Sexiest Male Bartender; Best Server/Waitperson: Jamie Moss
(Fenian's Pub, 901 E. Fortification St., 601-948-0055, fenianspub.com)
If you walk into Fenian's Pub on a crowded night, you might see a blur behind the bar. That's the Flash.
Just kidding. It's Jamie Moss, who has been at Fenian's for a decade now. Moss, who has bartended for a total of 19 years, says that he loves interacting with the customers and has regulars today whose parents he served years ago.
His favorite drinks to make include an old fashioned and an Irish coffee, but he also enjoys creating someone a cocktail based on their favorite ingredients. His ultimate goal is to make everybody that comes to Fenian's feel good, he says.
It is obvious to anyone who has interacted with Moss that he is good at what he does—one reason that he racked up not only the Sexiest Male Bartender award but also Best Server/Waitperson in this year's Best of Jackson. —Arielle Dreher
Sexiest Male Bartender Finalists: Andrew Luckett (WonderLust, 3911 Northview Drive, 337-378-9003) / Cameron Lowery (Saltine Restaurant, 622 Duling Ave., Suite 201, 601-982-2899, saltinerestaurant.com) / Jeremy Loving (Lou's Full-Serv, 904B E. Fortification St., 601-487-6359, lousfullserv.com) / Kevin Tiner (Ruth's Chris Steak House, 1000 Highland Colony Pkwy., Suite 6001, ruthschris.com)
Best Server/Waitperson Finalists: Amado Felipe (Saltine Restaurant, 622 Duling Ave., Suite 201, 601-982-2899, saltinerestaurant.com) / Jules Preston (Keifer's, 710 Poplar Blvd., 601-355-6825, keifers.net) / Michelle Corban (Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano, 970 Highland Colony Pkwy., Ridgeland, 601-354-6600, biaggis.com) / Ryne Morrow (Ole Tavern on George Street, 416 George St., 601-960-2700, oletavern.com)
Best Local Business Owner; Best Urban Warrior: Jeff Good
(Mangia Bene Restaurant Management Group, 3317 N. State St., 601-982-4443)
Jeff Good says that he is serious about Jackson. "I am an unapologetic supporter of the city; I show up and show out for (Jackson) whenever I can," he says.
As a co-owner of Mangia Bene Restaurant Management Group and a founding member of Soul City Hospitality, Good has helped launch some of the most popular restaurants in Jackson, including Sal & Mookies New York Pizza & Ice Cream Joint and Broad Street Baking Company, while working to make a difference here.
While he loves the city, Good, who has won the Urban Warrior title four times running, says that it is not without its problems.
"We live in a city that is remarkable, but one in great need," he says. "Each of us must work harder to improve our city so that it can reach its potential." —R.H.Coupe
Best Local Business Owner Finalists: Byron Knight (Sneaky Beans, 2914 N. State St., 601-487-6349) / Christopher Lockhart (Capital City Kayaks, 601-953-7615, capitalcitykayaks.com) / Kayla Jones (Spray Tans by Kayla, 504 N. Bierdeman Road, Pearl, 769-972-1138) / Phillip Rollins (Offbeat, 151 Wesley Ave., 601-376-9404, offbeatjxn.com)
Best Urban Warrior Finalists: Brad "Kamikaze" Franklin / Ron Chane / Sean Cupit / Bridget Archer
Best Dressed: Nikki Gallagher
Nikki Gallagher, 2018's Best Dressed winner, describes her style as eclectic.
"I don't like to be boxed in," she says. "Some days, I'm bohemian; some days, I'm more edgy."
The almost-30-year-old from Jackson says that while she doesn't have a particular style icon, she tends to draw inspiration from decades, rather than people.
"I've always loved the '60s and '70s," she says, "and of course, I'm loving the current '90s trend because that's the decade I grew up in."
However, Gallagher says that her mother also played a big role in inspiring her to develop her own style.
"She really instilled in me a love of fashion," she says. "And she let me play around and make my own choices."
