It was five years ago this month that my wife Jennifer and I arrived with our children to live here in Utah.

She and I had each spent some time along the Wasatch Front, but our careers — hers as schoolteacher and educator, mine as a journalist and lawyer — made each of us think that we would never leave our established routines.

But we made the move and haven’t looked back. Now, whenever I fly back into the Salt Lake City airport, I think, “It’s good to be home.” We love how welcoming and inclusive we find it here.

And we know we aren’t alone. For example, I had lunch not long ago with a friend who had recently relocated here with his spouse. The couple was expecting a culture shock, but what they got instead were neighbors delivering cookies. “We never got this in Chicago,” he told me.

Another thing I love about it here is the entrepreneurial spirit. It’s an attitude of “we can do this,” not a take-no-prisoners approach to business.

Draper is particularly blessed with a wealth of business acumen, stylish creativity and energetic civic life. This month here at Draper Lifestyle, we celebrate this with articles about Wendy Chidester, Jordan James & Kalaya Arne, and The National Parks beginning on page TK. Or see the touching story of Kristin Jorgensen, who’s demonstrated true vision in adversity (page TK).

But it was the journey of Randall and Tracy Autry on page TK that was particularly fitting for our family.

You see, Jennifer and I arrived here in Utah with two kids. Now we are a family of eight. This dramatic change happened when we, too, opened our homes and our hearts to the possibility of foster care.

We had adopted previously in the suburban Washington, D.C., area. When we next lived in Illinois, we tried again to adopt, but without success. But through a random connection to the Utah Foster Care Association, which seeks to rebuild lives by keeping siblings together, we’ve been blessed to see our expanded family grow and thrive here. 

As we begin a new chapter here at Draper Lifestyle, we want to build and expand upon the good work of so many. As we do so, we will remain true to celebrating, connecting and cultivating a dynamic Draper community.

Will you reach out and help me in my new role as publisher of Draper Lifestyle? Send me an email about what you love most about Draper, or what you will do to make it even better.

And don’t miss our special relaunch issue in September!