Amy and Evan are native Californians who, after very different routes, made Chico their home together.
Amy is a hospital-based pediatrician at Enloe Medical Center. Evan is a communications management consultant and a Planning Commissioner for the City of Chico. We're a 7/7/07 couple -- we just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary, though our relationship dates to 2005. We met in Southern California, where Amy was completing her medical residency and Evan was a newspaper editor.
Born in Sacramento, Amy moved here as a child, growing up in Chico and Paradise. She left during high school for Ohio, where she went to college and medical school, and completed her residency at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital. She was excited for the opportunity to return to her hometown and become a colleague of her own pediatrician, Dr. Pat Tedford, who'd been one of the inspirations for her career choice.
Evan was born and raised in the Los Angeles area; he graduated from Stanford University, then spent 17 years in Riverside as a journalist. Before visiting Chico to meet Amy's family, he'd only been here once, on a college volleyball trip. (He didn't play; he was team manager.) Right after Amy committed to practice here, Evan got hired as editor-in-chief of the Chico News & Review. Three years later, he hung out his consultancy shingle, Idea Cultivators.
We are committed to our family and community. We do not have our own children, apart from canine kids, but are devoted to our nieces and nephews -- three of whom live in Chico. We have been host parents to two exchange students: Bianca, from Bolivia, who's with us in the photograph above; and Loreen, from Germany, who's shown with Amy. Along with serving on the Planning Commission, Evan is a member of the Chico Noon Rotary Club and the Paradise Post editorial board; Amy serves on the board of Esplanade House Children's Foundation; and we both support local nonprofits, including Catalyst Domestic Violence Services and Butte County Habitat for Humanity.
We have lived in Chico since 2015 in our second go-around, Five years after our initial move, we left so Amy could pursue a professional opportunity in the Mid-South. We found we missed family and friends; meanwhile, Enloe launched a program tailor-made for her abilities and interests. Our return seemed destined. After four years away, we moved back.
The main reason for our return: people. We couldn't bridge the distance with family -- our nieces and nephew, in particular -- with Skype and occasional visits. Evan found he'd made more friends of depth and resonance in the relatively short time here than extended periods elsewhere. Amy, too, had colleagues and friends who'd left a lasting impression.
Chico, moreso than other places, seems to attract distinct people and people of distinction. Chicoans are diverse -- in identity, backgrounds and beliefs -- yet coexist and, more often than not, come together to find common ground. There's a sense of community that comes from convergence.
This is a city that in many ways is still a small town. When we considered moving here the first time, Amy wondered if Chico might be too provincial for Evan, since he'd always lived in large metro areas. Quite the contrary, it's the perfect size. We venture to Sacramento primarily to catch a flight (though that could change should the Chico Airport regain a carrier). We find the services and amenities we need here; there's medical care, shopping, dining, arts ...
Amy, with camping and backpacking in her blood, loves the beauty of the outdoors, so it's not surprising that Bidwell Park is her favorite thing about Chico. Evan, having eaten out frequently since early childhood, will mention a restaurant first: Grana, for instance, or Big Tuna Sushi Bistro. The "hidden gem" here truly is the richness that special people bring to Chico through their work, community service and special events. The CN&R is a great way to learn about them -- or, just say hello to someone, and you're bound to encounter one.