Jedidiah Gant

In all of Jedidiah Gant’s work—from writing for New Raleigh to organizing the Cooke Street Carnival and much in between—he draws energy and inspiration from the city of Raleigh.

“Everything is continually progressing in this city … things are continuing to happen that are inspiring to me.”

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Liz Masnik

When Liz Masnik opened her bar, The Borough, she hoped to foster an environment where everyone was welcome.

“That’s what I try to promote: A place where you can be who you are, be how you are and accept the person next to you for who they are.

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Matthew Griffith

As an architect, Matthew Griffith uses his work as a way to learn about the world around him while creating spaces that fit the environment they are built in.

“From very early on, I thought architecture seemed like a profession where you would always be thinking and learning about new things … Every building is an opportunity to learn something new about the world, and learning supports good design.”

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Jay Winfrey

From his post behind the bar, Jay Winfrey has made sure Raleigh’s glasses are full while observing the comings and goings of downtown.

“If downtown is strong and vibrant, then the people out of downtown will want to be here. We already have the houses built and the areas established and we can stop building outward and start moving back in and fill in the gaps.”

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Abby Nardo

As a psychologist, singer and photographer, Abby Nardo has found Raleigh to be a city that feeds both her professional and artistic sides.

“There’s lots of opportunities to perform and collaborate, just all over the place … You can’t help but take pride in the people from the city when they go on and do great things.”

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Diane Williams

In her job as executive director of AIA Triangle, and in life in general, Diane Williams embraces opportunities to try new experiences and get things done.

“I don’t think there’s anything ever you can’t do – but that is the problem! People say, ‘You can say no,’ and I say, ‘I don’t think I can.’”

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Christian Karkow

Christian Karkow is an artist who finds inspiration in everyday objects and the city of Raleigh.

“I really want to live in a city that appeals to the both the world’s best artists and designers as well as local talent to make an impact. I want the citizens of this community to want the same.”

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Shay Bethea

Shay Bethea dreams of Raleigh becoming a city where conversations and relationships connect every resident.

“You have no idea how your life would impact someone that you don’t know—who doesn’t look like you, who doesn’t dress like you, who doesn’t live like you live. You would be amazed. Not only the impact you would have on them, but it would be reciprocated because they would have an impact on you.”

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Holly Aiken

From graphic designer to handbag creator and small business owner, Holly Aiken has become a mainstay of downtown Raleigh retail.

“Meeting and talking with customers and hearing their feedback about how happy they are to have my shop in downtown Raleigh makes it all worth it.”

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Scott Shackleton

Scott Shackleton has lived in Raleigh for 23 years and is devoted to helping improve the community in any way he can.

“Small choices that we make really do make a difference when they are added up. I want to live in a way that I can make a difference in one or two lives at a time.” 

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