Gallagher, who works at Ritz Salon, says her fashion philosophy is the same one she applies to hair styling: "If you're comfortable in something, you'll look fabulous." —Abigail Walker
Finalists: Jimmy Wilson / Lynsie Armstrong / Tiffany Jefferson
Best Barber: Blake Stevens
(Noble Barber, 1065 Highland Colony Pkwy., Suite F, Ridgeland, 601-856-6665, noblebarber.com)
Blake Stevens, 2018's Best Barber winner, likes to combine the old and the new when it comes to cutting hair.
"I focus most of my time doing ... traditional and modern haircuts (with) old-school barber techniques," he says.
At Noble Barber, Stevens offers a variety of services, including straight-razor shaves, buzzcuts, styling, and shaping for hair and beards.
Prior to graduating from Hinds Community College with a technical degree in barbering in 2007, Stevens would cut hair on the side while in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. He left the Marines in 2011.
"I was always good at it, and my (paternal) grandparents were barbers, so I guess it was in my blood," he says.
In September 2017, Stevens began working at Noble Barber, where he says he felt at home because of its "old-school barber feel." He encourages those who want to enter the field to never stop learning. —Lashanda Phillips
Finalists: Christian Favorite (Hunterphillips Salon, 151 E. Metro Pkwy., Suite 49, 601-519-1399) / Emily Blocker (Fondren Barber Shop, 2943 Old Canton Road, 601-826-0707) / Lanis Noble (Noble Barber, 1065 Highland Colony Pkwy., Suite F, Ridgeland, 601-856-6665) / Tony Yelverton (Yelverton Barber Salon, 901 Highway 51, Madison, 601-856-0015)
Best Chef: Nick Wallace (Nick Wallace Culinary)
Food should have a story, and if it does not, you should not eat it, Nick Wallace, this year's winner for Best Chef, says.
The Edwards, Miss., native says he likes to blend French techniques with his Mississippi farm origins, having first learned to cook from his grandmothers, Lennel Donald and Queen Morris.
"If you believe in food, you should be invested in slow cooking," he says. "You need to put time into your food. It's about ... getting your apron dirty and getting your kitchen dirty."
He became the executive chef at the Palette Cafe at the Mississippi Museum of Art in 2013 and stepped down in late 2017. Last year, he also won Food Network's "Chopped: Alton's Challenge" in October and earned a spot on the "Best Chefs America" list. —R.H.Coupe
Finalists: Alex Eaton (The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen, 1200 N. State St., Suite 100, 601-398-4562) / Chaz Lindsay (Parlor Market, 115 W. Capitol St., 601-360-0090) / Dan Blumenthal (BRAVO! Italian Restaurant & Bar, 4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 244, 601-982-8111) / Derek Emerson (Walker's Drive-In, 3016 N. State St., 601-982-2633; CAET Wine Bar, 3100 N. State St., Suite 102, 601-321-9169; Local 463 Urban Kitchen, 1000 Highland Colony Pkwy., Suite 5002, Ridgeland, 601-707-7684; Parlor Market, 115 W. Capitol St., 601-360-0090)
Best Teacher: Jessica Pace
(Florence Middle School, rcsd.ms)
Voters' choice for this year's Best Teacher, Jessica Pace, says she tries to get to know her students on a personal level.
"It's important to build a strong relationship and a level of trust with them," she says. "I know I'm their teacher, but I like for them to know I'm here for them no matter what."
Pace, 29, graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. She started teaching at Florence Middle School in 2014 with a specialty in seventh-grade math. In the past, she has taught English, social studies and science.
"Seeing (students) succeed and truly grasp and understand what I'm teaching, so they can teach it to someone else, is really one of the most rewarding parts of it all," she says. —ShaCamree Gowdy
Finalists: Nicole Gatlin (Pearl Junior High School, pearl.k12.ms.us) / Olivia Cote (Murrah High School, Jackson.k12.ms.us) / Rashida Warren (McWillie Elementary School, jackson.k12.ms.us) / Tarasa Brierly-Harp (Murrah High School, Jackson.k12.ms.us)
Best New Chef: Chaz Lindsay
(Parlor Market, 115 W. Capitol St., 601-360-0090, parlormarket.com)
Chaz Lindsay, this year's Best New Chef winner, has quickly built a name for himself in the Jackson restaurant scene in a relatively short amount of time.
