Local Celebrity:

Elec Simon
330-962-6207, elecsimon.com Promo
Runner-up: Aaron Bartow, MMA fighter
Elec Simon has performed for thousands worldwide, but the renown percussionist has never forgotten his Ohio roots. A native of Smithfield, Simon now calls Canton home. He’s a fixture at downtown Canton First Fridays, where he leads drum circles and often performs at local hot spots and events. A mentor, advocate and teacher, Simon has worked with ArtsinStark and Stark County schools to bring the arts and his anti-bullying message, to local kids. He’s the co-founder of Heartbeat Afrika, an arts education company. Simon was a featured soloist with The Cleveland Cavaliers QStix drum team. He played his preferred instrument, a 5-gallon paint bucket, for crowds at Quicken Loans Arena and the NBA All-Star Game. Simon, a self-taught musician and tap dancer, earned national attention in 2005 when he performed in Broadway’s STOMP (he still joins the production on tour). Also that year, Simon performed in Tap Extravaganza in New York alongside icon Savion Glover. —Jessica Holbrook

Park:

Monument Park
700-1150 Park Rd. NW, Canton, 330-456-4521
Runner-up: Price Park

Teacher or professor:

Megan Bartuseck at Massillon City Schools
1 Paul E Brown Dr. SE, Massillon, massillonschools.org
Runner-up: JoAnne McNew at Plain Local Schools

Accountant or tax/financial planner/professional:

Smith Barta & Company
4650 Hills & Dales Rd. NW, Canton, 330-477-1075, smithbarta.com
Runner-up: 415 Group

Personal trainer or fitness professional:

Chris Collett at Elevation Performance Training
7970 Whipple Ave. NW, North Canton, 330-771-2196, facebook.com/Elevation-Performance-Training
Runner-up: Josh McKinney at Impulse Personal and Sports Training

Dental professional:

Constantin Farah, DDS, MSD at Center for Advanced Periodontal & Implant Care
4410 Executive Cir NW, Canton, 330-470-4700, icgums.com
Runner-up: Nathan Mellion, DDS, MSD at Mellion Orthodontics

“Warm/cool study for self-portrait” 2007

“Warm/cool study for self-portrait” 2007

Artist:

David McDowell (2-year winner)
Runner-up: tie: Joe Martino and Su Nimon
It’s no wonder he’s the local fave two years running. David McDowell, a visual artist who has worked in just about every artistic medium under the sun, is coming off the biggest show of his career (to date) with “Mother Goose Land Revised: Art of the Canton Landmark.” The show, an ode to the beloved children’s theme park, featured six cast aluminum commemorative picture frames, created from original sculptures by McDowell that feature the park’s nursery rhyme attractions (mothergooselandrevisited.com). When he isn’t working in his studio inside The Hub Art Factory in the downtown Canton Arts District, you can find him at The Troll Hole Museum in Alliance (thetrollhole.com), where he is the artist in residence and chief creator of life-sized (sometimes wearable!) trolls and other creatures, along with artistic installations and exhibits. In June, Faction Pictures released a “Selling Out,” a documentary on McDowell and his work, detailing the life of someone who wants to follow his passion while still paying his rent. In it, he describes his childhood dream jobs … artist and mad scientist. Looks like he was right on both accounts. —Jess Bennett

Photographer:

J. Albert Studios
207 Market Ave. N, Canton, 330-966-1186, joealbertsignature.com
Runner-up: Nicole DeHoff Photography

Event venue:

Gervasi Vineyard
1700 55th St. NE, Canton, 330-497-1000, gervasivineyard.com
Runner-up: Canton Palace Theatre

Radio personality:

Kathy Vogel
mix941.com

Volunteer or do-gooder:

TIE: Charlie Kiesling and Tom Schmidt

Writer:

Charita Goshay
500 Market Ave. S, Canton, 330-580-8313, Twitter: @cgoshayREP
Runner-up: Todd Wilbur

faves_realtorPEOPLE

Real estate agent or team:

