So, yeah, 2018 has been a whirlwind, and I think some of us have whiplash! As I sit down to gather my thoughts this month and reflect on the year, it’s astounding what has been accomplished, not only here at Nonahood News, but the profound growth throughout Lake Nona is just astonishing!
Picture with me some of that b-roll footage reeling through our minds as we recap. … At Nonahood News, we’ve more than doubled our content, rolled out more new recurring columns than I can even count on both hands, we’ve showcased a dozen local artists, we launched a new weekly video series called In the Nona, and we secured the #1 spot as the print source for local information according to the City of Orlando (#2 overall, second only to the Nextdoor app!). Through our – your – stories, “NonaVentures” has taken us to Alaska and Colombia and back home again, we’ve applauded award winners, welcomed new CEOs, celebrated our neighbors’ accomplishments, re-lived 9-11 through our local heroes’ experiences, come together to support one another through tragedies, learned and tried new things, and cheered each other on. Most recently, we’ve launched a Spanish version of our website called Nonahood Latino while our original publication has surpassed 20,000 in circulation!
In addition to all of that, we’ve expanded our scope of products and services, which has resulted in a new, full-service media production company: nona.media. Phew! Is your head spinning yet? Nonahood News now exists as a brand under nona.media (pronounced “nona dot media”). If you run into Rhys, ask him about the new grip truck named Dot. He might even give you a tour!
Furthermore, here in Lake Nona (as I catch my breath), we’ve rooted for our own American Idol contestant; we’ve ridden thousands of miles with Nona Cycle; we’ve raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for our local charities; we’re a couple steps closer to curing cancer; we’ve hosted Jiyo, Lake Nona Impact Forum, Mega Health Jam, Opioids & Florida: The Collaborative Imperative, just to name a few; and we’ve broken ground on the Amazon Fulfillment Center, the UCF Hospital, Nona Adventure Park, and the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute. WOW!
We’ve laughed together, we’ve cried together, we’ve worked hard together, and we have most certainly grown together! How have we accomplished so much in just 12 short months? Because we are a seriously amazing community!
Now, while it’s always a good exercise to reflect on the past, we’ve learned from our wellbeing articles that it’s really important to be present, mindful and relish in the “now.” There are several articles in this edition to help you stay focused on what’s most important during the hustle and bustle of the holidays so that you can reconnect with your loved ones. We’ve got a calendar filled with memory-making events and activities this month. We’ve got Boxi Park, Earth Fare, and Park Pizza! And we have parties, celebrations, workshops, festivals, musicals … so much to be thankful for, so much to enjoy, right here in our backyards, right now!
Of course, we have to look forward to the future with great anticipation, too. There are hundreds of houses, apartments and businesses in progress, which means we will have a few new neighbors in 2019. Just a few! Aren’t they in for a treat? And at Nonahood News and Nonahood Latino, we have some exciting events in store for 2019! Oh, if you could have been at that planning meeting! We will have more video, more content, more partners, more of everything. If 2018 swept you off your feet, just wait until you see what we have in store for you for the next 12 months!
I want to close by saying again what a blessing it is to be involved in this community. Our publisher, Rhys, said it well: “I want to thank every one of you for being a part of what makes Nonahood News special. Without you, we wouldn’t be what we are today.” Our nona.media core values are Community. Driven. Engagement. This defines our work culture in the office, and it defines what we strive to be as a conduit for the Nonahood through print, social media, video, events and more.
One of the ways you can help us continue to be your number one source is by sharing with us your opinions and how we can better serve you. As you read this month’s edition, consider dropping me a note to share which columns are your favorites, what you wish we’d add to the lineup, or any general feedback you’d like to give me. You can reach me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would prefer to share your thoughts anonymously, here’s an online form you can use instead: http://forms.nona.media/top3columns.
So, as we wrap up gifts and the year, let us reflect with pride, accomplishment and gratitude while looking forward with conviction, innovation and hope. Carry on, Lake Nona! Our future is bright!