About Midwest Living

Who We Are

For nearly 40 years, Midwest Living has been the definitive voice of the American Midwest  region. We curate travel, food, shelter and lifestyle content that you won't find anywhere else. We are smart, witty, bold, diverse and loudly, proudly Midwestern. Through award-winning storytelling and service, we aim to inspire our audience to explore, adventure, learn, cook, create and grow—on the road and at home.

Our Team

Kylee Krizmanic

Kylee Krizmanic, Editorial Content Director

Kylee serves as the first female editor-in-chief of the Midwest's leading lifestyle brand, Midwest Living, which reaches 3.2 million consumers. Kylee also leads the creative and editorial vision for Meredith Travel Marketing Content Studio—telling branded travel stories across all platforms. Under her leadership, Midwest Living and Meredith Travel Marketing have been recognized for outstanding editorial, design, photography and film work—winning numerous national awards. Previously, Kylee was art director at Better Homes & Gardens, leading the visual content for the brand's celebrity-focused beauty and style, entertaining and family content. Prior to joining Dotdash Meredith, Kylee worked for boutique branding agencies serving as their brand director and guiding clients across the country. Kylee has been recognized as a 40 Under 40, named to FOLIO's 2018 Top Women in Media and was recently named the 2020 Editorial Director of the Year. She has 17 years of industry experience working across a portfolio of worldwide lifestyle brands with an emphasis on new client acquisition. She is a frequent conference speaker presenting travel trends, industry research, destination branding and photography. A graduate of the University of Kansas, Kylee and her family like to follow KU basketball. She is a fine-arts painter and spends spare time in her studio with her French Bulldog, Margot, or watching her daughters play youth sports. READ MORE

Mary-Beth Rouse, Creative Director

With a specialty in forecasting design and photography trends, Mary-Beth manages Midwest Living's overall photo production, layout and design for the brand. She has 20 years of experience at Meredith, with 12 years spent at Better Homes & Gardens, one of the largest women's lifestyle magazines in the world. Mary-Beth also works with the Meredith Travel Marketing Content Studio team, focusing on branded content. 

Hannah Agran

Hannah Agran, Executive Editor

A passionate writer and editor, Hannah has worked at Midwest Living since 2006, rising from assistant travel editor to senior food editor to executive editor. Today, she oversees all travel, food, home, garden and culture content, polishing every word you see in print (and many you read online, too). She has collaborated with many James Beard-recognized chefs and authors, such as Molly Yeh, Edward Lee, Stephanie Izard and Michael Symon, as well as Andrew Zimmern, with whom she won an Association of Food Journalists Award. Hannah's other accolades include recognitions from FOLIO, the International Association of Culinary Professionals, the Society of American Travel Writers and the Society of Professional Journalists. Born in Wisconsin, raised in Ohio, and now living in Iowa, she's a proud lifelong Midwesterner (aside from a four-year stint in Massachusetts to attend Brandeis University). On her off days, you can find her traveling, hiking, puttering in the garden, dreaming of her next cooking project or procrastinating over a book club read. READ MORE

Julia Sayers Gokhale

Julia Sayers Gokhale, Travel Editor

Julia Sayers Gokhale is the travel editor at Midwest Living, where she gets to traverse the region and share its fascinating stories. Born and raised in the South, Julia is embracing her new identity as a Midwesterner. She previously was editor in chief of Birmingham Magazine, and prior to that, spent two years working—and eating—with celebrity chef Paula Deen. READ MORE

Allison Vancura

Allison Vancura, Digital Editor

Allison Vancura is the digital editor at Midwest Living and Meredith Travel Marketing Content Studio, where she leads the team's digital strategy across all verticals and covers travel, home and all things Midwest. She is also a content editor for Meredith Travel Marketing, where she brings compelling travel stories to life across all platforms. Previously, she spent almost a decade at Better Homes & Gardens and BHG.com as a home and lifestyle editor. She holds a B.A. in journalism and graphic design from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. READ MORE

Gary Thompson

Gary Thompson, Senior Staff Writer

Gary Thompson is senior staff writer at Midwest Living and Meredith Travel Marketing Content Studio, where he gets paid to play with words while writing about all sorts of interesting people, places and things in the Midwest and beyond. He holds a B.A. and M.A. in journalism from Drake University and has been writing professionally for more than 30 years. READ MORE

