Let the water-cooler talk begin. There will be much to talk about with these singles — they’re a wildly interesting and dynamic group. Nine people are featured in this year’s batch of eligibles — five men and four women.

Brian Rogers, featured on our cover this month, teaches troubled kids by day and is a competitive cage fighter by night. Another single, Mia Morning, has a job as a sales operations and analytics manager, but she also sings, designs, acts and reports on the side. Yet another, Ryan Humbert, is on the verge of making it big with a successful local band.

I could go on, but you probably should take a look for yourself.

About received dozens of diverse nominations for singles to be featured this year. That said, we realize that our final selections don’t show much diversity in age — the average age of this year’s group is just 32.

We know that all great eligible singles in Stark County aren’t so young. We talked with several nominees in their 50s and 60s who, while flattered, politely expressed too much humility to put themselves out there.

I get that. It’s hard to put yourself out there in such a public forum.

Our intention for spotlighting eligible singles in the magazine isn’t to make a glorified personal ad for them. I’m confident that none of our singles in this issue has much trouble finding a date. I see this feature as another way that the magazine can highlight some of the great people who live right here in Stark County.

Our singles from last year — a brave group — still are generating buzz. We couldn’t resist checking in with them in this issue to see what happened in their lives since the magazine hit the newsstands last year.

Their stories don’t disappoint. While some of them chose to keep mum about their experience and their current status, others shared interesting insights into what it was like to be featured in the magazine as an “eligible single.”

I won’t spoil it, but I have to say, I think Frank Forchione’s story takes the cake.

Darla A. Brown

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