Why I’m Grateful for Make It Better’s Powerful Audience

Make It Better August September Best Of 2015 IssueDear Make It Better Readers,

You—our audience—curated our August/September magazine issue and our online “Best of 2015” content. You chose well, too. Thank you.

You cast over 105,000 online votes to choose the Best Of 2015 winners. To be precise, you cast exactly 105,617 online votes. Those are extraordinary numbers!

It’s my great pleasure to present the Best Of 2015 winners to you in the August/September issue, online at makeitbetter.net/bestof2015 and at our Best Of 2015 Celebration at the Chicago Botanic Garden on September 1. (By the way, please be our guests for this music-filled night under the stars in Chicago’s most beautiful outdoor venue by registering at makeitbetter.net/bestofcelebration.)

In the August/September issue though, you didn’t just curate the Best Of 2015 list. You also influenced much of the other content too, because we “reverse publish” from online into print what our audience finds most engaging. This includes content about food, family, fun, fashion, money, love, home, fitness and ways to make a difference.

I’m also particularly proud to share two other newsworthy facts with you:

Fact #1
Make It Better Cofounder Mindy Fauntleroy and I recently received Top Women In Media Folio Awards.make it better folio award top women in media

We were given these awards as Most Inspiring Entrepreneurial Women in New York City on June 8. We were the only regional publishers to win. Other winners included the New York Times, Hearst, Financial Times and the Harvard Business Review. In the publishing world, this was a bit like winning an Oscar. Pretty cool, right? You can see the video at makeitbetter.net/mibtv/folio.

This award was only made possible because of the outstanding quality of our audience. Remember, we reverse publish what you tell us is important to you. Fortunately, because you are smart and have great values, you intuitively create or support win/win scenarios. So following your lead takes us in inspiring and successful directions. Again, thank you very much.

Fact #2
94% of our audience reads our magazines cover to cover.
The Circulation Verification Council (CVC) audit data we recently received proves that our audience keeps our magazines three months or longer, refers others to our content, and intentionally supports our advertisers.

CVC LOGOThis is powerful data. And, again, that is because of you. You are powerful for us too.

Therefore, please keep engaging with Make It Better Media. If you don’t yet do so, please follow us online by subscribing to our biweekly “Better Letter” email newsletter, watching MIB TV videos, joining our vibrant social networks listed below and coming to the events we sponsor.

But, even more importantly, please keep telling us what is important to you. Because you are important to us.

Thank you, very much.

With Warm Regards,


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Writing love letters to a broken world

“We’re writing love letters to a broken world.” – Bonnie McElveen-Hunter

My favorite sentence of the entire, incredible Tiffany Circle International Weekend came from Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, American Red Cross Chair, former US Ambassador to Finland and Founder and CEO of Pace Communications as she described the gathering and the work of the Red Cross:

“We’re writing love letters to a broken world.”

Isn’t that the work we are all meant to do? Amplify the good in our lives with love and help those less fortunate than us?

How proud I am to return home and realize that our Make It Better Philanthropy Award videos and other content do just that! Please see and enjoy too:


I thank MatchCut Video – particularly Producer Adam Rubin and Founding Partner David Canada – and Make It Better staff – CoFounder & VP Mindy Fauntleroy, EIC Julie Chernoff, Editors Lindsay Roseman, Coco Keevan and Anna Carlson, COO Sandy Tsuchida, Art Director Sarah Philippart, Graphic Artist Lesley Smith and Director Of Community Development Denise Borkowski, Ad Sales Manager Megan Holbrook and her talented staff of Patti Augustyn, Julie Carter and Jenny Newman. Their work is extraordinary.

This is my love letter to them. Their good work makes me want to jump for joy, just like these students at Philanthropy Award Winner Y.O.U.:

Dream Big & Like, Friend, Follow, Fan, Connect & Subscribe

Dream Big & Like, Friend, Follow, Fan, Connect & Subscribe

“Dream big, connect to Make It Better, and we’ll help.”

– Susan B. Noyes, Mindy Fauntleroy, Julie Chernoff, Kimberly Carroll, Sarah Philippart, Lindsay Roseman, Coco Keevan, Leslie Smith, Anna Carlson et al

Please connect here:

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I’m Thankful For You Too

I’m thankful for my healthy family gathering around our Thanksgiving table tomorrow.

