Family friendly

Bennett Communications is a family-friendly company. Not only do Matt and I bring our kids to the office, but we celebrate when our employees add to their families. Nearly all of our new-mom-employees stay on as part-timers or freelancers. We don”t let people quit! As a result, we host a lot of baby showers. Here”s the gang (at least the female side) at a Chef”s Table shower. Just writing the name of that restaurant makes me crave the nut-crusted halibut.

My work sisters! Kim, Jessica, (me), Briana, Kate, Whitney, Shelley, Natalie, Kimi, Chelsi, Roxanne, Stacy, Trish. Love these ladies!

 

Let there be light

People often ask how our business has done during the r-e-c-e-s-s-i-o-n. (I don”t speak the word.) Although our ad sales are down from 2007 and 2008, we are still selling ads, subscriptions and newsstand copies. Life is good. We”ve also started doing magazines for direct sales companies such as Tahitian Noni, Young Living Essential Oils and For Every Home. It”s been awesome to meet the passionate distributors and to try their scientifically-backed products. Right now I”ve got tunnel vision for our next issue of Prosper Magazine, which features Isagenix (based in Phoenix). After photographing the Isagenix shake (in both chocolate and vanilla), I decided to find out for myself if the distributors are right. I”ll let you know in 11 days. For now, I”ll be drinking lots of water, drinking Isagenix shakes and downing a cleansing potion that tastes just like it smells.

Our art director (Dave Blackhurst) photographed the Isagenix chocolate shake — and then I promptly drank it.

Child Labor?

Growing up with “publishing parents” has its ups and downs. Just ask my four kiddos.The ups? Going to Hale Center Theater to see Audra McDonald and Will Swenson perform in “110 In the Shade.” (Audra is our cover girl for the July/August issue of Utah Valley Magazine. We told readers it would be amazing. I love it when we”re right!)

Hailey sat with us on the front row of “110 In The Shade.” AND she got Tic Tacs and root beer at intermission. Lucky girl. 

But the “Hale high” ended for Hailey at 8:30 this morning — the appointed time for magazine delivery. Nathan and Hailey are our official hander-outers of Utah Valley Bride Magazine. A few times a year we leave copies on the doorsteps of women”s housing units near BYU. Today is the day we”ll get girls a-flutterin” as they look at the gorgeous gowns and fragrant flowers dotting the pages of our Bride magazine.

Nathan and Hailey unload and deliver copies of Utah Valley Bride Magazine.
Delivering to the Riviera in Provo.

But the payout doesn”t just come in front-row play tickets. Hailey also got some advice about where to live in about 10 years!

Day In The Life

6 a.m. Wake up. Notice there are two kids in my bed. And a husband.\n\n6:43 Leave for the office. Wave to the friendly walkers in the neighborhood.\n\n7 a.m. Arrive at the office. Prepare for staff meeting. Answer e-mails — including one telling me I misidentified an aerial shot of Utah County. Turns out there is a difference between Springville High School and Maple Mountain High School. Hard to tell from a helicopter.\n\n9 a.m Staff meeting. We discuss our plans for Utah Valley Magazine and BusinessQ. We also pass around pics of the fiance of a Ashley, a former employee. Facebook, sweet Facebook.

Staff meeting at Bennett Communications.

10:15 Leave the office to go home and grab my son for the Travis Hansen Basketball camp.10:35 Leave my neighborhood with a van full of basketball campers.10:50 Arrive at the Travis Hansen camp and look for my daughter, her friend and two cousins who are finishing the 9 a.m. session. Camp ends a bit late thanks to a great talk by Devin Durrant (note to self: write about him someday). Now we are cutting it close to be home in time for the next to-do.\n\n

Boys and girls (but mostly boys) listening to the awesome Travis Hansen and the also-awesome Devin Durrant at the Travis Hansen Basketball Camp.

