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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Passing the Torch

Jan 30, 2023 11:39AM ● By Sharon Bruckman

I started the new year feeling a bit lighter than I’ve felt in decades. In December, I sold the Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp. franchise which I have helmed for 25 years. Over all those seasons, the franchisee/publisher family ebbed and flowed; at one point, we reached as many as 94 distinct markets across America. It was both challenging and joyous, a whirlwind and a privilege.

When I originally launched the first Natural Awakenings in 1994 to serve the greater Naples/Fort Myers area, I could never have imagined all the places our little (or not-so-little) magazine would travel and the countless lives it would touch. Looking back, I remember the tremendous amount of work and feel great pride in our remarkable achievements. But I knew a while back it was time for me to pass this bright torch to someone that was capable of taking Natural Awakenings into the future.

My first meeting with Kimberly Whittle in 2019 soon turned into a three-day brainstorming session with members of her team. Sitting around a conference table here in Naples, strong connections were forged as we recognized so many common aspirations. Kimberly was just about to launch her own new venture, KnoWEwell, an incredibly sophisticated whole-health platform designed to provide online services similar to what Natural Awakenings had been offering in print. Over the next three years, we collaborated on some projects until finally on December 1, 2022, it all came together! The rest will be history. Read more on page 11.

In the meantime, I am still the publisher of this dearly beloved local edition of Natural Awakenings and turning more of my attention in this direction. After a taste of this newfound freedom, I am exploring the possibility of handing over the torch to someone who shares the same mission and vision for our readers and advertisers here in Southwest Florida. If becoming the publisher of this magazine is something you would like to explore, you can reach me at [email protected].

As always, you’ll find this month’s special Heart Health edition filled with tips and resources for living your best life. Enjoy!

Many Blessings,

Sharon Bruckman