NEW YORK — "If you do what you love, everything else will fall into place."
Those words from Cathrine Khom, founder and editor-in-chief of the ascendant California-based art magazine Local Wolves, may have been spoken just minutes into the event, but they certainly captured the tone of the 2017 Folio: Top Women in Media luncheon, held Wednesday afternoon at the Edison Ballroom in Midtown Manhattan.
Since the days of LC and Whitney's iconic run as interns at Teen Vogue on the MTV series The Hills, Khom, like so many other millennials, had dreamed of working for a magazine. Today, she says, she's living that dream.
Altogether, nearly 200 media pro's, friends, and family gathered to share similar experiences as the 85-member-strong 2017 class was recognized at the elegant Times Square ballroom — which, at times, felt as much like the set of an Andrew Lloyd Webber production as an industry recognition event.
Guest presenters including past honoree and Scholastic Teacher editor-in-chief, Tara Welty, as well as Joe Hyrkin, CEO of the program's sponsor, Issuu, recognized recipients across six categories: Rising Stars, Director-Level Doers, Industry Leaders, Entrepreneurs, Mentors, and Corporate Visionaries. Through them all, however, a sentiment of fellowship and mutual inspiration remained consistent, as well as the feeling that, clearly, the magazine industry isn't the old boys' club it once was.
Carol J. Ott, founder, publisher and editor-in-chief of Habitat magazine, stated things more visually.
"Industry conferences like the MPA's are no longer the sea of suits they once were."
Indeed, this year's honorees ran the gamut from representatives of the biggest players, like Meredith's Melinda Lee or O, The Oprah Magazine's Lucy Kaylin, to purveyors of brilliant regional or B2B titles like 417's Logan Aguirre or Jobson's Nancy Ness.
Ann Shoket, the former Seventeen editor-in-chief and author of the new book The Big Life — a young professional playbook and, fittingly, an ode to female empowerment — delivered a captivating keynote, advising the honorees to compete less and collaborate more.
"Millennials are leading the way for all of us to live the most fulfilling lives and careers possible," Shoket said.