Hope native Jake Miller says if there is one thing that makes Hope stand out from other communities it is the camaraderie of its residents.

The 32-year-old’s roots in the Hope community run deep and that foundation is something he and his wife, Rochelle, are passing on to their five children. The 2005 Hauser High School graduate and co-owner of Miller Insurance recently talked about his fondest memory of growing up in Hope, the benefits of raising a family in the community, as well as his hopes for the future of his hometown.

What do you think makes Hope stand out from other communities?
I think that the family feel is what makes it stand out the most. It is people that I have grown up with and seen me grow up as a kid and now as a business owner. It is like a large extended family.

What is your fondest memory of your time in Hope… so far?
For me, probably the semi-state run in basketball and our state run in baseball my senior year. The fact that with both of those it was the farthest we had gone to that point. With all the hype that surrounded it, you saw a lot of that Hope camaraderie. It was the buzz. Just the whole experience as a high schooler, it was a huge deal because everywhere you went people were asking you what you were doing , what your plans were for the next game or about your strategy for the next game. Everything at that time revolved around the basketball and baseball.

As a father, what are the benefits of raising a family in Hope?
One big benefit for me is my family is all close. There’s a lot of close connections. My kids are playing sports with their cousins. I think it is important for my kids to make connections early on with those people who are going to be in their lives and care about their success. I do appreciate the fact that everybody knows most everybody. There are a lot of multigenerational families here, so the people my parents grew up with, I went to school with their kids, and then a lot of their kids now are my kids’ age. We are coaching basketball and baseball teams together and working businesses together. You see that generational touch.

What are you most excited about as a business owner in Hope?
The growth of the community and connections made. A lot of the connections you make aren’t just for a one time sale. You see repeat customers and lifelong clients. I think making the connections and not just having a business relationship, but they turn into personal relationships in a lot of situations, too.

Hope annually offers a wide array of community events. How would you describe their importance to the vibrancy of the community?
A lot of those events are things you don’t see happening in a lot of communities anymore. Many events and festivals have kind of fallen off and I think that is a big thing we’ve always tried to keep them going. They are important and people do appreciate them. When there are fewer events across the area, then the ones you do have become more popular and bigger. It helps the sustainability of having those events and also there are a lot of nonprofits that put on those events, in our community especially, and those big events help the nonprofits budget for the year and bring in outsiders who are patronizing our community and supporting our local economy. When we are bringing in outsiders, they want to come in, spend their time and money here and appreciate what we’re doing. It helps to support our community long term.

What are your hopes for future of Hope?
To see it grow. You don’t want to grow to where you lose that personal, family touch, but you want to see more people and businesses come to the community.