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Following Dreams

“Magazine Publisher”

Taylor: Tell me exactly what you do as a magazine publisher.

Lori: Something you have to do is surround yourself with people who are very talented, which is what I have done.  Then, you need to let them do what they do best. Also, as a publisher, you sometimes have to put out fires (solve problems). Basically, I oversee the business part of Style Weekly Magazine.


Taylor: How long have you been a publisher?

Lori:  It’s been two years. I’ve been in the magazine and publishing business for about 6 years, but I’ve been a publisher for two years.

Lori shares with me other magazines she is a part of.

Taylor: What are the steps to becoming a publisher?

Lori: You have to understand the business of publishing. I started as an account executive in advertising sales. I worked my way up to the advertising director and then I became publisher.  Education is very important, and real life experiences help guide you to the path of being a publisher.


Taylor: Where did you go to school and what did you study?

Lori: I went to Mary Washington College and I studied theater! I did not think I was going to be in publishing or journalism or anything like that. I thought I was going to be the next Cameron Diaz. I guess reality set in and I realized I wasn’t going to be able to be an actor. I performed on a dinner cruise boat in Washington D.C. for about 5 years. When I was there performing, I started to look at the business that was going on around me. I saw that they were making a good amount of money. They were also helping a lot of people and having fun doing it. So, I got out of theater which I loved and started looking into business which became what I loved.


Taylor: Did you want to act even when you were 12 years old?

Lori: I did, I wanted to act for a long time. It’s a lot of little girl’s dreams.

Art work of the city of Richmond, VA in the halls of her building.

Taylor: Who were your mentors?

Lori: There were a couple of women. My mother was a high school principal, and she was one of the first female principals in our area. One thing she always did was keep family first and her career second. Watching her balancing those things so well, and being that she had such a strong personality, was very inspiring. Next, my Godmother was a director at a theater so she helped guide me when I was pursuing singing and dancing.


Taylor: Were you involved in any school activities or sports?

Lori:  I ran track for a little while, did cheerleading, and I was in musicals and choir.


Taylor: What would you say is one of your fondest memories growing up?

Lori: My grandparents had a place on the river. It was a little cottage with no air conditioning, but we spent a lot of time crabbing and fishing. We would have on old, stinky, fish smelling clothes, but I loved every second of it.


Taylor:  Do you remember having any peer pressures growing up?

Lori: Oh yeh! I remember it being very hard. There were always the girls that were bullying. A girl that sat behind me in my eighth grade class was one of the bullies. One day, I got home from school and realized that she had drawn on the back of my sweater. I was really upset, but I knew what I needed to do. I went to school and told her that I knew what she had done and I told her that she would never do it to me again.


Taylor: What would you say is your favorite part about being a publisher?

Lori: My favorite part is being able to work with very creative people. I am also able to learn from those people. Even though I’m technically the boss, in every role I have, I still need to be humble and continue to learn.


Taylor: Do you have a favorite story or issue that you have worked on?

Lori: There are issues I like that unfortunately question some of the things that our government is doing. Even though the tone of it isn’t always upbeat or positive, I’m still proud of those times when we can be a voice for the people.

Lori remembers all the great stories that have run in Style Weekly Magazine.

Taylor: If any girls want to become magazine publishers when they grow up, what advice and what studies do you recommend for them?

Lori: You need to make sure that when you make a promise, you are willing to keep it. I did not graduate from college. Most publishers must have a college degree. My biggest regret is that I never finished school.  So, whatever you need to do to help yourself along in life, do it.


Taylor: You are going to speak to girls all around the world through Do you have any words of encouragement for them?

Lori: It’s okay if you don’t know what you want to be when you grow up. If you think you know what you are going to do, and down the road you discover it’s not something you want to continue, that’s ok. That’s just going to help you become the women and the person you are supposed to be.



Click to play a "shout out" from Lori




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