The Herald Bulletin

December 29, 2013

Scott Underwood: THB Person of Year to be revealed Wednesday

The Herald Bulletin

---- — You probably noticed the solicitations for Person of the Year nominations in The Herald Bulletin and on in November and early December.

We always get a great response from readers, and this year was no different. You nominated more than two dozen people for the honor.

The only criteria is that the honoree have had a positive impact on the Madison County area community during the waning year. We also consider a record of positive contributions in past years.

Nominees this year included a teacher, business people, an economic development expert, leaders of service organizations, community activists, animal rights activists, health-care professionals and others.

As in years past, we also received nominations for family members. I always like getting these because of their heartfelt sincerity. Fathers, mothers and others are truly worthy of Person of the Year recognition because of the monumental sacrifices they make for their children and others. Many family nominees have helped others overcome terrible tragedies and overwhelming hardships.

As the nomination period closed, The Herald Bulletin's editorial board reviewed the nominations and then met for a discussion, during which board members also contributed nominations.

(Members of the editorial board include Publisher Henry Bird, Associate Editor Scott Miley, Features Editor Janis Bowling, Copy Chief Paula Bivens, Sports Editor Rick Teverbaugh, Content Editor Heather Bremer, myself, and our community member for the last quarter of 2013, St. Vincent Anderson Regional Hospital President Tom VanOsdol.)

After about an hour's discussion, the board narrowed the list of Person of the Year nominees down to a half dozen. Culling the list wasn't easy. Virtually every nominee had contributed something noteworthy to the Madison County area in 2013.

Picking the winner out of the list of finalists was even more difficult, and the debate over the final selection was spirited. But we finally agreed on a winner, a person all on the board considered worthy. We also agreed on a list of "Others Who Made a Difference" to recognize.

The Person of the Year will be announced in Wednesday's paper. What better way to start 2014 than to honor someone whose extraordinary efforts made the community a better place in 2013?

This year's winner certainly did that. I hope you're looking forward to learning his — or her — identity Wednesday. You'll also enjoy reading the brief articles on the other nominees the editorial board chose to recognize.

I will give you one hint: This year's winner was recognized at least once in past years among "Others Who Made a Difference."

In 2014, make a note to yourself when you find out about someone who is doing incredible things to make our community a better place to live. Then send in that nomination when you see our call-out to readers late in the year.

Editor Scott Underwood's column appears Mondays. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @THBeditor. Contact him at or 640-4845.