One of my favorite places to be is either in an airport or in a plane. It’s equal parts seeing the diversity of people all in one place and the fact that we’re all on the move and going somewhere. Lately, I’ve been thinking about the literal action of ascending into the air on a plane. For me, it’s become a more meaningful experience than just take-off. The way I see it, ascending to 42k feet above ground in a plane is a lot like ascending in life. It’s slightly uncomfortable and stirs anxiety. But then, there are moments when the plane levels and the pressure goes away. Then a few moments later, we’re back to the incline and feel gravity like a weight pulling us back down to the ground. Our bodies press into the seat, and the seat belt light is on.

Life is like that. Our professional careers are like that. We go through phases — uncomfortable phases that make us want to lay our head back and close our eyes, that make our hands sweat, and that make us fear the worst. If you have ever decided to scrap one career for a brand new one, chosen to go back to school, or made the leap to be your own boss, you know it can be unnerving. Before we know it, we open our eyes again, the pressure is lifted, and we are coasting at a greater height than ever before. We learn the ropes and find our new rhythm. We become our most efficient and are able to make a positiveimpact not only for ourselves but those around us.

Our Ones to Watch class definitely understands this. This class, and all 14 years of recipients that preceded them, understands it too. They know what it means to level up — up the ante. And in this issue, we’ve got them sitting in first class the entire way. This class is full of vibrant individuals who are on their. way. They’ve got the window seats and are gazing out of them full of dreams, plans, and aspirations.

Our Impact JCMO recipients also understand this. Soaring above and beyond the typical expectation, these individuals, businesses, and organizations are the unsung heroes of the flight. They’re the ones who wish to not receive credit but are working tirelessly to ensure those around them are comfortable and taken care of. They’re the first on and the last off. In this issue, we shine the spotlight on their selfless work to make our community better for everyone.

Is that a bird? A plane? No, it’s the Ones to Watch and Impact JCMO 2023 classes!

Buckle up,
Missy McFerron, Publisher

Missy McFerron of Jefferson City Magazine.