Category Archives: From the Editor

Empowering Women to Live Passionately

I have been thinking about what it was like 18 years ago when I started Rochester Women magazine, what has changed and what has stayed the same. Rochester Women magazine’s mission remains the same: Help area women connect with each other and the community. However, as a result of taking the Passion Test several times, we have redefined our purpose: Empower women to live passionately. 

You (our readers) and the world we live in have changed. The population of Rochester has increased by more than 25,500 since 2000.* The median age in Rochester has increased from 34.3 in 2000 to 35.4. There are now 32.6 percent more housing units in Rochester, and 44 percent of them have children under 18. In 2000 there were 2,883 female householders with no husband present. In 2017, there were 4,076 female householders, 66 percent with own children under the age of 18. Of the adult (over 18 years) population, 47.9 percent (40,438) are male and 52.1 percent (43,922) are female. 

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Who do you love? What do you love? What do you love to do? In this January/February 2018 issue of Rochester Women magazine, delve into desires and passions of your heart. Read  “The Passion Test” (page 10) and “Desire Mapping” (page 12).  

Last winter, for my soul and social life, I gathered a group of women from church at Dunn Brothers Coffee one evening a month. I looked forward to getting out with other women for stimulating conversation, coffee or wine. (Yes, they serve wine at Dunn Brothers Coffee.) Developing a community of women is what I love doing with Rochester Women magazine as well. See “Community Begins with Coffee” (page 40).

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This entry was posted in From the Editor on January 1, 2018 by Scott Brue.


Our City of Rochester’s resolution to be a compassionate city was signed on September 18, 2017. On Sunday, October 22, 2017, “People of all faiths and cultures were invited to experience diverse practices of compassion for the purpose of weaving healing and peace in our fractured world.” It was gorgeous Sunday afternoon, with rays of sunshine lighting the auditorium at Assisi Heights. Young and old, men and women, police officers and citizens, students and teachers, African, Asian, Caucasian, Indian and American were gathered for discussions around compassion. It was a pleasure to be surrounded by so much hope and peace in one room.

I lost a $50 Cub Foods gift card that my mom gave to my son for his birthday. I felt feelings of loss and disappointment. My 12-year-old son was silent as we walked, looking around on the ground, kicking the leaves hoping it was hiding underneath. He was really looking forward to going to the grocery store to buy whatever he wanted. I, too, was excited to have some extra funds to fill our cupboards with after-school snacks and maybe even a fine bottle of olive oil. This afternoon, I went to the grocery store to buy some ramen noodles (12 for $2.99) for after school snacks and supplies to make a huge crockpot of chili; however, I did not buy the olive oil. What I appreciate about today’s experience is being reminded of how it feels to want food, but not having the money. I am also reminded how forgiveness is a gift; he still loves me despite me losing his gift card. 

Beth Kosta and the crew at Community Food Response don’t ask questions when someone is in need of food (see page 21). They collect food from area restaurants to give without judgment. I have a couple of friends who volunteer with CFR regularly. In fact, Danielle Teal invited me to volunteer with her at CFR one Monday evening a few years ago. Times like those, when I am making a difference, I feel really good about myself. I love helping other people, and it makes me realize I do have so much and so much to offer. You, too, can make a difference in the lives other others through Community Food Response, The Salvation Army, United Way of Olmsted County, your faith community or service organization. 

In this Issue of Rochester Women magazine, we provide some ways to help you enjoy the holidays. When you are looking for the right holiday outfit, check out Samantha Erickson’s guide to surviving holiday fashion (page 15). If you’re not sure what to give someone this holiday season, read my holiday gift making and buying guide (pages 16-17). As you gather with your friends and family over the holiday season, remember to keep it simple. Try Emily Watkin’s beef brisket and punch recipes (page 28).

We hope you’ll join us on the trolley for Ladies Day Out to Olde Fashioned Christmas in Mantorville on Saturday, December 2 (see page 48). May you enjoy good friends and good cheer through the rest of this year!

With love,


This entry was posted in From the Editor on November 1, 2017 by Scott Brue.


