As we move into the season of giving, the November issue begins to set the tone for the holidays. This month’s pages are full of faith, optimism, strength and giving. We hope you find the stories as endearing as we do.

The inaugural “Faces of Arkansas” section showcases individuals and groups across our state who make a difference in our everyday lives. The black and white portraits capture the personality and charisma of folks ranging from personal trainers, to instructors who expose our children to arts and culture. “Faces of Arkansas” are the people who go the extra mile, every single day.

Take, for instance, architecture firm Polk Stanley Wilcox. This award-winning company is creating beautiful structures from public schools and children’s libraries, to new hospitals, corporate headquarters and civic performance halls, such as the newly transformed Robinson Center. The firm is one of the top 50 design firms in the United States and we are lucky to have it right here in Little Rock.

This month, we look to our neighbor to the west, Conway, Arkansas, and shine a light on the thriving and burgeoning community. With a top-notch public education system, a well-known public university and a nationally ranked private college, young talent is flourishing. More recently, Conway has emerged as a regional destination for business, travel and shopping. Businesses like Dillard’s are making a move to the city because of the growth.

Downtown Conway has secured a spot as a vibrant destination complete with restaurants, clothing boutiques and antique shops. Last year, Conway started a new holiday tradition, “Illuminate,” a series of events establishing the town as a new regional holiday destination. This year’s event is set to be bigger and better and is sure to get you in the holiday spirit.

Personally, I’m so excited about Christmas I can hardly wait until Thanksgiving is over. It’s a huge holiday for our family and I’m thrilled to see the celebrating start earlier and earlier each year. With special shopping events, a Christmas parade and a spectacular tree lighting event complete with a Ferris wheel, hot chocolate, carriage rides and so much more, we can’t wait to spend some quality time in Conway this year.