ABOUT NEXT AVENUE
Where Grown-ups Keep Growing
America is in the midst of an age boom and with it, an amazing transition. In general, those of us over the age of 50 are expected to live longer than any previous generation.
We're in the process of creating a new life stage that lies somewhere between young adulthood and "old-old" adulthood. This stage doesn't have a name. We call it Adult Part 2. And if you're reading this you're probably smack dab in it.
You're aware that many years of life lie ahead of you and, very likely, you have a different set of expectations for these "bonus years" than you had for earlier adulthood. You sense that you can somehow apply your knowledge and experiences in a meaningful way. Yet you may not know exactly how to achieve this new vision or see all the many possibilities available to you as you navigate the physical, health, work, and financial shifts that inevitably accompany this phase.
Enter Next Avenue. We're a group of public television people and journalists who, for the most part, are experiencing the very same things you are. Like you, we see both challenges and opportunities and we recognize that what we could all use right about now is an abundance of reliable information that can help us figure out what's, well, next.
So we aim to deliver that—in a way that's both smart and accessible.
If you think we could do a better job, we want you to tell us so. In fact, we want your input on a lot of things. There are places throughout the site that let you give us feedback, share your experiences and send us your stories.
Thanks for walking with us down Next Avenue.
Who We Are
We're all passionate about delivering good, solid, trustworthy information and compelling perspectives that can transform people's lives. Most of us are in our Adult Part 2 and on the journey with you. There are a few terrific young adults on our team who are dead set on paving the way for their peers who'll someday turn down this avenue with them.
I learned the power of media in 1999 when, three weeks after launching the PBS KIDS brand, two kids in my neighborhood saw the new logo on my watch and ran around singing "PBS KIDS, doink!" All of the educational moments we built into every minute and what stuck? The "doink" we added as a mnemonic in the breaks just for fun. But I knew they were learning anyway. How could they not with Sesame Street, Clifford and the others?
Prior to entering the PBS world, I spent eight years at Northwest Airlines building the leisure brands, two years at a welfare to work nonprofit and I had my own brand and design company – all wonderful experiences. But nothing was more rewarding than being part of PBS KIDS. I spent ten years at PBS, in part as head of audience and brand strategy, and I can share so many fulfilling moments. But Next Avenue may trump all of those. Not long ago I sat down with my 83-year-old father showing him the site, reading articles and watching video (from long-term care to quilts using tea bags!). He said, "This is really going to help a lot of people." I thought, "doink!"
President and CEO, Twin Cities Public Television (tpt)
I inadvertently killed a hamster in biology lab my junior year as a biology major at Princeton University, scrapped the idea of going to medical school and began to work with a producer of Mister Rogers Neighborhood. Over three decades later, I still am thriving in the PBS world as the President of tpt in St. Paul Minnesota – the organization that incubated and created Next Avenue. I began my career inspired by the work of Fred Rogers and the people at Sesame Street seeing what an incredible impact television could have in the lives of children. Today I am so pleased to be among a team of people who are harnessing the power of the media to inspire, engage, and inform folks (me among them) as they embark on the journey of growing older and wiser.
I was fortunate to be able to float up through the hole in the glass ceiling as soon as it cracked open and join the ranks of journalists trying to keep pace with boomer interests. When my cohorts moved into their first homes and determined that design, gardening, parenting and cuisine were the ultimate means of self-expression, I bought my own place, cooked up a storm on a restaurant-grade stove, raised two rambunctious sons and documented others' takes on similar pursuits from a series of editorial perches (Senior Editor at Metropolitan Home; Design & Style Editor at Food & Wine magazine; Editor in Chief of This Old House, Country Accents and Home magazines; Editorial Director of the Women's Day Special Publications and pointclickhome.com). When my kids left for college and we all began swapping pixels for paper, I shed the house, the stuff and the jobs in favor of a path more in sync with my generation’s new priorities—living simply, giving back and becoming an entrepreneur. I began directing the magazine/digital program at NYU's Summer Publishing Institute and launched a media consultancy focused on emergent digital enterprises (among my many gigs during this period: Editor at Large at the multimedia online magazine, FLYP). That led me to Next Avenue and a golden opportunity to clue us all into ways to live adulthood’s second stage with even more insight, grace and vibrancy than we expressed in the first.
