Fabulous e-mails

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Readers helped us compile a list of 50

By Jeanette W. Bennett

A few weeks after our first issue of Utah Valley Magazine was unveiled (September 2000), I was asked to speak to a women’s business organization in Provo. After my brief remarks, I opened it up for questions. First hand: “How do you plan to succeed with a magazine in our area when others have tried and failed?”

My first thought was, “What? Others have tried a magazine? How come I never knew about this? We’re in trouble!”

But I pasted on a smile and said the second thing that came to my 25-year-old mind: “I intend to earn the community’s trust and respect by returning every phone call and e-mail within 24 hours.”

Nearly eight years later, I still think about that declaration and wonder if the 25 women in attendance are holding me to my words. I now receive nearly 75 e-mails per day from staff writers, community members, family and PR professionals. The most common thing on my “to-do list” is to clean out my inbox. Unfortunately, more good story ideas get submitted than I can get my pen around.

The past couple of years, one of my e-mail coping strategies has been to flag messages about unique community members who aren’t household names. I’ve been wanting to do something about these somebodies.

We’ve chosen this issue to unveil 50 of our most fabulous (yet largely unknown) Utah Valley-ites. After you meet them (starting on page 38), you’ll come away proud of our county and motivated to pursue your own passions — both big and small.

Our fabulous cover boy earned his 15 minutes of fame (plus a million bucks) by being a passionate student of the CBS hit “Survivor” for the past eight years. His reality TV obsession plus some luck and a dose of scheming earned him the top spot after 39 days in China.

In addition to the Fab 50 and our local TV star, this issue is packed with nine profiles of talented Realtors and eight prime pieces of property. In fact, 2008 may be the best year yet for buying an existing home or putting a stake in the ground for your final residential location.

Think “buyer’s market.”

I hope this 132-page magazine leaves you feeling entertained and informed, and if you feel inclined to e-mail me your comments, be patient if it takes me more than 24 hours to respond!

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