As I floated on a tube in the lazy river at America’s largest waterpark one Sunday afternoon in August, I pondered what spirituality means to me. At that moment, I was at peace—with my boys laughing and enjoying each other’s company, with the warm sun drying us off after splashing our way down the water slides, listening to and kicking our feet in the water. I was connected with people I love, the earth and universe. That was spiritual, but spirituality is deeper. It is what gives us hope when a friend or loved one is diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, or we make a mistake and we desire forgiveness from someone else or even ourselves, or we need to know we are loved no matter what. Spirituality comes from deep within ourselves and is expressed through various forms. 

Our homes are an extension of ourselves, giving us a place to rest and relax, to feel safe and secure and, ultimately, to live, to be and to become. We have a special section for the Rochester Area Builders Fall Showcase of Homes and Remodelers Tour (pages 13–21) in this issue. We hope you will tour some new and remodeled homes for ideas for your own home.

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This entry was posted in From the Editor on September 5, 2017 by Scott Brue.

Ladies Night Out!

During the summer, every Monday night in downtown Rochester, there is a fun Zumba dance party event from 5:30-7 p.m. On the cover of this issue of Rochester Women magazine we feature the dancing queen of downtown Rochester, Sara Pennington, creator of Zumba on the Plaza.  Rochester Women magazine will be celebrating our 100th issue after Zumba on the Plaza at Terza Ristorante on Monday, July 10 from from 7-9 p.m. Come to Zumba on the Plaza that night to get a free drink ticket for Terza. Bring your friends for a fun ladies night out with Rochester Women magazine!

My friend Eliese Klennert-Nelson celebrates her birthday in July every year by renting a limousine to take her friends around Rochester for cocktails. We’ve been to some places that I probably would have never experienced unless I was with a group of friends, including Douglas Saloon & Social Club, Pine Island Sports Bar and Shar’s Country Palace Bar in southeast Rochester. Last summer Eliese was stalling on making the plans, so I encouraged her to make the limo reservations, and in less than a week we had a party planned. We all met at Whistle Binkies North and climbed into the stretch limousine that took us to Five West and ended up at La Vetta rooftop downtown (Women & Wine, page 25). I’ve learned over the years, in order to function properly, it’s important to drink as much water (page 22) as wine. 

To celebrate our 100th issue, I compiled a list of what Rochester Women magazine advertisers, contributors and readers are happy about, grateful for and celebrating in this issue of Rochester Women magazine (page 10). Please post on Facebook or tweet what you are happy about, grateful for and celebrating this summer and include #RochesterWomen in the post. 

With the Fourth of July holiday upon us, we feature women veterans (page 47) and some special events honoring them. We owe so much to our veterans for our freedom and protection. 

In our Girls Night Out column this issue, we feature women-owned businesses in Stewartville (page 50). We’ll be hosting a Ladies Night Out on the trolley to Stewartville on August 30. We hope you will join us on the trolley or down in Stewartville. Visit to sign up.

I hope you enjoy every moment this summer. Before we know it, school will be back in session, and the leaves will be changing colors. 



This Year for Mother’s Day I’m Planning a Mother/Son Dance Date Night

Every year for Mother’s Day and my birthday in October, I get to pick what we are going to do as a family. For a few years, in both the spring and the fall, I took my kids biking in Lanesboro. We’ve gone to Duluth to visit my mom and grandma and, one year, stayed at The Edge waterpark. We’ve also gone to the Mall of America. Last year, I took my sons to a Twins game. Spending time in the car with my older son is rare since he got his driver’s license. At the baseball game, we had fun food for lunch, and both of my boys bought souvenirs. It was a fun way to spend the day together. 

This year for Mother’s Day, I’m going to take my boys on a date night and help them learn how to dance. My older son is graduating from high school this spring, and I think it’s my responsibility to help him learn how to lead a dance partner. I’ve arranged for Eric Hoyer, owner of Med City Dance Center, now located at 1115 7th Street NW, to teach a mother and son dance class for boys ages 10-18 on Friday, May 12 at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. If you would like to join me, along with Emily Watkins, owner of Empowered Wellness, and her two sons for an hour of rumba, waltz and swing, please contact me via email or RSVP on Facebook. Its only $30 per mother and son pair, plus $10 for each additional son. Make it a night out, and take them out to eat afterwards or pick up a $5 Pizza.

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This entry was posted in From the Editor on April 25, 2017 by Scott Brue.

