Josy Jones & Floco Torres

Moved from Macon, Georgia to Akron in 2017.

Biggest Surprise
Floco: Akron can feel like a big city and a small town at the same time. It’s the best of both worlds.

Day Off Fun
Floco: Any of the Metro Parks (Gorge is my fave), Quarter Up Arcade or Akron Art Museum. Or I’d probably look around for a show in the DIY scene.

On The Business/Nonprofit/Arts Climate

Floco: It’s definitely growing. The current focus is consolidating efforts and making a real push to Akronites that haven’t been as confident with the city’s future as others.

Josy: Greater Akron rewards hard work. I went from having to work a survivor job to working for several Knight Foundation-funded initiatives. I feel inspired, challenged and confident in my ability to continue to build a career here.

Tips For Newcomers

Josy: Do. Explore. If you have an idea, you can find someone who will help you make it a reality. If  you are looking for a certain type of event, you may find it.

Ryan Palmer

Moved from Portland, Oregon to Hudson in 2018.

Biggest Surprise

There is so much to do here. I look forward to family hikes in the National Park in the summer and skiing in the winter, exploring the Akron Zoo and art scene in Akron and catching a concert at Blossom. I’ve been impressed with the food scene, especially with the emphasis on farm to table.

On The Business Climate

My wife has her own business and is exploring the Akron entrepreneur scene. Many people are proud to be from this area and understand that attracting new business is key in developing the region’s health and economy. She is looking forward to planting roots and developing her client base here.

Tips For Newcomers

Come with an open mind. People really have no idea about this area (outside of LeBron James, of course!). Greater Akron’s natural beauty is incredible.

Christopher Mazziotto

Moved from Connecticut to Kent in 2017.

Biggest Surprise

The rich history in the rubber industry. The Bounce Innovation Hub’s name and location in the old B.F. Goodrich tire factory are a testament to that industry. I was also surprised to learn that LeBron James, Stephen Curry and The Black Keys are from Akron.

On Living In Greater Akron

My wife Volha and I moved to Kent when she got accepted to NEOMED in Rootstown. We love eateries like Treno, Wild Goats Cafe and Tree City Coffee. Downtown is perfect for walking, and we often stop at the Haymakers Farmers’ Market.

Tips For Newcomers

When I moved here, I looked for an organization where I could continue working with entrepreneurs and startups, and I found Bounce, remarkably offering everything startups need in one building.

John Groce

Moved from Illinois to Akron in 2017.

Biggest Surprise
The Greater Akron area is one of the most unique places my family and I have ever lived. Few communities in the country have endless opportunities for entertainment, shopping, and sporting events all within a 30-minute radius. But more importantly, the region values education with strong public and private school districts and several colleges and universities. And we have advanced world-class medical care.

Day Off Fun
Our active family enjoys a variety of activities, depending on the season. We frequently go to Blossom Music Center, Akron Civic Theatre, Akron Children’s Museum, Akron Art Museum, Lock 3 and sporting events at The University of Akron. We love baseball, so in the summer, we would probably go to one of the many great area restaurants like Luigi’s, Dontino’s, Diamond Deli, Spaghetti Warehouse, Bricco or Ken Stewart’s and attend either the Akron RubberDucks or Cleveland Indians ballgames.

Johanna & Ryan Cook

Moved from West Virginia to Akron in 2017.

Biggest Surprise

Ryan: The number of quality restaurants, as well as the overall food culture.

On The Healthcare Climate

Johanna: I’m very happy with the way that Summa Health really cares about the patient experience while maintaining high professional standards.

Tips For Newcomers

Johanna: Enjoy the rich cultural experience that Akron has to offer, including Blossom and the summer theater at Stan Hywet.

Ryan: Take the time to really explore the area, including its many public parks and events.

Alex Daw

Moved back to Akron from Connecticut in 2017.

Biggest Surprise

I shouldn’t have been surprised; however, I was impressed by the level of commitment and energy of residents and corporations reinvesting in the communities. In creating a unique area filled with diverse recreation, social, and economic opportunities, it seems as though the Greater Akron area is going through a renaissance!