I am also thankful for my work family – the talented, dedicated Make It Better staff, editors and advertising partners.

I’m particularly thankful for this executive team. They work miracles large and small each day:

Mindy Fauntleroy

Sandy Tschida

Megan Holbrook

She Who Must Not Be Named

And I am most thankful for you, too. Your attention is valuable, your intentions powerful. Happy Thanksgiving.

Running From Crazy, Amplifying The Good

Mariel Hemingway knows crazy. Her family famously has been battling depression, addiction and mental illness for decades – including suicides by her legendary grandfather, Ernest, and model sister, Margaux.

Determined to better understand and stop that family tradition – and hopefully shield her two daughters – Hemingway found that honest introspection and healthy lifestyle choices smashed her own psychological demons and depression. An Oprah-produced documentary about this, Running From Crazy, will hit theatres soon.

Hemingway’s eager to help others too. She recommends 10 easy steps to live a healthier, happier life in her about to be released book and game app “Running With Nature.”

Mariel Hemingway, Mindy Fauntleroy and me, in the family room at Midwest Palliative Center’s Marchak Pavilion

Me, a Midwest Palliative David Tingue, Mindy, and Karen Marchak at the Care Affair, Midwest Palliative’s gala last Saturday night (chaired by Mindy and honoring Karen)

Diane Falanga, Designs 4 Dignity President, and Mariel at last night’s gala

Lives Made Better – 92,901 and counting.

New Digs! And The Tech Mamma Lounge

Make It Better moved today to a vibrant, beautiful, light filled office, created by Maze Homes/Bardes Interiors and Hester Decorating.

Coming soon – an entrepreneurial community work space – The Tech Mamma Lounge!

With CoFounder Mindy Fauntleroy in our gorgeous new office.

856 Lincoln Avenue
Second Floor

Working Success

Look what Re:Working your career can grow!

Keynote speaker Dr. Victoria Husted Medvec at Re:Work III at the Chicago Botanic Garden today, teaching our fabulous audience how to negotiate better for themselves. Wow! It’s a message every woman needs to hear. You can read a synopsis here: http://makeitbetter.net/better-you/careers/4551-negotiating-tips-for-work-and-home

More years ago than I care to admit, I knew that I needed a “What’s Next” plan for my life, and thought, “Hmm…I have the opportunity to practice what I’ve been preaching to my kids. Find what I love and the rest will follow.” The problem – I didn’t know what I loved – besides my family.

It took a lot of introspection, mentoring and resources to discover my calling to be a publisher in the digital age. (It’s ok to call me a slow learner.) But I love to write, make connections, help others and organize many moving pieces – so it seemed a logical, though daunting, career move.

Fortunately, I talked some very smart & savvy women into joining me on this journey, including Mindy Fauntleroy & Kimberly Carroll:

Mindy & Kimberly awarding prizes today at Re:Work III.

They helped launch makeitbetter.net and our print magazine. Soon thereafter we found our way to a great relationship with the Wintrust community banks.

Two years ago, the very smart ladies at the helm of North Shore Community Bank (part of the Wintrust network) recommended that we help more women reinvent or relaunch their careers. Thus the Re:Work Conference was born.

Today was the third Re:Work conference. We’re very proud of how Make It Better connected excellent sponsors and a sophisticated audience around powerful ideas. Thanks to sponsors and presenters:

Eileen Fisher
National Louis University
Coldwell Banker
Stella & Dot
Chicago Aesthetic Surgery Institute
Catherine Johns
Nicole Heinrich, Founder of Career Alignment Coaching Program
Entrepreneurs – Susan Neustrom (Leading to Action) Jule Roberts Blunt (Fresh Ideas clothing store), Carol Neiger (NeigerDesignInc), and Meg Schmitz (FranChoice).
Leanne Berry (Mom Corps Chicago)
Beth Facette-Dent (Dept 11)
Mary Beth Barrett-Newman (2nd Career Consulting)
Nancy Mackevich Glazer (Legal Launch LLC)

Thanks also to our amazing Make It Better media staff – particularly Michelle Weiss and Suzy Hilbrant – for organizing such an inspiring day.

Most importantly, thanks to the 160+ women who came, learned, shared and left inspired. Your participation helps us to grow our network & Re:Work our success. Please send us your follow-up success stories and recommendations. And thanks for helping me grow my dream!