Typically, after the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I would look forward to a few days of down time to recoup and regenerate. But, this year is proving to be much different. I am so energized and excited about the New Year — I can hardly stand it. Have you ever just had a feeling that things are going your way? Well, I would like to state for the record that this year is going to be a good one for me and the folks here at CAWLM. We hit our five-year anniversary and our commitment to you — our readers has never been stronger. It is my hope that we are everything you would want a local monthly publication to be. I have to reach back to the beginning and thank so many people for helping to launch us in that first year. It was hard work, but I was not going to let this dream fade because a few people (okay, everyone I talked to) said it was too risky. The fact was and continues to be, print is an industry of change, but I would like to remind people that we are still a population of people interested and moved by positive, local news. Niche publications continue to grow and succeed and we have been a testament to that. From Tiana Hawver Madsen, who helped kick off the early days with me and truly helped to get all of our distribution locations, to Heather Beegle, who was a stickler for the standards, to Emily Wenstrom, who grew the local content to Emily Caswell, who manages to keep our publication growing with new sections, special stories and columns that entertain and educate. Designers and artists have given us award winning publications month after month including Julie Becker and our own current rock star Lisa Twenter, who designed the amazing cover this month to commemorate our milestone. And, of course, we wouldn’t have a magazine at all without all those tireless hours out there promoting the magazine by our sales team. Jennifer Hodges, Marilyn Hamlin and now Manny Garcia are always working hard for their clients. The time has gone by so fast. It has been a blur of fun and amazing stories about wonderful people in our community. It doesn’t mean that it hasn’t had its challenges or that we would ever rest on our laurels. We always are striving to give our community more and finding new ways to give positive news. This month we are launching a sports column aimed at the woman who is interested in learning a bit more about various sporting activities. Fun right? Who doesn’t want to learn how to hang out at sports activities or in front of the TV with the males in your life (did I just say that?) Listen, your husbands, sons or significant others will be so impressed with you and that type of bonding will lead to more chores getting done and basically solve all your problems? Right? Okay, the column won’t solve all your problems, but I have a feeling it’s going to be a fun ride. Over the last five years, we’ve spent a lot of time having fun in our community, but we also realize that giving back is as important. We launched the CAWLM 80s Flashback Fundraiser two years ago and have a great time while supporting nonprofit organizations. This year, we’ll support the Lansing Promise on March 23 at the University Club. I love that we’re supporting education and giving a boost to Lansing’s kids because everything starts with a solid opportunity. The thought that we could be a small part of that feels great. Speaking of education, the magazine is supporting women’s education again this year for the Horizon Conference on Feb. 6 at Cooley Law School. This is an amazing opportunity for women to get actual information that can be implemented into their work lives. It’s important for us to all continue educating ourselves and motivating each other for success. I hope to see you there. Sign up today at horizonmichigan.com. The year is starting out well. Not only are we going into our best year yet (I just know it), we’re going to celebrate with an event to honor all our cover girls and guys. I can’t wait to hear the “rest of the story.” Who knows what has happened since we last heard from them? I think it will be great to find out and get that positive, amazing group of people together in one room. I look forward to telling that story to you next month. Until then, go to CAWLM.com to check out all that’s going on and to get your 80s groove on.
Tiffany Dowling is the Founder and President of M3 Group, a full-service branding agency located in downtown Lansing, Mich. She is also owner and publisher of Capital Area Women’s LifeStyle Magazine and the Greater Lansing Business Monthly. Dowling has helped businesses and organizations with branding needs for more than a decade. Learn more at www.m3group.biz.