The Jackson native graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., in 2011. He worked at various New York restaurants and then spent six months cooking in Italy before returning home in 2016 to work at Table 100. Lindsay accepted a position as the executive chef of Parlor Market in fall 2017.
Since joining the team at Parlor Market, he has introduced several new menu items including his pasta Romano, which has crushed tomatoes, pancetta, red-pepper flakes, salt, pepper, cheese and olive oil.
Lindsay, who also owns Belhaven Pasta Company, told the Jackson Free Press in January that one of his big focuses for Parlor Market was creating a fresh pasta menu.
"I'm truly humbled and flattered by all my customers' support in naming me for this honor," he says of his nomination. "All I can say is thank you, and come have dinner at Parlor Market." —Mike McDonald
Finalists: Hunter Evans (Lou's Full-Serv, 904B E. Fortification St., 601-487-6359) / Meredith Pittman (CAET Wine Bar, 3100 N. State St., Suite 102, 601-321-9169) / Stephen Kruger (Barrelhouse, 3009 N. State St., 769-216-3167)
Best Facialist/Esthetician: April Epps
(Adeline Martin Salon & Spa, 637 Highway 51 N., Suite B Ridgeland, 601-707-5218, adelinemartinsalon.com)
In 2016, freelance makeup artist April Epps decided to also become a licensed esthetician to promote healthy skin.
"Skin, in general, became my passion because if you have good skin, you can have good makeup," the Jackson native says.
In addition to working at the Adeline Martin Salon and Spa in Ridgeland, where she provides facials and full body waxing, Epps is signed with the Tracy Branch Agency and has operated her own makeup business, A. Renee Makeup Artistry, since 2015.
She says that her clients are the best part of her job.
"I enjoy talking to people," Epps says. "I enjoy the fact that they entrust me with the biggest organ on their body, which is their skin." —Lashanda Phillips
Finalists: Chelsea Thaw (Bella Skin Studio, 200 Park Circle Drive, Suite 4, Flowood, 601-983-6780) / Emily Miraglia (AQUA the Day Spa, 1000 Highland Colony Pkwy., Suite 8001, Ridgeland, 601-898-9123, aquathedayspa.com) / Kristin Bomar (Cole Facial Clinic & Skin Care, 1030 N. Flowood Drive, Suite A, Flowood, 601-933-2004, colefacialclinic.com) / Lacey Green Clark (The Wellness Spa, 5419 Highway 25, Suite R, Flowood, 601-479-5392, thewellnessspa.center)
Best Hair Stylist: Hannah Roland
(Static A Salon, 219 Garden Park Drive, Suite 200A, Madison, 601-853-0054)
Hannah Roland says that, at first, she did not consider becoming a hair stylist after graduating from the Mississippi Institute of Aesthetics, Nails and Cosmetology in 2012.
Instead, she focused on makeup due to her attraction to the art, but in August 2016, she became a receptionist at Static A Salon in Madison. The job inspired her to begin cutting hair.
"What motivates me is seeing how far I can go and not being scared to take chances," the 25-year-old says.
Roland says that she is preparing to transfer to LIV the salon in Brandon later this month. She is also a member of the Tracy Branch Agency and also freelances as a makeup artist for weddings when not styling hair.
During her free time, Roland says she enjoys traveling and volunteering at animal shelters, where she walks dogs and works to promotes rescue and pet adoption. —Lashanda Phillips
Finalists: Anna Regan Owens (LIV the salon, 160 W. Government St., Brandon, 601-814-8731) / Bethany Allen (Barnette's Salon, 4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 201, 601-362-9550) / Leondria Brown (Artisan Hair Company, 400 A Cynthia St., Clinton, 844-321-2426) / Madeleine Barnette (Barnette's Salon, 1000 Highland Colony Pkwy., Suite 8000, Ridgeland, 601-898-4646,) / Tanesha Jefferson (Barnette's Salon, 4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 201, 601-362-9550)
Best Jackson Visual Artist: Wyatt Waters
(Wyatt Waters Gallery, 307 Jefferson St., Clinton, 601-925-8115, wyattwaters.com)
Best Visual Artist winner Wyatt Waters says that his love affair with painting dates back to his childhood in Florence, Miss.
