Our Passion-Fueled Mission
Seventeen years ago this month, we published the inaugural issue of Natural Awakenings magazine, with the June 2006 Greater Ann Arbor edition hitting stands for the first time. In 2019, we assumed ownership of the Detroit, Wayne county edition, followed by the launch of Traverse City in 2021 and most recently, our newest Greater Lansing edition in January of this year. The excitement and momentum behind all of this progress remains quite a ride!
Since the beginning, it’s been a passion-fueled mission with endless personal growth opportunities for both of us month after month. We’ve both learned so much and been blessed along the way by the connections we’ve made with many local experts gifted with insights on natural health, spirituality and sustainability.
As we celebrate our anniversary edition this month as well as Father’s Day, we dedicate this issue to all husbands, sons, fathers, brothers and special men who have been fatherly figures for us along the way. Close to our heart is John’s late father—Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp. visionary, co-founder and vice president John Voell, “J2”. Our deep love and appreciation endures for his belief in this venture and in us. We feel his inspiring presence in our lives even to this day.
His adventurous enthusiasm helped Sharon Bruckman, the publishing corporation’s founding CEO, spread Natural Awakenings magazines across the country through a franchised network of local publishers like us. Collectively, this nationwide community comprises a gathering movement of individuals embracing the magazine’s healthy living, healthy planet tag line. It’s clear that countless lives still benefit from J2’s legacy through the magazine. How fortunate we are that his expansive life mission of helping others fulfill their own potential and dreams continues. We sure do love being a part of this.
Additional gratitude goes out to our advertisers, distributors and contributors for their loyal support that makes publishing this free monthly magazine possible. And we will never forget those special advertisers in our very first edition that shared our vision from the start—some of these pioneers are still with us. We hope you will also thank them all by shopping at their stores, using their services and seeking out their expertise.
Our appreciation extends to the entire Natural Awakenings team, several of whom have steadfastly accompanied us on this journey for many years. Their love, commitment and talents bring all the pieces together each month. And the franchise’s new CEO, Kimberly Whittle, is uniting our magazine network with KnoWEwell, an online hub connecting readers and practitioners across the globe. This collaboration and continued expansion is exciting to see!
We’d especially like to thank you, dear reader, for picking up Natural Awakenings each month and joining other kindred spirits in our collective journey of relishing an awakened life and creating the kind of world we know is possible. One of the splendors of Natural Awakenings’ readership is that you continue to lead our community toward reclaiming more natural, healthy, balanced and sustainable lifestyles. Each of us plays a valuable role as we encourage others to join in, and together we stand for positive change.
If time is a river, then we are certainly enjoying the flow as we celebrate bringing you this wonderful community resource. We truly appreciate being a part of an organization that shines its light on new possibilities for important issues—elevating humanity, ourselves and our Dear Mother Earth.
Onward to the exhilarating journey!
John and Trina Voell