Page 20 - Edify-Nov-Dec-2023
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   A lot can change in 15 years. When this publication first started honouring Edmonton’s best young minds, it did so under a different name. But like the people in the pages of each Top 40 Under 40 issue, our focus has always been to build the city up and share its citizens’ stories — we all want to edify Edmonton.
  Of course, each person’s story is unique, but, over the years, some things come up again and again — creativity and caring for others, determination and dedication to a cause, and knowing that for all their individual hard work and talent, no one does it alone.
Not all of our Top 40 alumni are in the exact same careers as when we first honoured them, but they’ve all continued their collective pursuit to promote and make Edmonton prosperous in the best ways they know how. A lot can change in 15 years, but we’re happy to see that some good things stay the same.
[JESPO] Ryan Reinvented
A t Edify, we feel a lot of kinship with Ryan Jespersen. Like this esteemed member of our inaugural Top 40 Under 40 class, we’ve reinvented ourselves.
When he was selected to the list, “Jespo,” well, wasn’t Jespo yet. This magazine was not Edify, yet — it was known as Avenue Edmonton — and Jespersen was the host of CityTV’s Breakfast Television. He had yet to break into the world of talk radio, where he would become 630 CHED’s maverick of the morning. In fact, Jespersen would rattle so many cages, including those in the governing Conservative party, that he would eventually get canned.
Now, there’s a saying in media that you really haven’t made it in the business until you’ve been fired.
In November of 2020, Jespersen launched his own, independent show RealTalk. It’s not only a staple on the podcast and YouTube charts, but it’s earned him a national profile.
Jespersen’s reinvention came at almost the same time that this magazine re-branded from Avenue to Edify. It’s not lost on us that 2020 was a year of rebirths in Edmonton. And, like us at the magazine, Jespo has no regrets.
“Expect the unexpected,” he says. “Be prepared for new opportunities. Don’t be afraid to shake things up. And, always, keep it real.” –Steven Sandor

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