialist)
Bronze: Rob Hall
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Best Sales Associate

Gold: Tawny Baker (Treats Unleashed)
Silver: Brooke Berkey (Central Bank of Boone County)
Bronze: Trent Custard (Columbia Honda)
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Best Solo Instrumentalist

Gold: Tom Andes
Silver: Ruth Acuff (Harp player)
Bronze: Travis McFarlane
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Best Tattoo Artist

Gold: Roxanne (Living Canvas Tattoo)
Silver: Gabe Garcia (Iron Tiger Tattoo)
Bronze: Fonzie (Living Canvas Tattoo)
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Best Taxi Driver

Gold: Terry Nickerson
Silver: Michael “Big Mike” Bush
Bronze: Samuel Bojanski
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Best Teacher

Gold: Molly Lyman (Ridgeway Elementary, Hickman Cheerleading)
Silver: Brittany Williamson (Hallsville High School)
Bronze: Amy Gundy (Our Lady of Lourdes Interparish School)
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Ross Mutrux, Leslie Edwards, Jax (Y107) and Ashley Nichols

 

Best Theatrical Performer

Gold: Michele Curry (“The Little Mermaid,” “Mary Poppins,” Development Director at Columbia Entertainment Company)
Silver: Ed Hanson (Talking Horse Art Director, “A Man of No Importance,” “Sinatra Supper Club”)
Bronze: Adam Brietzke (“Macbeth,” “Mothers and Sons,” “Violet,” stage fight and stunt coordinator)
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Best Tutor

Gold: Katy McNeil
Silver: Megan Gabel
Bronze: Ene-Kaja Chippendale
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Best TV News Anchor

Gold: Sharon Ray (KMIZ)
Silver: Angie Bailey (KOMU)
Bronze: Jim Riek (KOMU)
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Best TV Sportscaster

Gold: Chris Gervino (KOMU)
Silver: Austin Kim (KMIZ)
Bronze: Rod Smith (KRCG)
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Best TV Weathercaster

Gold: Sharon Ray (KMIZ)
Silver: Kenton Gewecke (KOMU)
Bronze: Tori Stepanek (KOMU)
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Best Uber Driver

Gold: Lauren Smith
Silver: Aaron Fox
Bronze: Jared Smoot
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Best Veterinarian

Gold: Greg Chapman (Noah’s Ark Animal Hospital)
Silver: Beth Hussey (Horton Animal Hospital)
Bronze: Candace Stormer (Rolling Hills Veterinary Hospital)
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Erika Hill, Danny Spry Jr., Britney Garrido, Eric Johnson

 

Best Visual Artist

Gold: Monty Murphy (Paint the Town)
Silver: Ashley Cooper (Cooper Cat Customs)
Bronze: Brittany Williamson (Outside the Line Studio)
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Best Volunteer

Gold: Michele Spry (Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue)
Silver: Cindy Mutrux
Bronze: Wally Pfeffer
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Best Waiter/Waitress

Gold: Angela Sampson (Murry’s)
Silver: Cassie Carnes (G&D Pizzaria)
Bronze: Taylor Brundage (Ernie’s)
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Best Wedding Planner

Gold: Anne Churchill (AnnaBelle Events)
Silver: Natalie Imhoff (The Bridal Solution)
Bronze: Tina Patel
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Best Yoga Instructor

Gold: Ericka Hill (Wilson’s Total Fitness)
Silver: Brandy Bremer (Sumits Hot Yoga)
Bronze: Amy Eultgen (Wilson’s Total Fitness)
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Best Youth Sports Coach

Gold: Justin Conyers (Battle High School)
Silver: Kelly Eagle (Eagle Elite Cheerleading)
Bronze: Adam Booth (Tamashi Futbol)
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