Magi Crawford
Communications Director, Gainesville Regional Utilities

As Communications Director for Gainesville Regional Utilities, I have been blessed to work with and meet a diverse cross section of our community.

I am honored to list among my friends’ electric line workers who brave blazing heat and dangerous storms to keep our power on; community volunteers who work tirelessly to improve the lives around them; firefighters and paramedics who are always ready and willing to respond to our call; and proud families whose children and grandchildren have studied at our local schools, from elementary all the way up through college. 

You asked, Why Gainesville? I say, look in the mirror.

I’m like many of you who came to Gainesville to attend not one but both of its amazing upper-level institutions and not only grew fond of the town’s uniqueness but the warm hearts of its citizens. Coming here as an 18-year-old freshman, I was just taking the next step and didn’t yet consider myself the embodiment of one of my favorite Oscar Wilde quotes: “Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember that nothing worth knowing can be taught.”

As I look back over my time here in Gainesville, I realize that the relationships I’ve created over a lifetime in and around this area are what make it the greatest place in the world to live, work, play and raise a family.

If I ever forget that, all I need to do is stroll about a block to the new Depot Park, which came alive with the sounds of playing children this summer. Or I could stop by Sweetwater Wetlands Park, where I see fresh faces walking the miles of trails that cut through our unique landscape and offer a glimpse of nature in the raw.

I mention these two spots because GRU employees were essential to their development and success. I am so proud of the work we did and how it has touched our neighbors in such a positive way.

These parks also provide evidence of Gainesville’s newfound growth. It can be seen downtown, on Archer Road and in many other pockets throughout the area. We are an ambitious town full of innovators, entrepreneurs, caregivers and dreamers.

I witnessed that when my now-adult children attended P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School and I see it now more than ever.

I will admit that over the years some of the faces have changed, but something about this place attracts giving, passionate people with big hearts. So, for me, Why Gainesville is simple – you, because you prepared me for the future and you continue the tradition as you prepared my family. And what I value most are the relationships I developed during the early years, the people I still call on today if I ever need help reaffirming my true north. Thanks Gainesville.

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