On Twitter: @stylestorymedia
Somebody once suggested that I change the title in my email signature to "Journalist, Dork." And when it comes down to it, that's really who I am. I grew up in newspaper and television newsrooms and I love playing a part in great storytelling. I also just happened to have purchased a few old school Atari computers with my lawn mowing money when I was a kid. So when technical or geeky questions come up among my co-workers, they often just say: "Go ask John. He might be able to figure it out." That combination of being a journalist who can wander his way around the technical side of what we do -- lead me to where I am today. I joined Twin Cities Public Television as Vice President of Interactive Media in late 2010. I'd spent more than 12 years at WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, Minn., and before that I worked in several other television newsrooms around the Midwest. I and the awesome team that helped pull nextavenue.org together hope you enjoy your time here!
I am passionate about social change and public service. Throughout my career, I've cultivated expertise in branding, communications strategy, marketing partnerships and account management — all to help strengthen nonprofits and public media. Now, I'm responsible for building the Next Avenue brand. I lead traffic-building promotion, marketing, public relations, paid media and advertising, partnerships, affiliate relations, social media and outreach. I work with my staff to develop, execute and analyze communications strategies that grow the Next Avenue audience.
I've always been good with words. Ever since I was a little boy, writing was the way I distinguished myself from the other kids, invariably with an eye toward pleasing my mom. I'd fill pages and pages with precocious haikus and rip-offs of Edgar Allan Poe and she'd get such a kick out of them, it made me want to write more, and the more I wrote, the more my mom delighted in her talented boy (we were textbook Drama of the Gifted Child). I endlessly sought her love and approval, never realizing that she'd love me even if I didn't sweat blood for it. And that's pretty much the Freudian seed of who I am today. I've worked as an editor at Rolling Stone and Men's Health and have written for such publications as The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, GQ, Men's Journal, and Antenna. I'm still trying to make my mom proud.
In a small local radio station in Iowa, my fascination with the power of media and technology to connect people began. At Next Avenue, I combine that fascination with my love of learning. As the Next Avenue Research and Communications Specialist by day, and a college Broadcasting Instructor by night, I am constantly looking at how new technology is changing the way we communicate. Prior to Next Avenue I served as a Webmaster for the State of Minnesota where I further honed my public affairs skills and helped to develop social media strategy. Now, I analyze what content is resonating with our audience and how they share that information with their friends and colleagues. I am also the contact hub for the 80 plus public television stations in the Next Avenue network from Hawaii to New York.
Public media can connect, inform and inspire communities in pretty incredible ways. I come to Next Avenue with rich experience engaging audiences at all levels of the broadcast media industry—from managing Wisconsin Public Television's award-winning series of Community Forums on Race & Diversity, to teaching independent filmmakers how to extend the impact of their work at the National Center for Media Engagement. I am passionate about new communication technologies and trends, and believe good content becomes great when shared and discussed with others. I hold a master's degree from Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Communication and live in Los Angeles, Calif.
I manage Next Avenue's online video partnerships and curate the site's visual media. Previously at PBS Interactive, I worked on digital strategy, product development, and editorial standards for the API distributing local and national digital content. I also had the honor to work with national web producers from NOVA, HISTORY DETECTIVES, AMERICAN MASTERS, MASTERPIECE and many more. In a past life, I was a policy analyst and new content producer on international security and trade for Jane's Information Group and the Council on Foreign Relations. I am the co-author of Jane's Citizen's Safety Guide and contributing editor of Jane's Crisis Communications Guide.
I have a B.A. in Economic Theory & International Affairs and a M.A. in Political Science from American University, Washington, DC.
I manage relationships with media organizations, non-profit groups and government agencies for Next Avenue. I joined Next Avenue in 2010, eager to help create a website to help people improve their lives, plan their futures and explore new interests. Work on Next Avenue blends my passions for journalism and social good.
Next Avenue is my second opportunity to help start a major website, having joined CNN.com before its launch in 1995. Through 2005, I held a variety of editorial and news management roles - writing about the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, creating an online memorial for 9/11, covering the 2004 political races and developing CNN's first correspondent blogs for Hurricane Katrina as head of CNN's TV/Web Integration team.
Before joining Next Avenue, I taught legal reporting and online at Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism and produced web content for Oprah.com. I earned my bachelor's degree in art history and English at Georgetown University and MSJ from Northwestern. I am based in Washington, DC where I enjoy keeping up with my family, cycling and trying to get tomatoes to grow in my backyard.