"We had just moved into a house with rough floors, holes and stains and the like," he says. "My mother was working on the house and encouraged me to touch it up a bit with spatter painting, and that's what I did."
Waters moved on to other mediums such as charcoal and pastel. He began to explore watercolor while working on his bachelor's degree in art with an emphasis on painting and drawing at Mississippi College. He later got a master's degree in fine art at the same institution.
He is most known for painting on location in and around Jackson and Mississippi, but has also painted in countries such as Italy and France. While Jacksonians can see his work at his studio in Clinton, they can also often catch his work on items such as mugs, T-shirts, prints and calendars. You can also catch him painting at live events such as WellsFest Art Night each fall. —Mike McDonald
Finalists: Justin Ransburg (instagram.com/ransburgart) / Melissa Bryant Burns (instagram.com/hallway.house) / Michele Campbell (instagram.com/michele_bryant_campbell) / William Goodman (williamgoodmanart.com)
Best Fitness Trainer: Paul Lacoste
(Paul Lacoste Sports, 601-398-0950, paullacoste.com)
This year's winner for Best Fitness Trainer, Paul Lacoste, can push you to reach that New Year's resolution of losing a few pounds or getting in shape.
Lacoste, a former professional football player, has been helping Mississippians meet their health and fitness goals since he moved his fitness training business to Jackson in 2003. His business has 12-week boot camps in the Madison and Jackson area.
His popular Fit 4 Series offers a variety of eight- to 12-week programs designed to help people who work in specific occupations, with options such as Fit 4 Change for politicians, Fit 4 Preaching, Fit 4 Medicine and Fit 4 Teaching. —Lashanda Phillips
Finalists: Hollye Henderson (CrossFit JXN, 1434 Old Square Road, 601-861-4244, crossfitjxn.com) / Leslie Johnson (Hinds Community College Raymond Campus, hindscc.edu) / Misti Garner (Get Fit with Misti, Sole Studio, 1576 Old Fannin Road, Flowood, 601-504-3601, getfitwithmisti.com) / Sean Cupit (Crossfit 601, 113 W. Railroad St., Ridgeland, 601-941-8904, crossfit601.com)
Best Bartender: Trevor Palmer
(Pop's Saloon, 2636 S. Gallatin St., 601-961-4747)
This year's winner for Best Bartender, Trevor Palmer, has been part of the Jackson nightlife scene for 25 years, serving as a bartender at Electric Cowboy, Club Fire, Club Magoo's and plenty more. He currently works at Pop's Saloon, where he has been for three years.
"I've been at every major nightclub in the city that you can think of," he says. "They've all closed over the years, and now Pop's is one of Jackson's last nightclubs. Pop's has kept going because it has great clientele and live music, not to mention a dance floor that can't be stopped."
Palmer said his secret is knowing how to bring a smile to anyone who walks up to his bar.
"I'm a good listener, always fun to be around and always bring the party to the party," he says. "The thing I love most is helping people connect and meet new people, along with the thousands of concoctions I've made along the way." —Dustin Cardon
Finalists: Cameron Lowery (Saltine Restaurant, 622 Duling Ave., Suite 201, 601-982-2899, saltinerestaurant.com) / Jamie Moss (Fenian's Pub, 901 E. Fortification St., 601-948-0055, fenianspub.com) / Jenifer Simcox (Fondren Public, 2765 Old Canton Road, 769-216-2589, fondrenpublic.com) / Jeremy Loving (Lou's Full-Serv, 904B E. Fortification St., 601-487-6359, lousfullserv.com)
Best Massage Therapist: Lacey Green Clark
(The Wellness Spa, 5419 Highway 25, Suite R, Flowood, 601-479-5392, thewellnessspa.center)
Lacey Green Clark's favorite part of being a massage therapist is being able to help every person that she can.
"The Lord kind of led me in this direction, and I feel very honored to be able to work with people and try to help them through touch," she says.
She received her massage-therapy certification from the Mississippi School of Therapeutic Massage in 2008 and started working as a massage therapist in Carthage, Miss.