Day Off Fun

My ideal day off usually incorporates taking my wife and son on a bike ride or hike on one of many trails located in the Summit Metro Parks, then trying out a new local restaurant and refueling afterwards.

Tips For Newcomers

Get out and explore! There are so many great opportunities to partake in right in your own backyard! Go hiking, biking, kayaking and so much more! There is big city life in a small-town setting.

Sarah J. Rogers

Moved from Columbus to Kent in 2018.

Biggest Surprise

I grew up in Akron and haven’t spent much time here since then, so I was glad to see all the changes in downtown Kent and Akron.

Day Off Fun
I’d start off at the Kent State University Museum, then; I’d head to the Akron Art Museum. Later, I’d get my bike and head for a trail through the parks and in the evening go to Porthouse Theatre or Blossom Music Center.

On The Arts Climate

The arts have never been more vibrant. Talented artists and designers are choosing to live in the area, and there are great galleries, museums, performance spaces and audiences to support the activity.

Tips For Newcomers

I feel welcome whenever I go. Just be open to exploring-look for the farmers’ markets, gallery hops, and special community events, which will quickly get you into the swing of things.

John M. Rathje

Moved from Little Rock, Arkansas to Stow in 2018.

Biggest Surprise
The park systems and trails are wonderful. And the people are so friendly. Akron is a big city with a small town feel.

Day Off Fun
I would enjoy the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and all it has to offer.

On The Cultural Climate

The beautiful fashion museum and numerous festivals which bring the community together are impressive.

Tips For Newcomers

Greater Akron is a great place to be. Community events are wonderful ways to meet people.

Christine Carter-Kent

Moved from Charleston to Akron in 2017.

Biggest Surprise

Although I lived in Cleveland previously. I had not spent much time in Akron. I have been surprised by number and variety of community events. Whether you are an artist, a musician, an athlete or a foodie, there is something for everyone here in Akron.

On The Healthcare Climate

I am a pediatrician at Akron Children’s Hospital. There is so much support and admiration for the hospital in the community. It is also a pleasure to work at an institution that values and respects the employees at every level.

Tips For Newcomers

Explore the area first before you determine where you would like to reside. There are so many great neighborhoods in the Greater Akron Area. It was difficult for us to determine where we wanted to live long term.

Jayram Krishnan

Moved from Las Vegas to Akron in 2017.

Biggest Surprise

The people are so friendly and approachable! We felt welcomed to the area immediately, and within six months have already felt like it was home. I have lived all over the world, and this is by far the friendliest city that I have lived in.

Day Off Fun

My two young boys have already fallen in love with the Akron Zoo; we go almost every weekend! We love the Akron Children’s Hospital as well. Our fun days usually end with lunch or dinner in either Montrose or Kent.

On Community

We love Hudson. There is so much to do every weekend with festivals, outdoor markets and events in the library. There are similar events in Cuyahoga Falls and Stow. We have the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Blossom right around the corner. Every weekend, we find a new business or restaurant to try out. We have found so many hidden gems.

Stephen Karagiozis

Moved back to Akron from Pittsburgh in 2017.

Biggest Surprise

I was so impressed with the work that has been done in rebuilding and enhancing the City of Akron. The University of Akron campus is amazing! There’s so much for both families and single people to do.

On The Business Climate

Northeast Ohio offers a lot. It is home to numerous Fortune 500 companies across different industries and sectors. There is a strong professional and skilled workforce, and there is a relatively low cost of doing business. Those factors plus having access to excellent regional colleges and universities help keep the best talent in the area. you also see many collaborations between businesses and nonprofit organizations of all sizes to build a stronger community.

Karen O’Brien

Moved from San Francisco to Hudson in 2018.

On Living in Akron

We love the charming, historic downtown feel. The area is steeped in tradition, with tree-lined residential streets and historic homes. Neighbors gather in community squares for all types of events.

On Working in Akron
I am excited to be part of a community that is so civically engaged and a company that takes pride in giving back. Signet Jewelers’ support to the various local charitable organizations is 
truly inspiring.