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Today we continue the countdown to the Most Influential Person in BBQ with the 6th most influential person in BBQ. Coming in as the 6th Most Influential Person in BBQ is co-founder of the Kansas City Barbeque Society (KSBS), Carolyn Wells.


Carolyn Wells might not be a household name, but there is no one that has had more influence on the sport of competition BBQ. In the fall of 1985, Wells, her husband Gary and friend Rick Welch formed the Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS), a club for barbeque cookers. That first year they had about 20 people join. It wasn’t long before this club became a formal organization and folks from around the country were calling on them for advice on how to start their own BBQ contests and have KCBS sanction their events. As a result KCBS created a standard set of rules and regulations for BBQ contests and created a scoring system. Today KCBS is the largest society of BBQ enthusiasts with more than 14,000 members across the United States and around the globe with more than 300 sanctioned BBQ contests each year.

KCBS - Logo 2

Today, Wells serves as the Executive Director of KCBS and continues to travel from coast-to-coast to promote barbecue. Where competition BBQ would be without KCBS is unknown, but it certainly wouldn’t have become what it is today. The increased interest in competition BBQ has allowed teams like Pellet Envy, Lotta Bull & Quau to turn their love of BBQ into a career. Countless numbers of competition cooks have gone from manning the pits at a contest to manning the pits at their own restaurants or catering companies. Countless more have gone from mixing up their secret sauce and rub concoctions for contests to selling them in local, national and global retailers. Well’s influence on competition BBQ has influenced directly and indirectly the lives of thousands of BBQer’s – some knowing it and others not knowing it. As KCBS continues to grow under her executive direction and the sport of competition BBQ becomes bigger and bigger with larger and larger prize purses, more sponsors and more teams Wells will continue to be a major influencer in the world of barbecue.

On December 27th we’ll unveil the 5th most influential person in BBQ. We’ll unveil a new member of our Most Influential Person in BBQ List each day through the end of the year and we’ll crown The Most Influential Person in BBQ on Tuesday, December 31st.

To date we’ve previously unveiled the 7th through the 25th Most Influential People in BBQ.

7th – Tuffy Stone, Q Barbeque, Cool Smoke & BBQ Pitmasters

8th – Competition BBQ Pitmaster

9th – Mike Mills, 17th Street Bar & Grill & Apple City BBQ

10th – Stan Hays, Operation BBQ Relief

11th – Steven Raichlen, Cookbook Author & TV Host

12th – Jamie Geer, Jambo Pits

13th – Dave Raymond, Sweet Baby Ray’s

14th – Aaron Franklin, Franklin BBQ

15th – Chris Lilly, Big Bob Gibson BBQ

16th – Sterling Ball, Big Poppa Smokers

17th – Rod Gray, Pellet Envy & Eat Barbecue

18th – Brad Orrison, The Shed

19th – Johnny Trigg, Smokin’ Triggers

20th – Danielle Dimovski, BBQ Crawl & Diva Q

21st – Bill Arnold, Blues Hog Barbecue Company

22nd – Competition BBQ Judge

23rd – Melissa Cookston, Memphis Barbecue Co. & Yazoo’s Delta Q

24th – Adam Perry Lang, Daisy May’s BBQ, Barbecoa & Cookbook Author

25th – Ronnie Cates, Smoke on the Water Productions

Will you make the list? Will someone you find deserving fall short of the top 25? Will you disagree with someone listed in the top 25? Check the Pork Barrel BBQ Blog daily now through December 31 and contribute to the discussion by adding comments to each days post!

Who is the most Influential Person in BBQ? Find out on December 31, 2013 when we reveal the Most Influential Person in BBQ.