Becoming is an online lifestyle magazine that focuses on the upside of ‘maturing.’ It serves up meaningful and relevant content to women who are at the stage in their lives where they are asking themselves, “What next?” They feel young, wise and confident and deeply want to take advantage of these feelings and qualities to make the very best of the years ahead in all the facets of their lives. Becoming offers inspiration and uplifting information that helps them “navigate life’s next chapter” in terms of what style, décor, travel, cooking, technology and ways of making a difference means for them in this stage of life.
Jennifer Mayerle, Founder & Editor-in-Chief
Jennifer was a journalism major who had big dreams of working for Glamour Magazine (actually her original career dream when she was five was to be a hotel maid, but that’s a story for another time). She read the magazine religiously since her early teens and saved every copy for years. She still has some horrific images of “fashion don’ts” branded in her memory.
The dream never happened. [sad face] After college graduation, she started working in technology PR and marketing, eventually starting her own company in 1997 so she could have the flexibility to be home with her children.
While she loved her career, the dream of working for a magazine stuck with her, and the path that followed led her to the formation of Becoming. Somehow it all came together. It was, as they often say, “the perfect storm.”
Over the course of 30 years, she honed her writing skills, managed large-scale digital media programs, and ghost-tweeted and blogged for prominent corporate executives. All these experiences combined gave her the critical skills and knowledge to create a digital media platform.
At the same time, blogging and self-publishing came into vogue. An abundance of DIY website development tools came on the scene, making it easy to “build your own.” And ways to monetize your online presence (hey, a girl’s gotta eat) began to flourish.
In her personal life circa 2015, she was just two years away from being an empty nester. One balmy summer evening she was sipping on some Stoller Pinot and pondering “life’s next chapter.” She felt still so young and vibrant and had developed the confidence and buoyancy to want to do something momentous – something that was more meaningful to the bottom line of life. And that, dear friends, was the night Becoming was conceived.
When she’s not working at her day job, juggling the many aspects of running a media platform or playing tennis, you’ll find her with her favorite peeps: her husband, Brad, her daughter, Sophia, and her dog Joe (affectionately aka TheBoo).
Maggie O’Connor, Chief Sidekick
Maggie is a hoot. She is one of those people you can just look at and start to laugh because you know she is thinking hysterically funny thoughts.
Jennifer and Maggie both grew up in Lake Oswego, a suburb of Portland, Oregon. But they never crossed paths until 2001. Maggie and her then-husband were patients of Jennifer’s husband, Brad.
They invited Jennifer and Brad to their annual Christmas party.
With some reservation.
Jennifer and Brad were a little wary because they did not know them, so they created ‘back up” excuses in case they wanted to ditch. But those excuses were all for naught. Jennifer and Brad had so much fun we stayed until the wee hours of the morning. The rest, as they say, is history.
Jennifer describes Maggie as a well-bred 1970s East Coast summer mom. She loves it. She gets her guise from a combination of an Irish-Catholic upbringing and her East Coast education at Colgate University. While she has a degree in French, Jennifer’s never heard her even utter a word, not even “hor d’oeuvres.” But tell you what: the girl can write and she is smart as a whip. And that’s why she’s at Becoming.
She got her start at Houghton Mifflin Publishing Co. in Boston after college, working in communications and marketing. After that, she returned to Portland, gave birth to two girls, and “retired” to be a SAHM.
After 12 years at home, she was ready to go “back to work.” But she felt she had no marketable skills except for fundraising, which she did as a volunteer for her daughters’ schools and she learned that her favorite sport is fundraising (and golf). So she started her business, O’Connor Fundraising Strategies, and has been going strong for several years, helping non-profits throughout the Portland metro area.
In 2012, she found that she couldn’t find a winter coat to fit, thus her blog “Something Fat Happened” was born. It’s brilliantly thoughtful with a unique voice and a pinch of sarcasm and humor. It chronicles the twists and turns her life has taken through both tough and joyous times.
Maggie is pretty much a full-time empty nester these days and she resides with her husband in Portland, Oregon.
Susan McPherson, Co-Founder & Chief Connector
Susan is Jennifer’s dear friend from a lifetime ago, and she roped her into joining Becoming during a girls’ trip to the Hamptons. Susan was cornered. Jennifer had hidden the car keys so she couldn’t leave and couldn’t say, “No.” While Susan is not helping Jennifer brainstorm and spread the word about Becoming, she’s a pretty busy gal with a life filled with a million bazillion friends, a to-die-for condo in Brooklyn, a sweet pooch named Phoebe, and a ton of travel adventures. Oh, and she has her own incredibly successful business. Here’s her bio:
Susan McPherson is a serial connector, cause marketer, angel investor, and corporate responsibility expert. She is the founder and CEO of McPherson Strategies, a communications consultancy focusing on the intersection between brands and social good, providing storytelling, partnership creation and visibility to corporations, NGOs and social enterprises. She’s a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review, Triple Pundit, and Forbes and has 25+ years experience in marketing, public relations, and sustainability communications. She is a featured speaker at industry events including Net Impact, Center for Corporate Citizenship’s Annual Summit, DLD Women, TOA Berlin, and Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy’s Summit. Susan founded and hosts the bi-weekly #CSRChat on Twitter.
Currently, Susan invests in and advises women-led technology start-ups, including ZADY, Lover.ly, News Deeply, Hint Water, Apolitical, Arlo Skye, GoldBean and The Muse. She serves on the boards of USA for UNHCR, Girl Rising, The PVBLIC Foundation and the Lower Eastside Girls Club, and previously served on the board of Bpeace. Additionally, she serves as an adviser to several nonprofits, including Girls Who Code, She’s The First, The Adventure Project, and The OpEd Project. Susan is a Vital Voices global corporate ambassador and was named as one of 40 Women to Watch Over 40, Fortune’s 55 Most Influential Women on Twitter, Elle Magazine’s Top 25 Women on Twitter and Fast Company’s 25 Smartest Women of Twitter.