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Posted on Sat, Nov 17, 2012 : 5:55 a.m.

Let us know if you agree with our Ann Arbor 'Ones to Watch in 2013'

By Paula Gardner is joining our colleagues across the state at MLive Media Group in nominating a group of influential people in the Ann Arbor area as "Ones to Watch" for 2013.

We came up with a few nominations, and we're looking for your ideas, too.

Then, on Thanksgiving Day, you'll have a chance to vote on for the statewide "Ones to Watch" for the coming year. By year-end, we'll profile our local selections.

Criteria: Sell the person as someone who will make a difference in this area through leadership and innovation. These are the newsmakers of the coming year, the entrepreneurs, political figures, artists and business owners who will carry influence across Washtenaw County in 2013.

Here are our initial nominees:

Matthew Altruda: The radio DJ also is organizer of Bank of Ann Arbor's popular and growing "Sonic Lunch" program and a band manager in Ann Arbor. He's creating outlets for local musicians and driving interest in their work across the region.

Mark Bernstein this year ran what is perhaps one of the most aggressive campaigns for University of Michigan regent in state history. He has a lot of ideas for the board, including offering Go Blue bonds for student loans and offering varied tuition pricing depending on when classes are offered. Let's see if any of those ideas take off when he joins the eight-member board in January.

Dave Brandon is nearing the completion of his third-year as University of Michigan athletic director. Since that time, he's brought a lot of changes to the department. They include: Throwback uniforms. The first-ever night game in Big House history. A $20 million pair of scoreboards. A new coach. What's next? Brandon has spearheaded millions in future construction projects and is the works of planning another night game for the 2013 season.

Amy Cell: Michigan is going to be about growing jobs in 2013, and the senior vice president of talent enhancement for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation will be on the front lines of it. Cell knows where the jobs are - and what kind of talent is needed to fill them.

Ora Pescovitz: The CEO of the University of Michigan Health System runs a $1.8 billion facility that's one of the top employers in Southeast Michigan. And in 2013, the UMHS will be leading the state into massive industry changes as the Health Care Reform Act takes effect in 2014.

Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor, will be entering into his second term on the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners at the age of 24 - and he is a likely candidate for board chairman in 2013. As the chairman, he would be the face of the county as discussions progress with Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties in the creation of a regional transit authority.

Tell us your suggestions below, or email them to Paula Gardner, Community News Director of



Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 3:52 p.m.

David Brandon? All he did was screw over 1000s of loyal football and basketball season ticket holders with the new license approach. I know he is making money for the athletic department, Bill Martin did that too, but I'll use a phrase he so often uses.... "Michigan Man??!?" Doubt it. A Michigan Man would not screw over so many alumni for a little extra $$$$.

Kai Petainen

Sat, Nov 17, 2012 : 9:02 p.m.

out of this list... hands down... easy choice... Yousef Rabhi i watched him 'in action' once or twice... and he is engaged and concerned about the city and the area. he is motivated and passionate about the area.

Paula Gardner

Sat, Nov 17, 2012 : 4:04 p.m.

@G-Man: That's exactly what I'm asking for in the comments or email (see last line of this story).


Sat, Nov 17, 2012 : 8:34 p.m.

This is not a story. Nor is it news.


Sat, Nov 17, 2012 : 3:42 p.m.

Couldn't we have a "write in line"? In case we come up with a real winner?


Sat, Nov 17, 2012 : 2:52 p.m.

I'm familiar with the accomplishments of Mark Bernstein and David Brandon. I'm sure the others are a worthy of the honor as well! Good choices!


Sat, Nov 17, 2012 : 2:11 p.m.

How about none of the above?


Sat, Nov 17, 2012 : 2:54 p.m.

My "none of the above" would start with outdoor 6709.

Paula Gardner

Sat, Nov 17, 2012 : 2:04 p.m.

Just fixed the poll - you can vote for him now.

Linda Diane Feldt

Sat, Nov 17, 2012 : 1:50 p.m.

Why can't anyone vote for Yousef?

Paula Gardner

Sat, Nov 17, 2012 : 12:47 p.m.


Kai Petainen

Sat, Nov 17, 2012 : 9:03 p.m.

LOL... i love Paula's answer


Sat, Nov 17, 2012 : 1:13 p.m.



Sat, Nov 17, 2012 : 12:35 p.m.