Best Unsung Public Official

Leonard Shoemaker


We thought about touting a politician here, but when you get down to it, it’s the guys like Leonard Shoemaker who make a city good.  It doesn’t take much to get kudos if you’re a politician; you just schedule yourself a press conference and take credit for something. But Shoemaker, who has worked as an equipment operator at the City of Las Vegas parks since 2005, has managed to draw unsolicited compliments to the city from everyday citizens because of his work caring for our parks. Says one parkgoer at Kellogg-Zaher Park, “The gates are always open early, and he stops in from time to time to make sure we are informed about what’s going on and to ask us what can be improved on. He scratches a few [dog] ears, and we feel better after he leaves. Leonard is the best ambassador the city could have for parks.” What’s more—Shoemaker has stopped dog fights, returned lost driver’s licenses, and, says City spokesman Jace Radke, “does everything he can to make sure visitors enjoy their recreation” at city facilities. That’s a guy who we want receiving our tax dollars.

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Jason Strauss


Jason Strauss

The tastemaker and nightlife impresario is a partner of Tao Group, a leading restaurant and nightlife company that develops, owns and operates numerous high-profile food and beverage facilities nationwide, including Tao, Lavo and Marquee. Along with his partners, Strauss was named Hospitality Operator of the Year by Nightclub & Bar in 2006, and their work with Marquee has been profiled as a case study by Harvard Business School.