Best of Springfield®

The Making of the Best of Springfield

A long tradition of celebrating the outstanding


When we started working on this Best of Springfield edition many weeks ago, the world was a calmer place than it is today. Given the general craziness we’re all experiencing as Wall Street and Main Street figure out who’s on first, it was a joy to focus our attention on the positive and uplifting “bests” in town.

Twenty-six years and counting: We’re pretty sure 2008 marks the 26th edition of the Best of Springfield. We change it a bit each year by shaking up categories; losing this, adding that. This year we asked our readers to share some insight about terrific people they know in town. Regardless of how the ballot changes, one thing remains the same year after year: we’re here to celebrate the many noteworthy local businesses and individuals who put so much of themselves into making Springfield a great place to live.
How we do it: Our methodology was the same as in recent years, although the voting lasted just two weeks this year. We included a print ballot in two issues of the paper and simultaneously invited readers to vote online. The online voting system is closely monitored and does not permit more than one vote from the same e-mail address, which means no individual can stack the deck for any nominee online. We did have several print ballots from one person; they were discarded and not counted. A total of just under 2,000 individuals cast ballots in this 2008 survey.

Who put it together? Contributing writers include Dusty Rhodes, Ryan Nave, Amanda Robert, Tom Irwin, Jolonda Young, Job Conger, Fletcher Farrar and Sharon Whalen. Most of the photography in this edition is courtesy of graphic designer Ryan Williams, and Joe Copley is responsible for the design and layout. Dianne Lyddon also worked designing ads. The rest of our small but mighty staff also contribute a lot to this (and every edition) of IT — Beth Irwin, Tia Schoen, Jessy McCabe and Tauna King who sell our ads and keep our customers happy. Brenda Matheis manages both circulation and the business end of things for us, a tall task indeed. This bunch is the best of Springfield in our book.

And now a word for our “sponsors.” We could not do what we do without the 100+ advertisers who continue to invest their hard-earned dollars sending marketing messages through the pages of Illinois Times each week. We know times are not easy, which makes their confidence is us all the more meaningful.

Sharon Whalen, publisher

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