Co-Owner, Design and Production Manager, InSpire Magazine
Mary Beth Bockhorst knows first-hand the power of inspiration and she has put herself in the position to share that with others as Co-Owner and Production Manager of InSpireMagazine.
Bockhorst’s career path began when she graduated high school and took a factory job performing manual labor. “While the pay was excellent, the job left me bored and restless,” she says. “I have always had a love of visual arts and knew that I needed to incorporate my passion into a career.” That led her to pursue a Business Marketing degree at Moraine Park Technical College.
On why she chose MPTC, she says, “A technical education gets right into the heart of the career and focuses on preparing the student for a job on day one.” That rang true for Bockhorst who says she was ready for her new career on gradation day in 1986. By that time, she had already been hired by the Daily Citizen Newspaper in Beaver Dam as a sales rep. She remained in that position until 1995 when she was reassigned by the newspaper in more of a production and graphic design role.
It was nine years later when she began a new venture as Bockhorst, alongside Denise Fitzsimmons, a fellow MPTC grad, and Jill Huizenga, started InSpire Magazine. “We tapped into our knowledge of marketing while doing the necessary research needed to see if it could be a viable business,” she says. The three women hired an accounting firm who confirmed their research and their dream became a reality when the first issue of InSpire was released in May of 2004.
The women’s vision for the magazine was and continues to be to highlight the accomplishments and achievements of local women in their personal and professional lives. “We decided on the name InSpire because we wanted to produce a positive influence and message to our community,” she adds. “It fit perfectly into how we would proceed with the vision of our business model.”
What Bockhorst has enjoyed most about publishing the magazine is that she can channel her passion while empowering women with each issue that comes out. “Being able to be creative every day is exhilarating, but the most rewarding part about publishing InSpire is the networking that occurs organically between the featured women in the articles and the readers,” she says. “It’s gratifying to see that the magazine makes a difference in the lives it touches.” Since its inception, InSpire Magazine has become a viable networking tool for many women, organizations and businesses who want to connect and share their experiences.
As for what the future holds, Bockhorst says she will always be involved in the arts some capacity, especially visual arts.“Whether designing magazine layouts for InSpire as a career or oil painting for pleasure, art will always be my passion,” she concludes.