Doing our best to serve the heroes

We published our first issue of Rocky Mountain Parent magazine in June 1996, 25 years ago. It was called Front Range Parent when we launched, and I’ll spare you the story of the name change, but it involved attorneys and a weird twist from a Denver-based parent magazine that no longer exists.

Anyway, Kristin and I were just thumbing through that first issue. What a little walk down memory lane. Our kids, Aly and Andy, were on that first cover along with Ashley Royals. Turns out that we’ve been publishing for a generation and Ashley’s daughter, Hailey, is going to be on our cover next month. Isn’t that fun? Andy’s child is due any minute and I’m guessing that Baby will make the cover this year too. In fact, this year we plan to seek out parents who were cover kids and put their kids on the cover. I’m talking to you, Cameron!

The back-cover advertiser was CSU Sports Camps. Kristin remembers M.L. Johnson calling in before that first issue saying, “I want your back cover!” That was a great start. A couple of businesses that advertised in that first issue are still with us today: Canyon Concert Ballet and Karate West.  Congrats to them for still serving parents too!

We started the magazine with a profound desire to be a resource for parents in northern Colorado, with an emphasis on health, education, recreation and the occasional dive into other compelling topics. We’ve met a boatload of wonderful people along the way and found support when we’ve least expected it. It’s been a journey for sure.

It started as an idea when I was in journalism grad school with two young children. It struck me that parents are heroes. They get up every day, work, run the household and then, on top of all the challenges of just living in this world, they do the most important thing: They care for their children. I carried that idea with me and when a friend sent me a newspaper clipping (yes, via mail) of a family in Oregon that had started a locally based parenting magazine, I split from my partners in another publishing venture, and we dove into this.

And yes, starting a business on a shoestring with two kids is not really a secure, possibly responsible, thing to do. But it worked out, pretty much. They survived and are contributing members of society.

And we couldn’t have done it without a committed team who have been with us for years. Advertising Director and co-owner, Greg Hoffman, has been the driving force behind revenue since 1997. Emily Zaynard, creative director, has been making us look good since 2008, and Distribution Manager, Susan Harting, has been making sure that the magazine gets out to where you can find for nearly a decade. Thanks team!

Well, enough for now. I’ll probably have some more of these strolls over the year. I hope that you’ll join me.