Our guest speaker for the February, 2016 meeting was Ms. Nan Kavanaugh, Editor of First Coast Magazine and HealthSource Magazine. As a long-time resident of Fernandina Beach and now Jacksonville, Nan is very familiar with the local culture, business environment and social life. She has helped develop First Coast Magazine into one of the premier publications in Florida with it’s carefully chosen topics, well-written articles and outstanding visual presentation. You may have noticed many of Amelia Island’s businesses and personalities covered in its pages over the last couple of years.
Nan gave an excellent presentation that was well received by the record sized crowd. (We had 49 attendees. Congratulations to you all!) She gave a brief overview of the state of the print media business and the challenges faced in an electronic-heavy world. The outstanding success of First Coast Magazine is partially attributed to it’s narrow focus on items of interest to people of the First Coast region, and of course its high quality writing, images and production. She also reviewed some of the stories presented in First Coast Magazine and what constitutes good subject choices. During her presentation she acknowledged what a strong international presence there is here in the area, especially on Amelia Island. Which, of course, is near to our hearts.
Nan brought along copies of the magazine for everyone to review and to take home if desired. She also presented a free subscription at our drawing, which was won by Michael Harrison. Congratulations, Michael!
Writer first and editor second, Nan Kavanaugh has built her career on storytelling for over a decade in Northeast Florida. After finishing her undergraduate degree in English and Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina in Asheville, she moved to Fernandina Beach in 2002. There she began work as a freelance writer, writing for a media company based out of Orlando that focused on trade industry publications. Soon thereafter, she began writing for Sweet Pea Media, publisher of the Amelia Islander. From the travel industry to the prison industry to the wedding industry, she quickly developed a love for the challenge of writing on any topic. In 2010, she self-published the children’s book, No Walls for the Small. Two years later, she and her family moved to Jacksonville where she completed her M.A. in English/Composition and Rhetoric at the University of North Florida. During that time, she taught journalism and writing at the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. An active freelancer in Jacksonville, she began writing for First Coast Magazine in 2014. The same year, she was offered the position of Editor, and she has served as Editor of both First Coast and HealthSource Magazines for almost two years. Under her leadership, First Coast Magazine won Magazine of the Year by the Florida Magazine Association in 2015, a major accomplishment for a small startup. Today she and her husband and children live in Avondale, and are thoroughly enjoying being a part of the cultural renaissance that is transforming Northeast Florida.