Hi, I'm Linda (Warner) Hanf McIntosh
Owner/Publisher of Around Here Magazine

I grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona, when it was a very small town surrounded by open space and clusters of citrus groves. Camelback Mountain was the closest natural monument. Looking back, I loved growing up there. I loved the annual Parada Del Sol sponsored by the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce each year. Since I had four siblings and because our mother was a very busy piano teacher, our family met and knew a lot of the other residents in Scottsdale. This played a part in why I started a local magazine. That is, I like the feel of a small and active town. I'm fascinated by what makes up a great community.

I dreamt up Around Here Magazine in 1994. It simmered in my mind for a couple years.

It was a lot of fun deciding on its focus, the content, and the look. And it was some work getting it going. I compare it to raising children: some work, forever interesting, a lot of fun, and full of love and worry.

My background was rooted deeply in community, since I'd worked at weekly community newspapers. I decided that a general-interest community-focused magazine reflecting the foothills of Western El Dorado County was the best choice. The blend of content would include activities, events, local history, and more.... all based on the gems of this area and focused on the region's people, places and things.

Also, having always loved the longtime traditional magazines for parts of their content, I was influenced by them, drawing from specifics: National Geographic (the natural beauty and wonder and caring for nature), Saturday Evening Post (great articles, interesting departments, cartoons), The Farmers' Almanac (the weather, the gardening), and Readers' Digest (the jokes, quotes, short features). If I could roll those kinds of elements into what I knew (community), I think El Dorado County residents would love it.

Residents did... and Around Here Magazine was thereby launched and achieved success. It is the longest running Magazine in Western El Dorado County (since 1994) and also claims the status as the most widely-read and loved.

Credits:

My daughter Shareen Baker helped me with the magazine at the start (administrative organization, ideas), and she came up with the content of the Kids' page - which ran in the beginning - and illustrated it.

My daughter Christy Fletcher is the From the Kitchen editor. She followed in the footsteps of other food editors and has now been serving for at least 15 years, coming up with the recipes for each seasonal issue.

Paul (former husband) helped with distribution for the first couple years, then served as sometimes technical adviser and occasional sounding board (along with my sisters in other states).

Today, AHM is still a sole proprietorship operated by me. Many, many people - advertisers, community, friends, and family - have helped to build it, making the magazine a success and grassroots part of the community.

Finale:

As sole owner of Around Here Magazine, a few roles are filled by me: manager, graphic designer, and janitor. A couple independent contractors provide very part-time services. For me, mostly managing fills an average number of hours in a week, about 32 hours.

The rewards have been many including: flexible hours; working at home; interacting with the community; and living in the beautiful foothills in a smart-growing region. The magazine is so well-known it practically rolls on its own with ads and content arriving easily from the community. All this has provided a wonderful life in a wonderful community!

I hope you find the magazine to be what is intended: truly community, down to earth, grass-roots informative, interesting, fun and reflecting our beautiful foothills area. Let me know if that's been achieved or how it can be made better! I hope to meet you Around Here!

Linda