11:10 Leave the camp in a hurry. Travis Hansen stops me and says, “Hey, you are famous! You do that awesome magazine!” I didn”t expect him (a somebody) to recognize me (practically a nobody). We chat. Now we”re even later, but it”s worth it to talk to Travis (note to self: good job writing about him and his wife a couple years ago).\n\n11:30 Get back home JUST in time for Hailey to get picked up for play practice at Hale Center Theater and just PAST time for me to jump on a conference call with Isagenix, a Phoenix-based company we”re featuring in the next issue of Prosper.\n\n11:45 Put the conference call on mute so I can tell Carson (age 6) not to worry. The dog will come back when he wants to.\n\n12:05 Head to Kohler”s for dry ice. Carson knows a science experiment, and it must be done today. Apparently, I promised. Can this half day count as a full day?

Tokyo for July 4th

‘I”ve adopted a “work hard, play hard” mentality this summer. With four busy kids AND a business that doesn”t take summers off, there”s no time for lazy days or lemonade sipping.To celebrate the 4th of July (on the 5th) we met up with my sister, Rachelle, and her husband, Nathan. We actually call him “W” because my son is also named Nathan. Not sure if W likes his nickname, but it has stuck. We visited Lehi”s Tokyo restaurant, which I”ve been wanting to try ever since we featured it in Utah Valley Magazine. I love knowing about new eateries and boutiques, but I don”t always have the time (or the appetite) to visit all of them.But we carved out an hour for this trip to Tokyo on America”s birthday. It was a perfectly perfect way to spend a holiday. Most of us even caught the shrimp in our mouths. Delicious!

New issue of Utah Valley Magazine!

The July/August issue of Utah Valley Magazine will hit mailboxes starting today! It”s always exciting (but a little bit scary) to send each issue out to the masses. (Did I doublecheck the spelling of his name? Did I leave out any advertisements? Should I have highlighted my hair before getting the editor”s photo taken?) The cover story is on Audra McDonald, who is a Tony and Grammy winner and is performing at Hale Center Theater RIGHT NOW. She”s amazing, and I hope the story does her justice! Click here to read the article.

Looks like we made it

‘Barry Manilow said it best. Looks like we made it.

After 24 hours of traveling mayhem, we were reunited in Chicago. 

Yes, we both missed our flight on Thursday and then waited (impatiently) for the next plane to the windy city. Only one spot opened up, and so I flew off while Matt went home and spent another night with the kids. Then he got up with the sunrise and headed to the airport Friday morning for another try. He was able to get on a direct flight to Chicago, but it was delayed two hours, of course. When he finally landed, Matt started texting me from the taxi.Matt: Cab driver says this is the worst traffic he”s ever seen.Matt: I”m getting sick from the stop-and-go.Matt: Driver says it”s never taken him more than 40 minutes to get downtown.I didn”t have time to respond because I was doing both of our jobs at the conference.Eventually Matt made it and we had a quick hug in the hallway before we both got busy. We did about 20 interviews and photo shoots at the For Every Home convention (awesome fragrance company based in Utah).

Puerto Rico’s Dennisse Durand is the top For Every Home consultant, and she gave a great interview about how being in this candle company has changed her life — and her wheels. Congrats, Dennisse!

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Here’s a sneak peak at the cover photo for the next issue of Celebrating Women Magazine. These 3 beautiful women sell some serious candles!

\r\n\r\nAnd when it was time to leave for the airport to go back to Utah, we left 2.5 hours early — and that was 5 a.m. Chicago time! Not a relaxing trip, but we learned our lesson on punctuality (maybe my parents were on to something after all).

Thank you, Arnold Friberg

Being the owners of Utah Valley Magazine means a lot of things (thousands of e-mails, big printing bills and meeting the Osmonds). But one of my favorite aspects is getting invited to community events such as the SCERA”s Star Awards. This is an annual gala where local artists are honored for their brush strokes, vocal chords and volunteer hours.In February 2009, Matt and I attend the Star Awards, where we ate dinner at a table with Alan and Karen Ashton. Love them. I also met Kurt Bestor and asked him for an interview, which ended up being our Nov/Dec cover story for Utah Valley Magazine.But perhaps the best part was meeting Arnold Friberg, who is best known for his patriotic and religious oil paintings. After receiving his Lifetime Achievement honor, he spoke eloquently and passionately — especially for someone in his mid-90s.Today, he passed away at age 96. Thank you, Arnold, for using your talent to paint “The Prayer at Valley Forge,” which hangs in the office Matt and I share together. It reminds us where true leaders get their inspiration.

