Photos by Ben Reeder
Editor in Chief
People make the world happen. This group of people not only make Fine Living Lancaster happen, they also bring a great joy to my life. Being able to interact on a regular basis with such dedicated and creative people is a true and wonderful thing.
Creativity is one of those things that makes the world a better place. Creative people constantly challenge me to be better everyday. We’ve had marriages happen, homes purchased, degrees pursued—basically life has continued to grow and happen to all of us as we continue to bring FLL to the good people of Lancaster and beyond. Friendships. Family. Life. I’m proud of them all. Proud of what we create together, and proud to start the next decade of creativity. That is FLL to me.
“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?”
– Vincent Van Gogh
That quote has resonated with me since my years in art school and has been somewhat of a guiding compass throughout my life and career. Not only attempting creative success, but success in producing a publication that is seen, read, and critiqued by our audience year after year, has taken a great deal of courage. I am thankful that Mark Pontz had the courage to begin this wonderful voyage ten years ago. Like a fine wine, we are only getting better with age. Ever-evolving, ever-changing, and maturing. Our dedicated staff works diligently each issue and pours their heart and souls into making Fine Living Lancaster something that we can all be proud of. We certainly are not only a team, but also a family.
I have had the honor of working with some of the most uniquely interesting individuals and businesses throughout the past decade and am thrilled to have turned some of those relationships into friendships. I have watched our city grow into a creative mecca with independently owned restaurants, boutiques, galleries, and shops popping up on each block. Lancaster, too, is ever evolving and revitalizing through its rich history and local flair. Grand things are happening and all it takes is a few courageous people.
Ten years ago, when the first issue of the magazine was released, I was only 12 years old. At the time, I don’t think I was paying much attention to my dad’s new project. Over the past ten years, however, I have grown up with the magazine, with my role changing from the Editor’s daughter who didn’t really have FLL on her radar, to a Production Assistant during high school, to—most recently—filling the role of Managing Editor for the past two summers. It has been such an honor getting to know the wonderful staff of this magazine, and I am so proud of my dad for having such a strong vision for the past ten years. FLL is truly a family business; from reading my mom’s Lunch column every issue, to seeing some of my brother’s photographs grace the pages over the years, I am so wildly grateful for the experiences I have had growing up with Fine Living Lancaster.
I was created to create.
It has been such an honor working as part of the FLL team. I am incredibly passionate about our product, and I am proud of our commitment to tell the stories of local businesses, especially small businesses. I have lived and breathed FLL for two full years. So much of who I am today has come from my job as Associate Editor and Contributing Writer—I have tasted copious amounts of delicious food, I have met simply beautiful humans, and I have explored uncharted territories and experiences because of the freedom this job has given me.
It always surprises people when they find out that most of us work from home, and how few people there are on our team keeping this publication so successful. It has especially been an honor to work so closely with Mark Pontz and Katerina Kuss. Their creativity and ability to find solutions, passing over any obstacle, is astounding. I have been greatly inspired by them both—our minds never stop, and neither do the constant ideas which make our publication that much more successful.
“Create what sets your heart on fire, and it will illuminate the path ahead.”
I was first introduced to Fine Living Lancaster about four years ago when I began dating my beautiful wife, Katerina, who also happens to be the Creative Director. I went to all the events and quickly became one of the family. I officially became a Fine Living Lancaster staff member about a year and a half ago when I decided to give sales a try. I became hooked immediately and found my life’s calling. I’ve met so many interesting and amazing people along the way. It’s truly an honor to work for such a prestigious publication. I am proud of what we do and I get excited every day to bring more businesses into our family. Getting their stories out to the public is what keeps me going.
Since I moved to Lancaster in 2001, I had always looked forward to each new issue of Fine Living Lancaster. But my career with Fine Living Lancaster happened quite by accident. Since joining the staff three years ago, I have met people from all walks of life and helped share their stories, becoming a part of creating this beautiful magazine. I’d say that qualifies it as the happiest of accidents. Cheers to ten more fine years.