POWER 30: Mark humbled by popular vote
WITH an early lead in our 2019 Power 30 people's choice poll, it was clear Mark Blackadder was the region's favourite personality.
Coming in at No. 2 in Saturday's Daily Examiner Power 30 official list, the Jacaranda Festival manager said he was humbled by the popular choice win among Clarence Valley voters but that the honour be shared with his talented committee members and volunteers.
"It's a massive team of dedicated, passionate and obsessed people and businesses that made the 85th Grafton Jacaranda Festival a phenomenal success and I personally thank everyone involved," he said.
"I don't know if I deserve (the win), but I'm certainly elated to think I'm People's Choice number one, so thank you.
"It certainly means a lot to me to be an influential person in the Clarence Valley. I think this valley is seeing a lot of change, certainly for the youth and I certainly want to see youth more involved, not only in the festival, but in everyday decisions in the town."
With a swag full of experience in the corporate and luxury brands industries, the Grafton local not only propelled the Jacaranda Festival onto the international stage, but also made the event the most inclusive in its 85-year history.
This was the first time the three First Nations groups had their own event included in the official program as well as the local disability sector having a starring role in this year's gala ball.
"One of our head sponsors Caringa, which led the Caringa Ball, was certainly a great influence on making sure everyone was included in this festival and in the wider community as well," he said.
As for the top spot in this year's Power 30 official list, Mr Blackadder had nothing but praise for the local Rural Fire Service personnel.
"The number one position with RFS with the Power 30 was the most well-deserved position," he said.
"I couldn't be more thrilled for an organisation to be number one more than the RFS for what they're doing for our community, what they've been doing for months and what they're still doing. A massive thank you from myself and the community of what you've achieved, and all the volunteers involved."
Top Five People's Choice:
1. Mark Blackadder
2. Rachel Choy
4. Reverend Greg Jenks