I'm the Senior Web Editor of nextavenue.org's Money & Security and Work & Purpose channels, and have been helping people manage their finances and careers throughout my own career. I've been a writer and senior-level editor at major media outlets including Money, Yahoo, CBS MoneyWatch, USA Today, and Good Housekeeping. My Money article about the financial concerns facing the first baby boomers turning 40 led to my book, How to Avoid a Mid-Life Financial Crisis. I have also written The Money Book of Personal Finance. At Money, I invented the magazine's popular franchise: The Best Places to Live In America. The father of two recent college grads, I'm doing my best to ensure that my sons develop responsible money habits while trying not to be a helicopter parent to them. I'm proud to say that I began investing in a 401(k) the minute I was eligible and started stashing money away for college as soon as my sons were born. But, like many people, I wish I had saved even more for my eventual retirement.
On Twitter: @richeis315
As someone from a small town in Upstate New York, I've always been amazed at my good providence to land in journalism jobs that were personally meaningful to me. And somehow, like Forrest Gump, I always found myself smack in the middle of some larger cultural Zeitgeist. In the 1980s I worked for a magazine (Avenue—my "first Avenue") that chronicled New York's movers and shakers, including Wall Street's "masters of the universe." For the next decade, when celeb journalism was exploding, I covered entertainment for a number of magazines (InStyle, Redbook, The Cable Guide), and spent the decade after that as editor in chief of two "enthusiast" magazines dedicated to subjects I am personally passionate about and that the world was just waking up to (Vegetarian Times, Pilates Style). Last November fortune really shined on me, when I was hired as the editor of the Living + Learning channel here. Being able to write and edit stories on topics as wide-ranging as home arts, relationships, reinvention, travel, style and spirituality gives me the opportunity to stay immersed in the issues our generation faces as we approach "Adulthood 2.0."
On Twitter: @gerbersuzanne
I'm thrilled to be joining all of you here as the editor of our Health & Well-Being and Caregiving areas. As someone who learned at an early age how to help care for my father, who would live with Parkinson's for more than 30 years, and then worked with my siblings to find quality long-term care for both him and my late mother, I've lived the crises that fuel our Caregiving section. I've had my own midlife health and well-being concerns as well. When I found myself to be a forty-something father of three falling further and further out-of-shape, I lost nearly 50 pounds in a year, while blogging about that journey each week for AOL. My professional path has taken me through various life cycles, from writing and editing children's books, textbooks, and magazines at Scholastic and McGraw-Hill, to working on publications for young adults like Teen People, to contributing to magazines for families like Parents, Woman's Day, and Nick Jr. I graduated from those roles to become part of the team at more "mature" outlets like The Week, Parade, and Grandparents.com, where I served as editor-in-chief for two years before arriving at Next Avenue, where I look forward to seeing what comes next for all of us.
On Twitter: @GaryDrevitch
I've been a journalist for three decades, and that probably comes as more of a surprise to me than anyone else. When I was in high school in Minnesota, people would ask me if I planned to go into journalism. "No!" I declared. "I hate journalism." But once I found out what journalism was really about -- providing people with information and telling the truth -- I developed a passion for it.
Before joining Next Avenue as copy editor, I was an editor at The New York Times for 21 years. I also had stops at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota, the Edwardsville Intelligencer in Illinois, the Texarkana Gazette and the Pampa News in Texas. I have also worked for the websites Politics Daily, Daily Source and Women's Voices for Change.
Since 1995, I have been an adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and am delighted to count several Pulitzer Prize winners among my former students.
On Twitter: @cabara
I feel like I've come full circle with my job as Articles Editor at nextavenue.org. Some 40 years ago, I started my writing and editing career at the San Francisco Examiner - from there, I went on to have staff positions at such national magazines as People, Cooking Light and Body + Soul. After a long run in publishing, Next Avenue has rekindled the fire I felt as a young newspaper reporter, when everyday meant I got to write about an informative event or interview a compelling personality. Not only does Next Avenue keep me up-to-date on what my generation is up to and what's coming, it has a knowledge base of where we've been and what we've accomplished. Like a newspaper, we publish every day, so information is presented in a lively manner. Like so many of my generation, I know first-hand that keeping active mentally (and physically) keeps you energized; for that reason, I went back to Boston University at age 60 to complete my master's in journalism. Although I'm a veteran journalist, I like to think of myself as a recent college grad – one who just scored an exciting new job.
