Magazines have always been close to my heart. I sometimes even preferred them to reading a book. As a young girl visiting my Grandmother, who subscribed to Life Magazine, we occupied our time together devouring the photos and stories in this oversized publication. As a teenager, I had the same devotion to Seventeen and Glamour, especially when the fall (back to school) editions were delivered. My bookshelves are crammed with years of Vanity Fair, Vogue, and other fashion inspired magazines. Some of which I just can't part with.

When Benicia Magazine was first published in 2005, I was immediately attracted to its oversized dimensions.  Back then it was called Inside Benicia, and the Publisher/Founder Jeanne Steinmann had hit on a need in the community for local information. Jeanne, who served on the Benicia Unified District Board, focused those first issues on the award-winning Benicia schools. Benicia Magazine received a new name and look around 2010. It had a standardized size and glossy look that was easier to handle and read. By then it had evolved into a premier monthly lifestyle and community publication that sought to maintain truth and integrity with every issue.

I started contributing to the magazine shortly after I started my business, Christina S, in 2006. Writing a monthly column gave me a creative outlet that I had never had the opportunity to explore. I have written about my travels, fashion, moving, riding in a biplane and nearly 15 years of crazy experiences. With each issue, I have grown as a storyteller and have a bit of a following. I love hearing that people actually read what I write. My Grandmother would be so proud.

Are magazines making a comeback? Did they ever really go away? I believe that the printed word is here to stay. It may have morphed into digital for a while, but I believe both can live together simultaneously. When Jeanne decided to retire from her creation this year, we talked about the ‘what’s next?’ Neither one of us wanted to see the end of what Benicia has come to expect every month in their mailboxes.

Enter Mary Hand! Mary came into my life about a year ago, serving as my campaign chair when I ran for City Council. She lives here in Benicia and has an extensive background in publishing.

Mary has produced publications in large municipalities and for the State of California with award winning California Snow. She was also the founder and publisher of Destinations West and helped produce Tahoe Quarterly.  With Mary onboard as Editor and Chief and Margaret Bowles staying on as Art Director, I knew that the team was in place to continue the legacy. Many of the same writers are eager to stay on and we will be attracting some new talent as well. My husband Scott is the Publisher and although we are not sure what that means, he likes the title.

I never thought about owning a magazine. Now more than ever the printed word is essential to bringing our community together with information about our unique place in history.  Let the new chapter begin!