In 1999, Jorrie Johnson (Hansen) was working as the director of marketing for a computer hardware, software and services company. There were many changes happening in that industry and challenges she faced working as an employee for a company she didn’t own. She had two young children at home and wanted to be more connected with her family.

She started looking for a business opportunity of her own. After researching the success of a women’s magazine in Duluth, Minnesota, the Women Today magazine (thewomantoday.com). She took the leap in January 2000 and left her regular full-time position to start Rochester Women magazine.

In the beginning Rochester Women was produced by a lean crew. The publisher herself handled accounting, sales and distribution of 15,000 copies of Rochester Women magazine. There was one editor who took most of the photos needed for editorial and ads, one graphic artist and a handful of freelance writers.

After a couple of years in business and success printing at Midwest Litho, Johnson (Hansen) partnered with Doug Solinger. Together they also started Coulee Region Women magazine in La Crosse, Wis.

In 2018, Jorrie Johnson regained sole ownership of Rochester Women magazine. In 2020, Jorrie sold the business to Emily Watkins.

Emily Watkins.

Emily comes from a background of teaching, fitness and small business ownership. She is married to Justin, and they have two sons, James and Danny, and one German Shepherd/Husky mix named Kai. She loves to travel, read, write, cook and garden, and she exercises because she knows it’s good for her. She also exercises so she can enjoy drinking red wine and eating good food!

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the magazine had a different printing schedule in 2020,
skipping the May/June issue and printing an August issue instead of a July/August issue.
The magazine is produced by a team of independent contractors.
Rochester Women magazine publishes six bi-monthly issues per year.

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