Joie Probst

Joie Probst, Assistant Editor

Joie Probst is the assistant editor for social and digital at Midwest Living and Meredith Travel Marketing, where she writes and creates unique content across social platforms for the brands. A lifelong Iowan (aside from two years teaching English in Spain!), she holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and international studies from the University of Iowa. She loves all things food—outside of work, you can find her exploring new restaurants, taking photos, catering events and supporting the local food system. READ MORE

John Meek, Deputy Art Director

John Meek is the deputy art director at Midwest Living, where he develops story concepts and page design direction, manages image enhancement work and prepress process specific to travel visual content. He's been with Dotdash Meredith for more than 20 years, the last 17 of which have been at Midwest Living.

Erin Keefer

Erin Keefer, Assistant Art Director

Erin Keeffer is an assistant art director at Midwest Living and Midwest Living and Meredith Travel Marketing Content Studio, working on print and digital pieces. She holds a B.F.A. in graphic design from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, and was previously a graphic designer for the Meredith Garden Group. Born and raised in Galena, Illinois, Erin loves exploring the Midwest by car, on foot and by bike. When she's not exploring, you can find her listening to a podcast and sketching on her iPad.

Ruby Pierce

Ruby Pierce, Senior Graphic Designer

Ruby Pierce is a senior graphic designer at Midwest Living and Midwest Living and Meredith Travel Marketing Content Studio, serving both print and digital. She holds a B.F.A. in graphic design from Iowa State University (Go Cyclones!) and couldn't imagine herself in any other career. If she's not designing for fun or pointing out typefaces to her husband, she's probably enjoying a British architecture show and snuggling with her Border collie, Cooper.

Diane Penningroth

Diane Penningroth, Copy Editor

Diane Penningroth is the lead copy editor for Midwest Living, Midwest Living and Meredith Travel Marketing Content Studio and Allrecipes. She began her career journey with a B.A. in human resources management from the University of Northern Iowa, but made the professional switch from working with people to words in 2006. Her experience includes copy editing or editing books, magazines, marketing publications and various other print and web material.

Ginger Crichton about us page photo MWL

Ginger Crichton, Contributing Editor

Ginger Crichton is a contributing editor for Midwest Living and Meredith Travel Marketing and has worked for the brands in various roles since 2008. She has more than 30 years' experience as a journalist, including editing and writing for both magazines and newspapers. A native Virginian, she holds a B.A. in English from the University of Virginia. Her passion is travel, and since moving with her family to the Midwest 15 years ago, she has road-tripped extensively throughout the region. When she's at home in Des Moines, you might find her at the gym, volunteering at a food pantry or puzzling over the latest New York Times Spelling Bee. READ MORE

Ellen Boeke, Contributing Food Editor

As a food writer and editor, Ellen Boeke specializes in recipe writing for Midwest Living. She has more than 20 years of experience in the industry and holds B.S. degrees in consumer food science and journalism from Iowa State University. 

Teresa Woodard

Teresa Woodard, Contributing Garden Editor

Teresa Woodard is contributing garden editor at Midwest Living, where she covers everything from houseplants and bonsai to daffodils and peonies. A lifelong Ohioan (except for her college days studying journalism at Indiana University), she gardens on 2 acres outside Columbus. She also teaches youth about growing food at an urban community garden and is working on a book project about American garden design. READ MORE

Fact Checkers

Midwest Living's team of experienced, editorially-vetted fact-checkers provides an essential layer of review to ensure destinations, events and attractions are accurately represented. Our professional fact-checkers are tasked with researching all statements of fact and verifying the technical details of each story with authentic sources. This rigorous review process enables our brand to advise on travel throughout the region and serve our readers the most robust, well-researched and comprehensive content possible. 

Recipe Testing 

Our Test Kitchen in Des Moines, Iowa, has been operational since 1928 and is the oldest media company test kitchen in the United States. It features 10 galley kitchens, two dining-room style tasting rooms, and an outdoor grilling area to simulate the spaces and equipment used by home cooks. Each year, the Test Kitchen develops and tests more than 2,500 recipes and produces more than 2,500 images and 1,000 videos to support brands, including Midwest Living, Better Homes & Gardens, Parents, REAL SIMPLE, AllRecipes and Martha Stewart Living.

