“It’s a pitiful frog that doesn’t praise its own pond,” says Randy Wilburn, a business consultant and father of three sons who was born in Virginia, raised in New Jersey and has called Northwest Arkansas home since 2014. For the past two years, Wilburn has been celebrating his chosen neck of the woods, interviewing local entrepreneurs, business owners, professionals, creative minds and community figures for his podcast I Am Northwest Arkansas.

“Creative people, whether they be entrepreneurs, business owners or artists, are the lifeblood of the community … This podcast is the podcast I would have wanted to listen to before I moved here to learn about the area,” he says. “The way that I know that I achieved my objective is that there have been several people that have relocated here, and a lot of it was predicated upon the information I shared on the podcast.”

Wilburn intends to capture the intersection of business, culture, entrepreneurship and life in the Ozarks, with episodes highlighting a range of NWA personalities from Fayetteville City Councilor D’Andre Jones and Slim Chickens CEO Tom Gordon to the minds behind Arkansas Cinema Society and OZCast, an online variety show. Wilburn has a knack for pulling personal stories out of people, which he can trace back to his grandfather Mal Goode, the first Black network newscaster for ABC news.

“I would always hear [my grandfather] calling in news reports from the house,” he says. “Back in the day, if he had interviewed somebody, he would take the clips and send it off to ABC using the old rotary phone. I would hear him do that as a young kid, maybe five years old, and then an hour later I would hear it on the radio. That stayed with me.”

With I Am Northwest Arkansas, Wilburn aims to reach both locals and people considering moving to the area. There’s something special in the air here, he believes, and it ought to be celebrated.

“I’ve been all over the country. I’ve lived on the West Coast, lived in the Deep South, lived on the East Coast, lived in New York, Boston, the whole nine yards. I’ve seen it all,” Wilburn says. “I think people are real [in NWA] and have a good nature about them, so I like to highlight that on the podcast. … People genuinely want to help other people out, and they take you for face value. … I fell in love with [NWA], but what I fell in love with more was the people.”

I Am Northwest Arkansas is available on all streaming platforms.