Jefferson City transplants share their stories of why they made Jefferson City their new hometown.
Life makes many twists and turns, taking people places never thought or heard of — much less places they thought they’d live in and grow to love. If you’ve never lived in Jefferson City, it can be easy to draw negative conclusions. It is not a huge city with towering high-rise buildings, nor does it have any famous professional sports teams. It’s not often referenced in Hollywood films or packed with corporate warehouses and businesses. But what Jefferson City does have to offer is its community and opportunity. As people grow and develop in life, adjusting and changing are the centerpieces of development.
For Lt. Dave Williams, who graduated high school in Charleston, located in Mississippi County, his journey to Jefferson City began in 1992 with his job in public service — and it has kept him here ever since.
“The city itself was what I expected,” Dave says. “I had traveled a lot in my younger years, so I was used to larger cities and medium-sized towns. For nearly 30 years, my reasons for staying here have added up. I have worked with some awesome people over the years. I looked to leave a couple of times, but having a family, I wanted to give my kids a standard base growing up.”
Dave was offered a job opportunity with the Jefferson City Police Department after completing his training at the Law Enforcement Training Institute in Columbia. The department is also where he met his wife, Stephanie, a Central Missouri native. The couple has since raised two children, and while raising a family in a new town came with its struggles, Dave gained a lot of support from newfound friendships.
“It has had some difficulties, but at the same time has offered a lot of opportunity — especially when it came to managing our alternating work shifts and maintaining a good family structure,” he says. “We knew that the kids were being taken care of. Even for people who work 9 to 5, it takes a good base of friendship and extended family to make it work.”
Having a career with community interaction has certainly helped Dave build new relationships within Jefferson City. He remains very visible both professionally and personally. But even when he’s not on the clock, he’s found it quite easy to meet new people and get involved with the community.
“I first began getting involved in the community through my kids’ functions like scouts and sports,” Dave says. “I’ve coached everything — girls soccer, boys basketball and football, etc. — but coaching and getting involved has helped me to have an understanding of different personalities. With my job, I’ve been on many panels and committees, while in my personal life, I’ve sat on the board of United Way, Special Learning Center, River Region Credit Union, became a member of the Elks Lodge, and served as a guardian for Central Missouri Honor Flight — which has actually been quite an honor.”
His career has progressed in the field of public service. Dave now works in the Office of Professional Standards at the Jefferson City Police Department and also serves as the public information officer. His knowledge and experiences have grown, making him a key part of the community. Even after his retirement, Dave plans to continue giving back to his second hometown.
Becoming a Jefferson City transplant can also be one part of life’s many changes. For Sally Moore, the transition to Jefferson City happened in 2004. Sally and her husband, Jeff, moved to Jefferson City after living in Kansas City and Columbia. A graduate of the University of Missouri, Sally explains that settling here was planned to be a temporary pit stop, but it turned into building a family and establishing a home.
“I really thought we might be here for a few years,” Sally says. “After finishing graduate school in Columbia, we wanted to live and work in the same community and my husband had been working for Learfield. Learfield leadership truly started our welcome wagon in JC.”
Encouraged by her parents, Sally was taught to lead by example and has continued to do so in her role in business development at Capital Region Medical Center. In her hometown of Macon, her parents owned a pharmacy, so Sally knows the importance of friendships, relationships, and giving back to the community. This was a major part of her upbringing, and with a community like Jefferson City, it’s something she’s been able to continue.
“When I started working at Capital Region, that was the beginning of so many great relationships, and [the company] promotes and truly supports community engagement,” she says.
Sally has been able to help foster new friendships and community engagement through church and youth sports and has witnessed the community support that Jefferson City has to offer through the United Way and St. Joseph Cathedral School. Through her community interaction, she has seen the positive effects of transplants on the city.
“A person can have two hometowns,” she says. “For me, it’s the town I was raised in and the town my husband and I are raising our children in.”
New to Jefferson City and looking to get involved?
Be sure to check out The Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce relocation packets or volunteer for nonprofits like United Way. You can also turn to the Jefferson City Convention & Visitors Bureau, Downtownjeffcity.com, jcparks.com, hashtag #JCMO, and our Shop. Dine. Live. JCMO annual publication.