Category Archives: About Us


Rochester Women magazine received the “Media of the Year” 2011 Award from NAMI (National Association on Mental Illness) at the 18th annual NAMI SE MN Walk for continuing coverage on mental health related stories and articles.

The Women’s Leadership Council of the United Way of Olmsted County awarded Rochester Women magazine the inaugural 2009 Maude Finch Award for its business achievements.


Rochester Women magazine is published by a team of independent contractors in sales, editorial, design and distribution.

Rochester Women magazine considers freelance writers and article submissions. Please provide with information about yourself and your writing experience. Articles submitted may be considered, but are subject to being edited.

Our Team

Emily Watkins

Publisher and Editor


Meet Emily, the new owner of Rochester Women Magazine! Emily is excited to take the helm of a magazine with such a long history in Rochester. She has a degree in French Education, many fitness certifications and is an actor and singer who loves to travel, dance, cook, paint, sew, decorate, shop, read, eat good food and drink red wine. She brings this variety of interests to her work gathering and telling the stories of Rochester area women.

Emily also owns Empowered Wellness & Fitness Studio, where she taught Zumba, Pilates and other fitness classes between 2011 and 2017. She now continues to operate that business as a personal trainer. She is married to Justin, and they have two teenage sons, James and Danny, and a German Shepherd/Husky mix named Kai.

She has lived in Rochester since 2007, before which she lived in Northfield, MN, although she was born and grew up in Illinois. She believes in making longer tables so that we all get an equal chance to enjoy the beauty and bounty of life.



Tessa Slisz

Graphic Designer


I am an ad graphic designer for Rochester Women clients. I grew up in Rochester and received my degree in Art and Graphic Design at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. I studied color theory abroad in Paris, France, lived in Japan for one year, and have worked as an ad designer at print publications in California and Arizona. I love working together with clients to turn their ideas into reality.



Kate Brue

Graphic Designer


I am the layout designer for Rochester Women magazine. I grew up in Prior Lake, MN and moved to Rochester in 2002. I have been in layout design for over 20 years and it is what I really love to do.




Rochester Women is a regional home and healthy living magazine for Rochester, MN, area women to help them grow personally and professionally and connect with each other and the community. The goal is to develop stronger, healthier and happier women, families and community.

Rochester Women is a local approach to the women’s market used by successful national magazines. Rochester Women is about Rochester area women, for Rochester area women and organized by Rochester area women. The magazine features Rochester area women, their lives, homes, health, hobbies, careers and interests.


In November 2011 at the Minnesota Magazine & Publishing Association Excellence Awards banquet, Ellington Miller Starks won a silver award for her “from the editor” letters in Rochester Women and Margo Stich won a silver award for her food column “contemplating the food we eat.”
2011: The Best Year Ever | Minnesota Magazine & Publishing Association

In 2006, Rochester Women magazine was awarded for a how-to summer crafts for children article by MMPA at the Excellence Awards.

In June 2009, the United Way of Olmsted County Women’s Leadership Council [WLC] honored Maude Finch and the three recipients of the first annual The Maude Finch Award. Rochester Women magazine was recognized for the hope, inspiration, encouragement and fun the publication brings to countless women – and men – in our community. And its work in recognizing women’s accomplishments as family members, business women, artists, workers, friends and all the other roles women take on inspires people throughout the community and advances the common good.

In October 2008, PossAbilities of Southern Minnesota recognized Rochester Women magazine for providing employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

In August 2002 the Rochester, Minnesota, Mothers & More Chapter (#203) presented Women Communications, L.L.C./Rochester Women magazine the Mothers & More Business Award for highlighting working moms and offering a work environment conducive to balancing work and family life.

In 2001, Jorrie Johnson (Hansen), Rochester Women publisher, was awarded Woman of the Year by American Business Women’s Association Rochester Charter.



In 1999, Jorrie Johnson (Hansen) was working as the director of marketing for a computer hardware, software and services company. There were many changes happening in that industry and challenges she faced working as an employee for a company she didn’t own. She had two young children at home and wanted to be more connected with her family. She started looking for a business opportunity of her own. After researching the success of a women’s magazine in Duluth, Minnesota, the Women Today magazine ( She took the leap in January 2000 and left her regular full-time position to start Rochester Women magazine.

In the beginning Rochester Women was produced by a lean crew. The publisher herself handled accounting, sales and distribution of 15,000 copies of Rochester Women magazine. There was one editor who took most of the photos needed for editorial and ads, one graphic artist and a handful of freelance writers.

After a couple of years in business and success printing at Midwest Litho, Johnson (Hansen) partnered with Doug Solinger. Together they also started Coulee Region Women magazine in La Crosse, Wis.

In 2018, Jorrie Johnson regained sole ownership of Rochester Women magazine. In 2020, Jorrie sold the business to Emily Watkins.

Emily comes from a background of teaching, fitness and small business ownership. She is married to Justin, and they have two sons, James and Danny, and one German Shepherd/Husky mix named Kai. She loves to travel, read, write, cook and garden, and she exercises because she knows it’s good for her. She also exercises so she can enjoy drinking red wine and eating good food!


Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the magazine had a different printing schedule in 2020, skipping the May/June issue and printing an August issue instead of a July/August issue.

The magazine is produced by a team of independent contractors.

Rochester Women magazine publishes six bi-monthly issues per year.