She accepted a position at The Wellness Spa in Flowood in 2015. The business offers a variety of services, including prenatal massage, body scrubs, wraps and hot stone massages.
Clark, who is also certified as a medical massage therapist, says that she does not have a favorite type of message therapy because each person is different.
"It keeps me sharp," she says. " ... I really don't have one I like the most because each person is different. Each massage is going to be different, so it keeps me challenged." —Amber Helsel
Finalists: April Mattern (Body Balance LLC, 4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 245, 662-312-1522) / Chasidy Criswell (Gentle Haven Massage, 2160 Main St., Suite B, Madison, 318-436-8361, gentlehavenmassage.com) / Courtney Mansell (Licensed Massage Therapist) / Tiffany Melton (Warehouse Gym & Massage, 4435 Mangum Drive, Suite B, Flowood, 601-317-1788)
Best Nail Technician: Victoria Walker
(Cuticles Nail Studio, 2947 Old Canton Road, 601-366-6999)
This year's winner for Best Nail Technician, Victoria Walker, has more than 20 years of experience in nail care.
She graduated from Warson Woods College of Cosmetology in St. Louis, Mo., in 1996 and worked at Nail Gallery in Fondren from 2005 to 2013 when the business closed. She opened her business, Cuticles Nail Studio, in June 2014.
"I love doing nails. I like meeting new people," she says.
Walker, who says she is passionate about healthy nails, provides a variety of services, including manicures, shellac, dip-powder nails and pedicures. For those interested in the profession, Walker believes the challenges involved are worth the effort.
"I encourage people to do nails because I think it's very rewarding," she says. —Lashanda Phillips
Finalists: Beth Evans (SMoak Salon, 622 Duling Ave., Suite 206, 601-982-5313, smoaksalon.com) / Kendra Reid (Spoiled Rotten @ Suite 16 Nail Spa, 151 E. Metro Pkwy., Suite 16, 601-750-3654) / Keri Hemba (Keri the RED Designs, 4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 245, 601-331-1563, vagaro.com/kerithered) / Nancy Tat (Nancy's Nail Spa, 4954 Old Canton Road, 769-208-8806)
Best Photographer: Charlotte Stringer
(Charlotte Stringer Photography, 601-209-7267, charlottestringerphotography.com)
Best Photographer winner Charlotte Stringer says she was dissatisfied with the children's photography many big-box retailers offered, so when her first son was 1 year old, she decided to try her hand at it.
She began teaching herself photography through reading the camera's manual, picking up tips and making a lot of errors, she says. After her family and friends told her how much they loved her work, she began offering her services to others. Fifteen years later, she is now the sole operator of Charlotte Stringer Photography.
"My favorite part of my job is capturing the memories and enforcing the 'buy prints' rule," she says. As a newborn and wedding photographer, she says that she believes having physical prints on hand will be invaluable to her clients in the future, compared to electronic copies.
When she's not making people smile, Stringer enjoys spending time with her family and often takes family vacations to Disney World. —Lashanda Phillips
Finalists: Melody Ellis (Melody Ellis Photography, 769-257-9449, [email protected]) / Ron Blaylock (Blaylock Fine Art Photography, 601-506-6624, blaylockphoto.com) / Sharon Coker (Sharon Coker Photography, 601-906-6630, sharoncoker.com) / Tristan Duplichain (Tristan Duplichain Photography LLC, 601-946-3708, tristanduplichain.com)
Best Public Figure: Chokwe Antar Lumumba
After a landslide victory during the 2017 mayoral election, this year's winner for Best Public Figure, Chokwe Antar Lumumba, became the mayor of Jackson.
As a child, Lumumba, who is the son of late civil-rights activist and Jackson mayor Chokwe Lumumba, spent time in Detroit and Brooklyn, and moved here around the age of 5.
Social and political activism were a part of his childhood. His father would entertain clients and talk to members of the community at home about a variety of topics.
After his father's death in 2014, Chokwe A. Lumumba decided to run for mayor in 2015, ultimately losing to Tony Yarber. Two years later, Lumumba ran for the office again and won the 2017 election, becoming the youngest mayor in Jackson's history at age 34.
