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
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