2009 BOB Awards: People


Babe in Boyland

It’s hard not to enjoy listening to a woman who can dish it out just as easily as she can take it. And Jacinda (pictured), on 96.1 The Beat’s AM Mayhem with Brotha Fred, David L., and Cubby, is just the woman we’re talking about. Every morning the twenty-four-year-old muses about everything from cheating partners to her biological clock, all with an attitude that’s engaging, not irritating. Plus, as the station’s Hollywood beat reporter, she dishes about Angelina and Brad, Britney, Rihanna, and more, making her
segment just one more reason to tune in at 6 a.m.


Love him or hate him, you’re never quite sure what the Charlotte Observer‘s Tom Sorensen is going to write. That unpredictability — which means he avoids the easy or cliché column — is the mark of a great columnist. Sorensen can be funny or caustic or moving, but he doesn’t take himself, or sports, too seriously. And he writes from the point of view of the rest of us.

Charlotte Bobcat

The guy’s nickname is Crash. Could this go to anyone else besides Gerald Wallace? Wallace is an original Bobcat, which means the rest of the NBA didn’t want him. But he’s become the team’s do-everything guy, sacrificing his body night in and night out for the good of the team. Whether he’s dunking over seven-footers, diving for loose balls, or cracking up his teammates in the locker room, Wallace is the top ‘Cat.

Carolina Panther

He’s mercurial, incendiary, and extraordinarily gifted. When you’re watching the Panthers play, it’s almost impossible to take your eyes off Steve Smith. He may be the league’s most dynamic player; he’s certainly the Panthers’s best. Yes, he has temper issues, and yes, we wish he would keep his hands off his teammates, but you can count on him for at least one huge play per game.


The locavore movement has, ahem, taken root in Charlotte over the past year, and Cassie Parsons and Natalie Veris, owners of Grateful Growers Farm in eastern Lincoln County, have been at the forefront. Their pork and poultry, from free-range pigs and chickens, appear on most of Charlotte’s best menus and are available at local farmers markets. And the two have been enthusiastic spokespeople for the farm-to-fork initiative.

It Couple

Besides being one of the most handsome couples in Charlotte, it’s what Chandra and Jimmie Johnson have done for the city that makes them CLT’s it couple. There’s the Jimmie Johnson Foundation and there’s the $10,000 the couple gave to the Critical Needs Task Force here in Charlotte. And, of course, there’s the touch of Hollywood they bring to our celebrity-dry city with regular sightings in Us Weekly .

Local Radio Show

Sometimes a good song on the radio isn’t enough to get you out of your morning rut. Enter Ace & TJ, who have you laughing so hard that at times it’s best to pull off the road. Hysterics aside, the team tackles topics that tug on our heartstrings, such as two years ago when they remembered fallen CMPD officers Jeff Shelton and Sean Clark. Plus, through Ace & TJ’s Grin Kids, they host chronically handicapped and terminally ill children and their families in Disney World.

Part-time Charlottean

We don’t love Brooklyn Decker simply because she’s gorgeous, a four-time Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, and engaged to tennis star Andy Roddick. We love Decker because in spite of these things, she’s remained down to earth. The Butler High School graduate comes back to her hometown hood of Matthews every few weeks, misses her mom’s cooking, and hates the club scene. What’s not to like about a Carolina girl next door?


When he was hired, people questioned whether sixty-eight-year-old Larry Brown had enough magic left to turn around the moribund Charlotte Bobcats. By turning over half the roster and willing the team into playoff contention, Brown has answered those questions. He’s in the Basketball Hall of Fame for a reason.


Leon and Sandra Levine were already very well known for their generosity in Charlotte; just ask the folks at the Levine Children’s Hospital or Levine Museum of the New South. But since they gave $1 million practically on the spur of the moment to kick-start the Critical Need Response Fund, they are spoken of in hushed tones in the nonprofit community.

Person to Follow on Twitter

Never one to be left behind by the rest of the country, Charlotte has caught up with the Twitter trend. So who’s leading the pack? Crystal Dempsey. The former Observer writer and editor sends out amusing tweets regarding everything from her favorite foods to what’s going on in the city. She’s informative and funny, and somehow she manages to do it all in just 140 characters.

Reader Picks

  • Radio personality: Ace & TJ
  • Television personality: Larry Sprinkle
  • Television news station: WCNC
  • Columnist/critic: Tom Sorensen
  • Up-and-comer: Jennifer Plym
  • Public servant: Mayor Pat McCrory
  • CEO: Ken Lewis
  • Blowhard: Ken Lewis
  • Philanthropist: The Levines