His vision is to make Jackson "the most radical city on the planet," and his office has spent its first season pledging progress on issues such as economic development and crime prevention —Mike McDonald
Finalists: Jeff Good / Marshall Ramsey / Phil Bryant / Walt Grayson
Best Makeup Artist: Kayla Jones
(Tracy Branch Agency, tracybranch.com)
Makeup is not just about women making their faces prettier; it can also help women feel better about themselves. Kayla Jones, who says she paints faces and hearts, has been working as a full-time makeup artist since 2015.
"I love bringing confidence to other women—being able to give them a positive inner feeling as well as giving them a beautiful outer appearance," the Star, Miss., native says. The self-taught artist has worked at Estee Lauder in Dillard's and MAC in Belk at Northpark Mall.
In 2017, she opened Spray Tans by Kayla in Pearl and also signed with the Tracy Branch Agency as a makeup artist. Her services include makeovers, and in-person makeup consultations, as well as special effects, bridal and boudoir makeup. She plans to attend school this year to expand her beautifying services. —Lashanda Phillips
Finalists: Amanda Taylor (MAC Cosmetics, Belk, Northpark Mall, 1200 E. County Line Road, Ridgeland) / Christine Cody (Tracy Branch Agency, tracybranch.com) / Hannah Roland (Tracy Branch Agency, tracybranch.com) / Olivia Preston (Tracy Branch Agency, tracybranch.com)
Best Professor: Robert Luckett
(Jackson State University, 1400 John R. Lynch St., jsums.edu)
Robert Luckett, whom voters selected as 2018's Best Professor, has been teaching at Jackson State University for nine years.
"I love teaching on a college level. To be able to study, research and teach without censorship is something that's really important to me," he says.
Luckett graduated from Yale University with a bachelor's degree in political science in 1999 and originally intended to pursue law school.
After some time off and a mentor pushing him toward graduate school, he enrolled at the University of Georgia in 2001. He earned his doctorate degree in history eight years later.
The Jackson native returned home to teach at Jackson State in 2009. Some of the courses that he teaches include public history, oral history and his specialties, African American history and Civil Rights Movement history.
"It's amazing to get to do the kind of work that I do as a civil-rights historian in Mississippi," he says. —Lashanda Phillips
Finalists: Blakely Fox Fender (Millsaps College, 1701 N. State St., millsaps.edu) / Garrad Lee (Hinds Community College Jackson Academic/Technical Center, 3925 Sunset Drive, 601-366-1405, hindscc.edu) / Kurt Thaw (Millsaps College, 1701 N. State St., millsaps.edu) / Paula Rodriguez (Hinds Community College Raymond campus, 608 Hinds Blvd., Raymond, 601-857-5261, hindscc.edu)
Best Barista: Joey Tannehill
(Cups at St. Dominic, 969 Lakeland Drive, 601-366-0707, cupsespressocafe.com)
With almost 18 years of experience, Joey Tannehill, voters' choice for 2018's Best Barista, is one of the most practiced coffee crafters in Jackson.
He has worked at nearly every Cups Espresso Cafe and helped create one of the company's signature drinks, the Blondie. Customers can find him at the St. Dominic Hospital location when he's not touring with his band, Pop Fiction.
When he started as a barista, Tannehill says he made use of bottle tricks that he learned from a fellow employee, who was also a bartender. He enjoys joking with customers but says the most important thing is to treat them like people, not orders to fill.
"I think one of the biggest things in the service industry that makes people like bartenders or baristas or anybody is whenever you address them not with the normal service script," he says. "... I think most people like to be addressed as a person." —Micah Smith
Finalists: Ben Ford (Deep South Pops, 1800 N. State St., 601-398-2174; 4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 173, 601-398-0623) / Cody Cox (Cups Espresso Cafe in Fondren, 2757 Old Canton Road, 601-362-7422) / Jordan Henry (Cups Espresso Cafe in Fondren, 2757 Old Canton Road, 601-362-7422) / Justin Nowland (Sneaky Beans, 2914 N. State St., 601-487-6349) / Katie Patterson (Deep South Pops, 1800 N. State St., 601-398-2174; 4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 173, 601-398-0623)