The Test Kitchen staff has more than 180 years of cumulative experience and is composed of trained professionals with B.S. degrees in food science, food and nutrition, or culinary arts. Each nutrition specialist is a registered and licensed dietician. 

Better Homes and Gardens Test Garden

The Better Homes and Gardens Test Garden in Des Moines, Iowa, serves gardeners nationwide by offering garden-tested information about gardening methods, plants, garden projects and ideas. The Test Garden's 22 distinct areas and more than 2,500 plants, trees and shrubs are designed to showcase a variety of garden styles and climates. 

Awards

2022

  • FOLIO Eddie WINNER, Best Full Issue—Regional, Midwest Living, Spring Issue
  • FOLIO Ozzie WINNER, Best Full Issue—Regional, Midwest Living, Winter Issue
  • SATW Lowell Thomas GOLD AWARD, Travel Coverage

2021

  • International Association of Culinary Professionals FINALIST, Food Section Over 500K
  • FOLIO Eddie Best Custom Content—Fewer than 6 issues, North Carolina Travel Guide
  • FOLIO Ozzie Best Regional Magazine, Midwest Living the Water Issue
  • SATW Lowell Thomas Silver Award, Travel Coverage
  • ESTO Mercury Award, West Virginia Travel Guide

2020

  • SATW Lowell Thomas SILVER AWARD, Travel Coverage
  • FOLIO Editorial Content Director of the Year WINNER, Kylee Krizmanic
  • FOLIO Eddie Winner, Magazine Launch/Content Marketing, West Virginia Vacation Guide
  • FOLIO Range of Work by a Single Author WINNER, Hannah Agran
  • FOLIO Eddie WINNER, Best Full Issue—Regional, Midwest Living, March/April issue
  • FOLIO Ozzie Honorable Mention, Design Single Issue, Midwest Living, March/April issue
  • FOLIO Ozzie Honorable Mention, Design Single Issue—Custom Content, Travel Nevada
  • International Association of Culinary Professionals, Food Styling in a Commercial Food Photograph, Charlie Worthington
  • International Association of Culinary Professionals, Food, Dining and Culinary Travel

2019

  • ESTO Mercury Award, Meredith Travel + Visit North Carolina + LGA Agency
  • FOLIO Eddie Finalist, Nevada Travel
  • FOLIO Ozzie Finalist, Meredith Travel + Arizona Office of Tourism
  • Association of Food Journalists, Best Non-Newspaper Feature, Hannah Agran and Andrew Zimmern

2018

  • MPA Kelly Awards, Finalist for Best Magazine Media Creative, Road Rally—Indiana
  • Association of Food Journalists, Magazine Food coverage across multiple issues
  • Association of Food Journalists, Best Food Coverage in a magazine, 3rd place, Hannah Agran
  • Association of Food Journalists, Best Food Photo, First Place, Blaine Moats
  • Association of Food Journalists, Best Food Photo, 3rd place, Blaine Moats
  • FOLIO Editorial Team of the Year Finalist, Midwest Living
  • A.H. Pankow Award
  • Top Women in Media, Creative Director, Kylee Krizmanic
  • E.T. Meredith Awards for Creative Excellence, General Excellence in Photography, Nevada
  • SATW Lowell Thomas GOLD AWARD, Video Travel Broadcast, Kylee Krizmanic
  • Sioux City International Film Festival
  • ESTO Mercury Awards Finalist, Visit California Travel Guide
  • FOLIO Eddie Winner, Nevada Arts Culture and Heritage Guide
  • FOLIO Eddie Winner, Midwest Living documentary series

2017

  • ESTO National Travel Mercury Award FINALIST, North Carolina Travel Guide
  • E.T. Meredith Awards, creative and marketing excellence, Road Rally

2016

  • Great Plains Journalism Awards, Magazine of the Year

Diversity and Inclusion

At Midwest Living, we cherish all the voices, stories, faces and experiences that make up the Midwest. We recognize that as a national media brand, our platforms are powerful, and so we use them to open doors, promote tolerance and inspire curiosity. Our content showcases our region's diversity, and we are committed to hiring contributors of varied backgrounds and beliefs. We celebrate those leaders in our communities who are working daily to combat injustice, racism and homophobia. And we humbly admit that our work is never done. We are here to listen, learn and continuously strive to do better.

