Today is a bit a mouthful “Share whose inspiring gaming excellence you’re grateful for.”
REALLY ODD PHRASING aside, I’m going to answer this by calling out two folks: Matt Harrop and Aaron Rosenberg.
Aside from the fact that they definitely qualify under the “gaming excellent” measurement (I can’t forget Ghrezdd the Wizard or a Vampire on Roller Blades), the simple fact of the matter is that I would not have the career that I have, had the two of them not encouraged and collaborated with me to produce our first RPG in 1993: Periphery.
Everything I’ve done professionally for the past 25 years is all their fault. :)
In all seriousness, I’m very grateful.