Let’s Céilí

I attended my first céilí on St. Patrick’s Day eve, Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at the Rochester Art Center, in collaboration with Irish Fest of Rochester, Minnesota. Nearing the spring equinox, the late afternoon sun shone brightly through the windows on the first floor of the Art Center as folks of all ages, dressed in green, gathered. I wore the only dress I own with green on it, which happens to be one of my favorite dresses and tall black boots for the celebration. Megan Johnston, executive director of the Rochester Art Center, opened the evening with a presentation on Irish art history. Then, we all ate Irish stew and soda bread and socialized. About 8 p.m. the céilí (kay-lee) dancing started, led by Twin Cities Céilí Band, along with the adorable singing, dancing, storytelling and bodhran (Celtic frame drum) player, Máirtín de Cógáin. I paid the price of wearing those boots the next day, but I had so much fun dancing with everyone at the céilí. I plan on going again this year at Bleu Duck. See the céilí article on page 13. 

Rochester Women magazine celebrates National Women’s History (which we have termed “Herstory”) month in March by featuring local author Sister Ellen Whelan, Ph.D., and her books “The Sisters’ Story,” Parts One and Two. Rochester would not be where it is today if not for the bold, kind, compassionate, independent and strong Franciscan Sisters of Assisi Heights. Read about them on page 20.

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In December, I got to participate in the BeYou Renew women’s weekend retreat hosted by LuAnn Buechler at the lovely Holy Spirit Retreat Center about an hour west of Rochester. On that particular Friday evening, after the sun had long gone down, I drove anxiously into the darkness. The wind swirled around my vehicle, carrying me through the cold blizzardy night. At about 7:30 p.m., I arrived at the retreat center lit with warm lights. I found a blazing wood fire and a small group of women who were listening to a Sister explain the house rules. We sat in a circle, opening our hearts and minds to each other. 

Throughout the weekend, I became calm as I identified and prioritized my professional passions and markers for 2017. I am passionate about earning what I am worth, being creative, problem-solving, project management, work-life balance and making a difference in the world. What makes me happy are living my passions and purpose.

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This entry was posted in From the Editor on January 5, 2017 by Scott Brue.

I Am Grateful For My Friends

I appreciate my work-from-home business and lifestyle, but as telecommuters and home-based business owners understand, isolation can become depressing. When my boys went back to school this fall I decided to combat the loneliness. I invited friends and readers to join me for coffee at Dunn Bros. Coffee on Mondays from 9-11 a.m. Thank you to all of the women who came to talk with me about RochesterWomen magazine and your business and life.

I also co-hosted Women Wisdom Workshops with Adrienne Sweeney of the Commonweal Theatre at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Assisi Heights and Madonna Towers. Combined, we talked with more than 100 women about relationships, choices/decisions, aging and memories. The conversations we had with women were real, sincere and meaningful. 

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This entry was posted in From the Editor on November 2, 2016 by Scott Brue.

Proud of My Life

I recently saw a Facebook post from a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who said, “My friends went off to college or to their chosen job while I went off to serve in the U.S.M.C. When we both look back on our respective lives, they’ll like theirs, but I am DAMN proud of mine.” I honor and respect our veterans for giving their time and lives to serve our country. 

I, too, am DARN proud of the choices I have made. I got married when I was 19 years old. Earned a bachelor’s degree by the time I was 25 years old while supporting myself and living far away from home. I am proud that I became a mom at 26 years old and had two more children. Being a mom comes with demanding hours and little gratitude, especially when it comes to preparing healthy meals that young palettes don’t appreciate. I started RochesterWomen magazine as a home-based business when I was 30 years old, so that I could work from home and be the kind of mom I wanted to be (present). I earned a Master of Business Administration and have had the opportunities to pursue further leadership and project management education. I have completed three sprint triathlons and continue to live a healthy lifestyle. I chose to get divorced when I was 41 years old. At 46 years old, I don’t regret not climbing the corporate ladder, making it to every before and after hours meeting or social event with friends. When I am 90 years old, I want to be proud of my life and my decisions too. In the end, I hope I give my children enough and myself enough time to enjoy life.

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This entry was posted in From the Editor on August 26, 2016 by Scott Brue.