Matt and I met Arnold Friberg at the SCERA’s Star Awards in 2009.

 

Jeanette Gazette, Take Two … or Three

‘In elementary school, I spent a day shadowing a reporter for The Post Register in Idaho Falls. We did cool things like interview a bus driver who slid off the icy roads with screaming kids on board. When I reported my career exploration project to the class, I created a giant front page with headlines like “Black and white photo developed in dark room” and “Reporters drink a lot of coffee.” The name of my made-up newspaper project was “Jeanette Gazette.” People laughed. This was my first successful rhyme and my first journalistic endeavor. But not my last.\r\n\r\nI liked the newspaper name so much that I created a second “Jeanette Gazette” for the pretend schoolhouse in our unfinished basement. (My older sister become a teacher. Probably because she practiced her lessons on me every day for years. Did I tell you I could read at age 4?) This version of Jeanette Gazette included info on upcoming parties for the faculty (which consisted of my sisters and a next-door neighbor) and field trips (which included the Idaho Falls Zoo, which I”m proud to say has gotten rid of its dingy, green lion cages). This time Jeanette Gazette was published by hand with markers on lined paper. Not very Gutenberg-esque, but it was the 1980s when people still rented VCRs and thought “laptops” were small dogs or thick afghans.\r\n\r\nFast forward. My journalistic side turned glossy when my husband and I started Utah Valley Magazine 10 years ago. I”ve spent most of the past decade blurry eyed from spellchecking. (Why can”t the computer recognize “Timpanogos” and “BYU” as actual words?) People have suggested I start a blog where I give juicy behind-the-scenes details about being a magazine editor and a mom. Which always made me sigh deeply and slump back in my chair. The idea of blogging just seemed like more stress. More time. More spellchecking.\r\n\r\nEven so, I”ve finally decided to throw my reporter”s cap into the blogging ring and revive the Jeanette Gazette. (I just sighed and slumped.)\r\n\r\n

Utah Valley Magazine on sale at Costco
Costco sells Utah Valley Magazine, which we were smart enough NOT to name “The Jeanette Gazette.” 

Half Day In The Life

6 a.m. Wake up. Notice there are two kids in my bed. And a husband.6:43  a.m. Leave for the office. Wave to the friendly walkers in the neighborhood.7 a.m. Arrive at the office. Prepare for staff meeting. Answer e-mails — including one telling me I misidentified an aerial shot of Utah County (page 97). Turns out there is a difference between Springville High School and Maple Mountain High School. Hard to tell from a helicopter.9 a.m. Staff meeting. We discuss our plans for Utah Valley Magazine and BusinessQ. We also pass around pics of the fiance of Ashley, a well-loved former employee. Facebook, sweet Facebook.

(Staff meeting at Bennett Communications.)

10:15 a.m. Leave the office to go home and grab my son for the Travis Hansen Basketball camp.10:35 a.m. Leave my neighborhood with a van full of basketball campers.10:50 a.m. Arrive at the Travis Hansen camp and look for my daughter, her friend and two cousins who are finishing the 9 a.m. session. Camp ends a bit late thanks to a great talk by Devin Durrant (note to self: write about him someday). Now we are cutting it close to be home in time for the next to-do.

Boys and girls (but mostly boys) listening to the awesome Travis Hansen and the also-awesome Devin Durrant at the Travis Hansen Basketball Camp.

11:10 a.m. Leave the camp in a hurry. Travis Hansen stops me and says, “Hey, you are famous! You do that awesome magazine!” I didn”t expect him (a somebody) to recognize me (practically a nobody). We chat. Now we”re even later, but it”s worth it to talk to Travis (note to self: good job writing about him and his wife a couple years ago).11:30 a.m. Get back home JUST in time for Hailey to get picked up for play practice at Hale Center Theater and just PAST time for me to jump on a conference call with Isagenix, a Phoenix-based company we”re featuring in the next issue of Prosper.11:45 a.m. Put the conference call on mute so I can tell Carson not to worry. The dog will come back when he wants to.12:05 p.m. Head to Kohler”s for dry ice. Carson has a science experiment in mind, and it must be done today. Apparently, I promised.