Michael Addessi RE/MAX Crossroads (2-year winner)
4522 Fulton Dr. NW, Canton, cell: 330-324-2422, office: 330-492-9278, addessiteam.com
Runner-up: Patty Carpenter

In about six months, Michael Addessi already has sold more than 30 homes in Stark County. He earned more awards in the past year than LeBron James. Put another piece of hardware on Addessi’s desk now. He earned the Ohio Association of Realtors Award of Distinction for this past fiscal year, which means he had more than $2.5 million in market size (buying and selling) under his portfolio. Truth be told, Addessi had closer to $5 million. He grew up in Canton and graduated from Central Catholic High School. He coaches youth baseball and basketball. Addessi still plays in a senior baseball league, so if you see him with a sore shoulder, it could be from carrying home all that realtor hardware or throwing a few innings on the mound. —Todd Porter

Neighborhood:

Canton Arts District (2-year winner)
cantonartsdistrict.com
Runner-up: Hills and Dales village

School (K-12):

Jackson Local Schools
7600 Fulton Dr. NW, Massillon, 330-837-3501, jackson.stark.k12.oh.us
Runner-up: GlenOak High School

Local band:

Ryan Humbert Band
ryanhumbert.com
Runner-up: Joe Vitale Jr.

Chef:

Josh Schory (3-year winner)
228 Fourth St. NW, Canton, 330-456-2534, luccadowntown.com
Runner-up: Alan Frank, SOL Pie Pizza

Bartender:

Kate with Royal Docks Brewing Company
7162 Fulton Dr., Canton, 330-353-9103, royaldocksbrewing.com
Runner-up: Stavroula Fronimopolis at Fronimo’s Downtown

faves_collegePEOPLE

College:

University of Mount Union (3-year winner)
1972 Clark Ave., Alliance, 800-992-6682, mountunion.edu
Runner-up: Malone University

The University of Mount Union is not only Stark County’s most beautiful campus, it’s also the oldest. The private college was founded in the village of Mount Union by Orrville N. Hartshorn on October 4, 1846. From its beginning, it was open to men and women equally, as well as students of all races. Hartshorn started Mount Union in a mill building, with just six students. In 1849, the school was renamed Mount Union Seminary. In 1853, a curriculum was added to train teachers. In 1858, it was chartered as Mount Union College. Though Mount Union was not founded by a church, it developed close ties with the Methodist Episcopal Church, which granted it patronage in 1864. Today, Mount Union sits on 123 acres, and operates a 162-acre Nature Center. In 2010, the school changed its name to the University of Mount Union. There are 2,094 undergrads. It is also home to the Purple Raiders, one of the most successful college football programs in history, with 12 NCAA Division III national championships. —Charita Goshay

Waiter/waitress:

Ashley Sponaugle at Thatsa Wrapp
600 Sixth St. NW, Canton, 330-452-9727, thatsawrapp.net
Runner-up: Brittany Tozzi at Tozzi’s on 12th

CEO or business owner:

Paul Schumacher
2715 Wise Ave. NW, Canton, 330-267-3482, schumacherhomes.com
Runner-up: Cari Huthmacher, St. Joseph’s Federal Credit Union

Doctor:

Dr. Elizabeth Prosser at Louisville Medical Center
1917 Williamsburg Way, Louisville, 330-875-3366
Runner-up: Dr. Kindra Browning

Lawyer:

Brian Zimmerman at B. Zimmerman Law
229 Third St. NW, Canton, 330-454-8056, bzimmermanlaw.com
Runner-up: Laurie A. McDonnell

STAFF PICKS:

picks_comic-conPEOPLE

Fave place for people watching:

We’ve got one word for you: cosplay! I hope we’re not counting our chickens here, but we’ve got our money on the Hall of Fame City Comic Con, coming to the Civic Center on September 24 (hofccomiccon.com).

picks_venuePEOPLE

Fave place to host small(ish) gatherings:

Play host or hostess in style at your next party, shower or reception at The Loft at Gallery 121 (gallery-121.com). The artsy, urban-inspired eatery can provide its special brand of handcrafted food and drink that will have your guests chirping for months.