On Twitter: @jrstark
In the immortal words of author Tom Robbins, "I don't have a career--I have a careen." I started as the editor of a weekly newspaper on Long Island, jumped to a McGraw-Hill trade publication in New York and veered to WWD and W, where I interviewed dozens of celebrities. Then, as a freelancer, I was all over the road. Features for Cosmopolitan, Harper's Bazaar, Self and Smart Money. Op-ed pieces in The Washington Post and Newsday. Two commercial campaigns for ESPN. Three shows for the fledgling Food Network. Cover stories for Men's Journal and Popular Mechanics. Contributing editor at Men's Health. Numerous lengthy stints as walk-in deputy editor at InStyle. Along the way there was also an extended stretch as editor-in-chief of Unlimited, an award-winning action/adventure magazine where I got to say these magic words: "I'm going to Maui on an expense account." Now I've swerved onto Next Avenue. As the Editor at Large, I'm here to make every story hit on all cylinders, from informative to entertaining. Something tells me it's going to be quite a ride.
Fonts, colors, and images excite me. I have been working as a graphic designer for 8 years and 4 of those have been for Twin Cities Public Television. I jumped at the opportunity to design the Next Avenue site as web design is one of my favorite creative pursuits. Web design is both challenging and rewarding, which is what keeps me coming back for more. When I am not glued to a computer screen I enjoy disc golf, movies, biking, broom ball, and hanging out with my son and wife. I am pleased to be a part of this initiative and to be working with such a great team of dedicated media buffs.
Next Avenue has developed formal relationships with key content sources that provide articles and video for nextavenue.org. View our list of content sources to learn more about these government agencies, non-profit organizations, independent media producers, and public television stations.
The Atlantic Philanthropies is a limited life foundation dedicated to bringing about lasting changes in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people.
Atlantic makes grants through its four programme areas - Ageing, Children & Youth, Population Health, and Reconciliation & Human Rights - and through Founding Chairman grants. Programmes funded by Atlantic operate in Bermuda, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United States and Viet Nam.
The Helen Bader Foundation, Inc. strives to be a philanthropic leader in improving the quality of life of the diverse communities in which it works. The Foundation makes grants, convenes partners, and shares knowledge to affect emerging issues in key areas. Based in Milwaukee, the Foundation has awarded more than $200 million in grants and $10 million in Program Related Investments since 1992.
The General Mills Foundation invests in and collaborates with community organizations and programs that unleash the power of food across a spectrum of social issues, including hunger, nutrition and healthy active lifestyles. In addition, our community support extends to K-12 education, social services (family life) and arts and culture.
Land O'Lakes Foundation is committed to improving the quality of life in communities where Land O'Lakes, Inc. has members, employees, plants and facilities. Land O'Lakes Foundation proactively helps rural communities prosper and prepare for tomorrow by donating resources that develop and strengthen organizations dedicated to human service, education and youth, civic and art endeavors.
Established in 1969, the Mardag Foundation is the legacy of Agnes Ober. The Foundation provides grants to nonprofit organizations that enhance quality of life, inspire learning, revitalize communities and build capacity for the arts across the state of Minnesota. Agnes' passion lives on through the work of her descendants who serve on the Foundation's board. The Foundation is an affiliate of Minnesota Philanthropy Partners. Learn more at mardag.org and mnpartners.org.
Medtronic is the global leader in medical technology- alleviating pain, restoring health, and extending life for people with chronic disease conditions. Each year, Medtronic therapies help more than seven million people around the world resume everyday activities, return to work, and live better, longer lives.
Additional Support Provided By
Next Avenue got its start at Twin Cities Public Television, and it is likely that nearly everyone at tpt has played a part in bringing Next Avenue to fruition. Many thanks to every employee who helped make Next Avenue possible.
Yamamoto is a full-service Minneapolis-based agency that moves mountains for clients by harnessing the power of bold ideas and brilliant execution. We are an MDC Partners agency and a co-sponsor of Brand Matters, the leading speakers' forum on marketing in the Twin Cities.
The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society — and its 5,400+ members — is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public.
Founded in 1945, GSA is the driving force behind the promotion of gerontology — both domestically and internationally. Its members come from over 40 countries.
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