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Metro

Hidden Power
Power in this town is usually intertwined with fame. Those who have influence through office or wallet or sheer personality have visages that are always filling the screen at 5, 6 and 11. Their names pepper the headlines and salt the guest lists. People know them. They're the Big Shots.

Then there is Ken Savoid. The name Savoid doesn't make many appearances in the papers, but being largely anonymous doesn't mean he's cloutless. On snowy days, Savoid can and does reroute the lives of thousands of moms, dads, teachers and little people.

The world knows little of Anthony E. Flournoy, either, but if you let your grass grow too long, if you build a deck without permission, if your house is one of the 5,000 in the Flournoy realm, you'll learn who he is. It may cost you, too.

Wanna be a rock-and-roll star? Impress Lisa White. She stands between local bands and a shot at MTV. And at one of the must-go restaurants in town, there's a coveted corner table waiting just for you. Maybe. It depends, on Michael Nayeri.

Jeris White is a name. Or, rather, a number. White was No. 45 for the Washington Redskins, but when his days at cornerback were over, he slipped quietly off the radar. But he's kept busy. He controls traffic in Northern Virginia every single weekday.

These five labor without celebrity, but they manipulate linchpin levers just the same, pleasing, vetoing, approving, controlling in ways that touch everyone, even if not everyone knows it. There are countless examples of such hidden power. Enter gallery to read their stories.

Photos by Bill O'Leary — The Washington Post

Hidden Power

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