Someone 2 Know: Plum 100 Nominees - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Someone 2 Know: Plum 100 Nominees

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Why do you live in northern Nevada? There are countless reasons, right?

A northern Nevada native, who's tired of her hometown being known for all the "wrong" reasons, is doing something about it. Ashley Graham is the founder of Plum 11 – a company aimed at helping businesses franchise and brand themselves. Ashley is using her experience to help re-brand Reno. How? Well, she is starting off highlighting the 100 most influential people in our area.

Whitney Myer is one of the nominees on the Plum 100 "Most Influential in Reno-Sparks" list.

Whitney is a local singer and songwriter - who's becoming a household name across America. The country first experienced the talent of our hometown girl when she auditioned for NBC's The Voice last year. "It was a spur of the moment thing. I don't even own a TV, so it's not like I was vying to be a reality TV show star." The competition quickly catapulted Whitney - and Reno – into the spotlight. "Reno can produce incredible things. Reno can produce something great that the world can appreciate. I think the Plum 100 really highlights that about Reno and I like that."

That is the hope for the mastermind behind the Plum 100 awards. Ashley says, "The best way to reintroduce people to Reno is by celebrating the 100 people who make us great." Instead of being known for our unemployment and foreclosure numbers, Ashley focuses on all that is positive here. "It's a wonderful place. I want people to understand who we area; who the people are here. It'll bring business; it will drive the economy."

People are starting to notice. Since launching her digital magazine, Plum 11, just a couple months ago, "We've had 36,000 views and it grows by 2,000 a day." Ashley says more than 75% of those hits are from outside the area, so plenty of new eyes are seeing our artists, first responders and entrepreneurs.  One such business woman is Marie Wikoff, who owns Wikoff Design Studio. Marie is largely responsible for the new and improved children's floor at Renown Regional Medical Center. From the intricate lighting panels that showcase hot air balloons, to bright colors in the play room and equally beautiful floor designs, Marie had children in mind.

"We even designed lower cabinets to teach kids to wash their hands with ABC's and 123's." Marie spent roughly 1,000 hours re-designing the floor and she donated her time creating this family room. She says being recognized as part of the Plum 100 for her efforts is an honor, but what is even more rewarding is seeing the kids enjoy her work. "They've got cancer; they're sick. But when they come into these spaces, they get a smile on their face and they don't even realize the apparatuses on their bodies at the time."

People like this, with passion and heart, remind us all why we call this place home. To see the complete Plum 100 list, log on to:

The nominees will be honored at the Plum 100 Awards this Friday, September 28th. To buy tickets, enter in the code: someone2know and you will receive $10 off. There are still tables available for 4 or 8 people.  

Written by an honored Plum 100 nominee, Kristen Remington

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