Best Advocate/Activist: Gretchen Whitmer
Former state senator Gretchen Whitmer takes home the award for Best Advocate/Activist, and while I’m sure she appreciates the win, she definitely has a bigger contest on her mind.
2. Cindy Kangas - Humane Society
3. Tashmica Torok
Best AM/FM Radio Personality: Banana Don and Stephanie McCoy
Our voters describe this duo as hilarious and enjoyable to listen to. One reader said, “They are very good at what they do, and you can tell they enjoy working together.”
2. Joey Pants and Deb Hart
3. Josh Strickland
Best Bartender: Heather Haslaker at Zoobie's
Zoobie’s takes home this year’s award for Best Cocktails, and our voters would like those Best Cocktails delivered by Heather Haslaker.
2. Melik Brown at Soup Spoon Cafe
3. Sarah Fandel at REO Town Pub
Best Budtender: Tara Hawblitzel at Best Buds
Described by our voters as “sweet and very knowledgeable,” Hawblitzel is ready to serve your medical marijuana needs. From indicas to sativas to hybrids, she knows her bud.
2. Big P (Pablo) at 420 Dank Lansing
3. Caleb Wilson at Kola
Best CATA Bus Driver: Ron De Leon
Bus driver and MMA promotor Ron De Leon takes the Best CATA Bus Driver award for the third year in a row. Voters say he has “the absolute best personality for the job” and is handsome to boot. Another voter praised his ability to make “every one of his passengers feel special.”
2. LaMarr Braggs
3. Colleen Whalen
Best Comedian: Melik Brown
While Melik Brown spends more time these days slinging drinks than delivering zings, The Lansing Made entertainer still managed to snag the top spot for Best Comedian.
2. Dwayne Gill
3. Comedy Coven
Best Hairstylist: Ellie Wong at The Head Room
Ellie Wong not only possesses a command of all things hair, but also a natural ability to entertain and engage. Some patrons drive an hour or more to sit in her chair and leave “feeling and looking amazing.”
2. Ashley Medina - Bliss Salon
3. Kelly Delaney at Matthew Ryan Salon
4. Allison Malloy- Glo Salon (Grand Ledge)
Best High School Coach: Matt Bird, Grand Ledge High School Football
Coach Bird has posted a winning record in eight of his 10 seasons at Grand Ledge, including a 12-1 season in 2015 that culminated in an appearance in the Division 1 state semifinals.
2. Steve Finamore, East Lansing High School basketball
3. Candace Heskitt, DeWitt H S Competitive Cheer
Best Massage Therapist: Amanda Grix of Creative Wellness
“Intuitive,” “caring,” “supportive” and “amazing” are just a few of the ways voters described Amanda Grix and her mastery of massages.
2. Bee Queener of Bee Queener Massage
3. Kameron Woodend of Lockworx
Best Nail Technician: Sheila Kyser of Douglas J
Sheila Kyser doesn't just do your nails, she “makes magic,” voters say, with her “professional, gentle, artistic” touch.
2. Christina Nguyen of Polished
3. Janessa Davis of Jenny Nails
Best Personal Trainer: Mike Ball at Mike Ball Fitness
Mike Ball pushes clients to their limits in a positive and focused atmosphere.
2. Brian Daniels at Spartan Fit Center
3. Amy Howe at AJ's Howe About Personal Training
Best Realtor: Matt Smith at Keller Williams
Whether it be finding your dream home or selling your old house, Matt Smith is the realtor our voters trust for friendly, professional and knowledgeable service.
2. Angela Averill at Coldwell Banker Hubbell Briarwood and Brian Huggler at Coldwell Banker (tie)
3. Jamie Bates at Berkshire Hathaway Tomie Raines
Best Restaurant Wait Staff Person: Tim Gleason at Golden Harvest
Tim Gleason is the preferred hash slinger at Old Town’s temple of breakfast.
2. Rachel Litwiller at Saddleback BBQ
3. Ashley Couthen at Zeus' Coney Island
Best TV News Personality: Sheri Jones (WLNS)
When our voters need their local news, they turn to WLNS’ Sheri Jones, anchor of the station’s 6 and 11 p.m. newcasts.
2. Andy Provenzano (WILX)
3. Emily Wahls (WLNS)
Best Local/State Politician: Gretchen Whitmer
Former Michigan senator and gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer snagged a lot of votes in our contest. Let’s see if she how many voters she can win over in 2018.
2. Debbie Stabenow
3. Virg Bernero
Worst Local/State Politician: Rick Snyder
No politician in Lansing grinds more gears or gets more goats than Rick Snyder, who takes home this award for the fourth consecutive year. But he’s a tough nerd, so I’m sure he won’t let that get to him.
2. Virg Bernero
3. Mike Bishop
Next stop: Best Services