Content Integrity

At Midwest Living, we are committed to quality, accurate and current editorial coverage. Our team of writers, editors, fact-checkers, designers, photographers, videographers and experts meticulously researches and reviews all editorial content to best serve our audience and represent the Midwest. 

Read our full integrity promise including our policies on accuracy and corrections, fact checking, independence and impartiality, and originality, which are aligned with the Dotdash Meredith Content Integrity Promise.

Data Analytics and Insights

Each year, the Dotdash Meredith Data Analytics and Insights team produces more than 60 trend reports across 12 verticals. Predictive Trend Reports help editors across the company learn about emerging trends and shifting consumer behaviors to help drive future content creation and anticipated engagement. Predictive Trend Reports are also shared with premium brand partners to inform growth and awareness strategies.

What Our Readers Say

"I wanted to write to tell you how much I've enjoyed the January/February issue of Midwest Living. I really felt you pivoted your editorial content from featuring places, events and travel to people (but also included all of those things). Only a woman editor would determine that featuring women in the magazine would be something fresh and inspiring. I've got on my list to visit the Flour House Bakers and Coffee in Princeton, Illinois, when it's safe to travel again. My public library has ordered Hudson Bay Bound at my request, and I've subscribed to Hear Her Sports podcast. I'm gushing, but you get the idea. I am a fan of this issue. Kudos to you and your staff—keep it up! Look forward to more in this 35th year of Midwest Living." —Carole, IL

"We are on our first big road trip since COVID, and bringing a stack of magazines and reading through Midwest Living! I always enjoy reading your editorial. Thanks for bringing your creative self to each issue. Each one has been informative and an opportunity to discover new places and artists. Just wanted to say thanks!" —Rebekah, Oak Park IL

"I just want to let you know how much I am enjoying Midwest Living magazine. I really enjoy "lifestyle" magazines—Living, Southern Living, Coastal Living, Cottage Living, etc… Two issues ago, you had an article about a summer getaway to Akron, Ohio. Part of the article was about the scenic train ride through Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It sounded great. My spouse and I have booked a fly/drive trip for October. (Buffalo-Cleveland-Buffalo). We will be leaving from Rockside Station. Thank you for bringing this part of the country to my attention.

"In addition, I really enjoyed the article in the latest issue about the road trips that your staff took last year. I have lived in downstate New York my entire life. I am embarrassed to admit how oblivious I had been about the wonderful state park system in NY State until I took a road trip to the Finger Lakes region last fall—definitely a pandemic-induced choice. The trip was amazing, and your article about road trips close to home should be a reminder to your readers that enjoyable trips can be made relatively locally with the possible extra bonus of keeping your travel dollars in-state.

"So, great magazine. Keep up the good work!" —Lorraine, NY

"I really appreciate that you focus so much on writing about and supporting local small artists and businesses, because it really does make an impact, especially right now when things are tough." —Katie, Michigan UP

"I wanted to reach out and thank you for your generosity and for the opportunity to be included in September's issue of Midwest Living magazine. We're already seeing an increase in traffic, both from new teachers signing up to use the platform and from new visitors. Often, great instrument donation and community support stories come from highlights like this one. I'll be sure to share more stories as they happen. Thank you for shining a light on our good work." —Caitlin, Vega Instruments in the Cloud

About Dotdash Meredith

Dotdash Meredith is the largest digital and print publisher in America. From mobile to magazines, nearly 200 million people trust us to help them make decisions, take action and find inspiration. Dotdash Meredith's over 50 iconic brands include Midwest Living, PEOPLE, Better Homes & Gardens, Verywell, FOOD & WINE, The Spruce, Allrecipes, Byrdie, REAL SIMPLE, Investopedia, Southern Living and more.

Contact Us

Want to stay in the know with all things Midwest Living? Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Do you have questions or feedback for Midwest Living's editorial team? We look forward to hearing from you: midwest.living@dotdashmdp.com. For customer service and subscription inquiries, please email mwlcustserv@cdsfulfillment.com. If you'd rather call or send a letter to our Des Moines office, you can reach us at 515/284-3000 or 1716 Locust St., Des Moines, IA 50309.