Matters Magazine
Featuring local people, places and things that matter since 1990
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Since 1990, MATTERS MAGAZINE has shared the best news of living in Maplewood and South Orange. It has stood the test of time for more than 25 years, as a great concept, with originators that never age (!), remarkable advertisers, and loyal, long-time readers. We spotlight local personalities, history and nostalgia, leisure activities, how-to primers and news-oriented features. The outlook is positive and constructive, the editorial content and photography entertaining and informative, and the advertising is well-targeted to a sophisticated, well-read consumer.

Direct mailed seven times a year to all the households in Maplewood and South Orange, additional copies are distributed to town halls, libraries, real estate offices, professional and other businesses in Maplewood, South Orange, and Essex County communities. Additionally all our issues are published and archived online. Check our ADVERTISE section for our most recent rate card and dates of each issue.

MATTERS MAGAZINE has earned an outstanding reputation for "celebrating good news" – just one of the many positive aspects of living and working in the area. Our articles are conceived months in advance. We are always looking for interesting feature story ideas, and selected press releases that could be followed up by our editors and writers. Go to our CONTRIBUTORS section for information about submitting ideas or to explore being added to our list of freelancers.



Meet the Minds over MATTERS

Ellen Donker

Rene Conlon

Joanne DiPasquale

Leslie Gilman

Erin Rogers Pickering

Joy Markel

Tia Swanson

Nick Humez

Kristen McEntire Ryan

Gloria Morcilio

Adrienne MacWhannell

Karen Duncan

ELLEN DONKER
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

Ellensmall
Ellen is a lifelong New Jerseyan with the exception of four years when she attended Wheaton College, outside of Chicago. Although she majored in economics, she has spent her professional life in marketing, working at various corporations, non-profits as well as her own advertising agency. Ellen has lived in Maplewood since 1996 and is married to Rob Depue. They keep busy raising their three children who happen to be triplets. She loves being involved in the communities of Maplewood and South Orange, and spends her time reading and gardening and looking for the next best Matters story.

Favorite word: “serendipitous”

Favorite destination: Sanibel Island

Favorite accessory: shoes

Favorite writer: Dallas Willard
RENE CONLON
Advertising Consultant

From almost the beginning Rene has been part of the Matters family. Since 1994 she's worn many hats and now oversees sales and finance of the magazine. With a degree in economics from Rutgers University, her career path has taken her from retail management to continuing education, and ultimately, to Matters Magazine. Her children have literally grown up around the seasonal editions. Rene's ties to the business community and civic pride run deep and she enjoys covering the communities she knows and loves.

Favorite drink: Beer

Dislikes the phrase: “I can’t”

Favorite writer: Jerry Izenberg

Favorite vacation: Sea Isle City

Favorite sports team: Yankees
JOANNE DIPASQUALE
Supervising Editor

Joannesmall
After she earned a degree in merchandising, Joanne’s early career moved into the world of fashion marketing with Mademoiselle Magazine and then in the public relations department of the Danskin Company. When she and her husband, Nick, moved to Maplewood in 1997, she initially immersed herself in volunteering, mostly at her two daughters’ schools, where she is still actively involved. Since 2002 her organizational expertise has guided the running of the Matters Magazine office operations. Joanne admits her love of order and (gasp!) her enjoyment in doing laundry. It explains why the Matters office runs so efficiently – and looks it.

Favorite word: “Brilliant” (spoken in an English accent)

Guilty extravagance: Buying shoes in my very difficult-to-find size

Most admired historical figures: the Suffragettes

Favorite writer: Jane Austen

Best vacation: Italy
LESLIE GILMAN
Advertising Representative

Leslie started with Matters Magazine in 2002 when her son was a toddler. If not found watching opera and ballet at Lincoln Center or Broadway, SOPAC or NJPAC, or ogling local celebrities at the Maplewood Theater, she can be spotted shopping or having her nails done in Maplewood or South Orange village. A local resident since the mid 80s, Leslie grew up in Brooklyn, NY (and like the city that never sleeps, neither does she), attended the High School of Performing Arts as a dance major and graduated with a B.A. in Theatre from Brooklyn College, all of which totally prepared her for her job at Matters Magazine. She and her husband, Rick, married in 1984, and their favorite production is their teen-aged son, who starred in the 2012 Wes Anderson film Moonrise Kingdom.

Favorite word: “penultimate”

Most useful possession: iPhone

Favorite writer: Charles Dickens

Most overused word: “classic”

Favorite Ballet: Giselle
ERIN ROGERS PICKERING
Artist

Pickering
Erin grew up in Brooklyn, and was a New Yorker until just ten years ago when she fell in love with Roy. Once married they fell in love in Maplewood and made it their home. Erin attended FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) in Manhattan and started her professional career as a textile stylist. Later she transitioned into sales selling mainly to advertising agencies, PR firms and magazines, and then worked at BusinessWeek magazine.  With her deep art and design roots, sales experience and five year stint at a weekly magazine she has new feels she’s found her perfect niche with the Matters Magazine advertising sales staff. Erin is often spotted in the many playgrounds of Maplewood and South Orange with her young daughter. Otherwise she is painting and drawing – or teaching painting and drawing. She is a regular on the SOMA Studio Tour and the Maplewood Art Walk. And now Erin is working on illustrations for a children’s book written by her husband.
 
