December 2013 Publisher Letter
About four years ago, when I initially inquired about publishing a Natural Awakenings magazine in my hometown, the first person I spoke with at company headquarters was John Voell. I began our phone conversation cautiously, even a bit skeptically. Yet, his warm and genuine manner quickly made me feel at home, and we ended up spending several hours discussing many topics that beckoned me to explore further. Originally hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, himself, John was particularly enthusiastic about establishing a Natural Awakenings presence in the Metro Milwaukee area.
To his credit, John’s kind support and encouragement continued unabated as I did my homework and deliberated for several months. He spent hours on the phone with me, patiently walking me through my fear of making such a big life change and inspiring me to take a “leap of faith.” He made it clear that becoming a Natural Awakenings publisher must be a decision of the heart, because when we take action from a place of love our fears dissolve. Love and fear cannot co-exist. It turned out to be the best decision of my life.
In the end, he said, we must ask ourselves: “How many souls did I help in this lifetime?” Over the years, John helped more than 100 publishers and millions of readers in the U.S. and Puerto Rico change their lives and their communities for the better as a result of his idea to franchise the magazine, starting in 1999. Collectively, we are living the principles of natural, sustainable health for people and the planet and spreading the word of the benefits. Together we are contributing to a major paradigm shift in thinking about living well that is changing the world.
John Voell passed away in October at the age of 70, leaving our franchise family sad, yet gratefully indebted for the ability to carry on the world-changing legacy that he left us. I am so glad that he believed in me and in the potential for our community, and am honored to be part of the Natural Awakenings family.
Wishing you a magical holiday season and joyous year filled with love,
Gabriella Buchnik, Publisher