With the click of a mouse I have sent this issue to print as has been done over a hundred times before. But this time is different. This issue marks the beginning of a new day.

This copy you hold in your hands is the final publication of the Thrive Entertainment Guide.

Almost exactly nine years ago Brook Paslay and I found ourselves plugging away at building our new graphic design agency and searching for a way to connect with the community. It's hard to remember the exact series of events that led us to creating Thrive, but with the project we found a great sense of purpose.

Thinking back to that time, I remember that Decatur felt sleepy. We had been through a lot, and seeing the down side to life here was easy. Good things were happening, indeed, but even the Decatur “cheerleaders” had difficulty mustering the courage to shout it from the rooftops. We set out on a journey to build a platform for positive stories to help build confidence and change attitudes about the state of our community.

Oh, how far we have come!

I and the entire Thrive team thank you readers for supporting our endeavors and reading our stories. It has been an honor to play a role in our community revitalization. We have helped connect people in a time when working together toward a common goal is essential.

My north star has continued to be the notion that the more we know about our community the more we care. And when you start to really care about something, you kindle a passion to stand up and fight for it.

By far the most important work we have accomplished with Thrive is not the feat of printing a magazine month after month; it's that we have inspired an army of positive influencers to carry on the great work of sharing local stories of success.

We are more connected now than ever. I continue to be inspired by your work for Decatur, by your support of our monthly contribution to “spreading the word” through Thrive, and most importantly by your kind words about our work. I challenge you to find new ways to discover and share information and to embrace all the other great media streams and organizations like Limitless Decatur working to make Macon County awesome.

I encourage you to get out and make a difference no matter how large or small you feel your part is—I promise your role is important. Together we are limitless.

Katrina Smalley
Owner/Publisher, Thrive Entertainment Guide