Favorite color: lives somewhere between lime and olive green.

Favorite quote: “Dwell in Possibility”

Favorite food: guacamole

Weakness: shoes

Kryptonite: Gluten 
JOY MARKEL
Graphic Designer

Born just over the border in Warwick, NY, Joy once aspired to be a fashion designer; she’s picked oranges and raised turkeys in Israel and been an orthodontic assistant, a Hebrew teacher, a computer programmer and a trade show organizer for IBM. When she was in high school, she worked at the Warwick Advertiser doing ad paste-up using cold type and a wax roller; now she does similar work using Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. For many decades Joy successfully resisted the siren call of the Garden State, but in 1997 she finally succumbed to Essex County’s wiles, moving to Maplewood with her husband, Jeff, and their youngest son. Her two other children and their families reside in New York.

Favorite drink: Dirty martini with lots of extra olives

Favorite font: Chalet

High school course she’d like to take again: Spanish

Favorite adjective: “moronic”
TIA SWANSON
Copy Editor


2012Tia
Tia grew up in the woods of Pennsylvania and came unwillingly to New Jersey after marrying a native. But a few years into the marriage, they fell in love with an old, moldering Victorian in South Orange and she’s never looked back. She and her husband are now on their second fixer-upper; they are caretakers there for four children, a dog, a cat and two goldfish. In a previous life, she got a master’s degree in English literature, lived in England and Japan and worked in Pennsylvania and New Jersey as a reporter, columnist and editor for daily newspapers.

Favorite drink: champagne

Guilty extravagance: eBay

Most overused word: “great”

Favorite book: Pride and Prejudice

Favorite contemporary author: Marilynne Robinson
NICK HUMEZ
Copy Editor

NickMatters
Shortly after moving to Maplewood in 1998, Nick joined the stable of our local writers. Fresh from seven years of covering the music scene for Maine’s largest daily, the Portland Press Herald, he would write some two dozen Matters while simultaneously teaching two sections of mythology per term at Montclair State (eventually recording and releasing Myth Songs, a CD of the didactic ditties he wrote for and sang to his classes), cold-proofreading and writing indexes for a couple of university presses, and making silver jewelry for wholesale to the trade (an enterprise started while still in college that more than 40 years later still refuses to die). In 2005 Nick relocated to Ohio, writing and publishing two more books with his brother, Alex, and metamorphosing from Matters writer to copy-editor, “chasing the commas” for the magazine ever since.
Most useful possession: rosary pliers

Favorite writer: Sir John Harington

Best vacation: the family’s summer house in Maine

Favorite opera: Boris Godunov

Most admired historical figure: Scipio Africanus

Misses most about Maplewood: Net Nomads
KRISTEN McENTIRE RYAN
Contributor


Kristensmall
Kristen moved to South Orange from the Seattle area in early 2008 when she was 31 weeks pregnant with her second son. Now she and husband Don have settled into the home they bought in Maplewood, and love the family-friendly vibe of our two towns. Kristen served in the corporate salt mines as a public relations professional in the video games business before becoming a stay-at-home mom. When she's not running around with her two little boys, she volunteers, takes on an occasional PR stint, and contributes to Matters Magazine as a writer and photographer.

Favorite drink: Chai tea with skim milk

Dislikes this overly used word: “unique”

Where she’d take a visiting friend: St. James Gate

Misses most about Seattle: Friends and food, in that order
GLORIA MORCILIO
Advertising Consultant
ADRIENNE MACWHANNELL
Advertising Consultant
KAREN DUNCAN
Founder and Creative Contributor

2012Karen
Karen founded Matters Magazine (originally called Maplewood Matters) in 1990. Conceptualized as a "good news" forum for local businesses, events and residents, the monthly editions enjoy a loyal readership continuing her original vision of reporting positive, interesting stories. Born in Ridgewood, NJ, Karen grew up in Pittsburgh. After graduating from Ashland University in Ohio she returned to her East Coast roots working for many years in fashion advertising in New York City before founding the magazine. After 37 years in Maplewood and South Orange, Karen and her husband Doug retired to Savannah, Georgia in 2017.

Most useful possession: iPhone

Favorite sports team: Pittsburgh Steelers

Most admired historical figure: Dolley Madison

Guilty extravagance: Fresh flowers

Favorite vacation: Amsterdam


Offices

MATTERS MAGAZINE
Published by Visual Impact Advertising, Inc.
P.O. Box 198
Maplewood, NJ 07040
(973) 763-4900


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