My dream to create a regional magazine occurred many more than 13 years ago. I did not grow up in Joplin but moved to this area as an adult. This region soon became my home as I successfully worked in the advertising industry. Through the years of raising my children and working, I met some of the most extraordinary people, often behind great locally owned businesses, organizations, charity events and more. My dream to create Show Me The Ozarks Magazine was truly inspired after years of getting to know the people of our community.
Now, 13 years later, my feelings have not changed. Each day that I get dressed for work and walk out the door, I run into a family or a story that is unique within itself. I hear of a local organization raising money or awareness for a cause, a new business that has come to one of our amazing communities, a local man or woman who deserves the title of hero, a new restaurant or more. However, it is not always the new things that come to our region that continue to foster the love I have for what I do. I also enjoy featuring the annual events that bring people from near and far together. Whether it be a festival, a parade or a city rummage sale, these are the moments people count on, look forward to and that give our towns the sense of community we have all grown to know…and love.
When I look back on the very first day, I remember both the excitement and the fear. I was overjoyed about doing something I had always dreamed of doing, but I was also scared of what lay ahead in my future; change can sometimes be scary. Today, I know I could not have done it alone. There are so many people who helped get us where we are today. That list is long and it is impossible to name everyone. And, if you are reading this now, there is a place holder for your name on that list.
I do want to take a moment to thank three groups of individuals. First of all, the loyal readers who have put value in what we do by subscribing each month and coming back to read our issues month after month. To our advertisers, thank you for allowing us to share your gifts, your products and your vision with all the great people of our region. Last but not least, to all the staff of SMTO, your passion and commitment to creating an informative, must-read edition month after month could never be overlooked and is always appreciated.
It has also been great to grow, change and evolve as our communities have grown, changed and evolved. We have become even bigger and better than originally imagined. It has been an amazing experience to tell the stories of our towns, cities and regions, and document that evolution within the past 169 editions!
I look forward not only to year 14, but to all the years ahead. We hope you continue to join us in celebrating the individual people, towns, stores and organizations that make us one large, happy community!
Thank you again,