Aug. 1, 2017, was my first day at the Arizona Daily Star, as I had just been appointed president and publisher. Since one year has passed, I thought it would be an appropriate time to share my impressions of Tucson.

Coming from Florida, where I had worked at papers in Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando on the advertising side of the business for 28 years, Tucson has been quite a refreshing change. I think the first word that comes to mind is authentic. The second is dry!

Tucson is a one-of-a-kind place. From the beautiful landscape and daily sunsets to our world-class University of Arizona to the incredible culinary delights — and not just Mexican food — Tucson is one of those rare places that’s maintained its charm of long ago while still growing and changing.

Tucson isn’t a pretentious place. People are themselves here, and that’s very apparent and refreshing. Speaking of the people, I can’t express how welcoming and genuinely friendly Tucsonans are. You have a great deal of pride in your city, and it shows.

Like all other cities, there are issues that need to be addressed. Certainly education, high-paying jobs and roads are chief among them. In my short time here, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many business and civic leaders, and I’m very impressed by how they’re all working together to find solutions to these issues. Seeing the progress being made in downtown Tucson is indicative of what can be accomplished. I’m confident that having the enthusiastic, talented leaders we have in this community will result in real action in addressing our needs.

I also can’t say enough about my staff here at the Star. Having been in the business for three decades, I can honestly say this is the most dedicated team I’ve ever worked with. They take great pride in their work in all departments of the paper. They understand the unique role we play in our community as we strive to be the number-one source of news in Southern Arizona.

As I’ve said to the many readers who I’ve corresponded with, our role is to keep our readers informed of the issues so they can make the best decisions for themselves and for our community. In so doing, we strive to give a balanced view of the news by representing both sides of the issues on our Editorial pages. We also have a keen focus on feature and investigative stories that we feel impact our community.

On issues we deem to be most important, we ultimately need to take a stand and make an endorsement. We base those endorsements on what we feel is best for our community, and we take that responsibility very seriously.

So, thank you once again, Tucson, for welcoming me and my wife, Georgianna, to your community. I look forward to being a part of this unique place that I now call home for many years to come.

John D’Orlando is the president and publisher of the Arizona Daily Star.