Southwest Airlines recently announced that it will depart Dayton International Airport. This is unfortunate. What is also unfortunate was that I first learned of the news not from the Dayton media, but from another outlet in Cincinnati that was celebrating that the airline was coming to their airport. In the abbreviated news snippet it failed to mention from where the services were relocating. So in my haste to celebrate I pushed out the good news to our team in Cincinnati, and (of course) also sent it out through social media. So you could guess that soon after I learned of the bad news from Dayton.

Now working in both the regions, I have gained a better appreciation of the many things that affect both communities in sometimes conflicting ways. In fact, I recently read an email from a Dayton news outlet celebrating a company relocating to the region, and then, in the next minute, read the bad news, in this case, for Cincinnati from a Cincinnati news team lamenting the company leaving. So karma exists.

So does the never-ending need of leaders across the Miami Valley to continue to build upon the many successes we have enjoyed. It’s been my experience that the shared wins of the community today were built from these individual leaders. Much of their efforts lack fanfare and outside financial support until much of the heavy lifting is already underway. This is by no means a criticism but a tribute to those that start a journey rife with challenges and potential heartache, a journey that many wouldn’t choose.

The Best of Dayton, in many ways, celebrates our community wins and the leaders that have created them. These businesses and charities that you vote on have broken the mold and proven their worth—the best of these best. Beyond us sharing in the delight they provide us, these companies also employ many and drive our economy.

So cheers to you, Best of Dayton winners. We might be late in our accolades, but don’t doubt our sincere wish for your continued success!

— Eric Harmon



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