Five years and 100 issues; our baby is growing up so fast! As we take a look back at Prosper over the years and have seen how much it has grown and changed since those early days, we wanted to take a look back at some of the major players who have been a part of making Prosper a success over the years. With Thanksgiving coming up this week, we are reminded of just how thankful we are to have such a talented group of people working with us, both past and present!
Brian Boyle, Co-Founder and CEO of Issue Media Group
Brian Boyle is the Co-Founder and CEO of Issue Media Group, the publisher of Prosper. Prosper was IMG’s first custom publication and has become the benchmark and boilerplate for all other custom publications.
Brian says, “The fact that it’s award-winning, Prosper has set the standard for what an online economic development news publication is. It has been a case study for IMG and how we’ve built the custom publication division, and I’m very proud of it. And I hope they are too!”
Stephen Huber, Marketing and Communications Officer for Oakland County’s Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs
An award-winning newspaper reporter and columnist with The Oakland Press and The Fort Worth Star-Telegram for nearly 20 years, Stephen Huber’s team first contracted with Issue Media Group to create Prosper.
“I loved Prosper right out of the chute and I’m exceedingly proud of it now. One hundred is still a lot of anything to me and I’m a bit surprised we have 100 issues under our belts already. Prosper works because we give you the stories and images you don’t find anywhere else. And nobody does better mastheads than we do. There’s no way you would look at Prosper and the way it’s evolved and think, ‘Yeah, typical government publication.’ “
Kristie Everett Zamora, Prosper Editor and Oakland County Coordinator of Arts, Culture & Film
Kristie joined the Oakland County Executive staff in 2002, to support Arts & Culture activities in one of the largest and most progressive counties in the US. As a member of the Economic Development & Community Affairs staff for Oakland County, Kristie is the founding editor of Prosper. Much of her work is community-based via participation in the MI Great Artist competition, Uptown Film Festival, Michigan Commission on Services to the Aging, and the nationally acclaimed Arts, Beats & Eats festival.
“I am constantly amazed at the talent and innovation in Oakland County, and am proud to be able to highlight people and stories through Prosper. I have been blessed to work with creative writers, photographers and videographers. Each issue is definitely a team effort. I love this product and look forward to our upcoming issues.”
Nicole Rupersburg, Freelance Journalist and Editor
Nicole Rupersburg has been a long-time contributor to Issue Media Group’s various publications including Metromode, Model D and Concentrate, as well as a “pinch-hitter” for custom projects. She has been the Project Editor of Prosper for the past year and is also the Managing Editor of UIX Detroit, another IMG publication. In addition to these projects she is a columnist for Deadline Detroit and the owner/editor/writer of Eat It Detroit, which provides coverage of metro Detroit restaurants as well as event production and PR services.
“Prosper is one of my favorite projects to work on,” she says. “There is so much that goes on in Oakland County that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise known about. This project gives me the opportunity to learn and write about business development and economic growth and has given me a whole new appreciation for this dynamic County!” She highly recommends the many classes, programs and resources available at the Oakland County Business Center for anyone interested in starting their own business.
David Lewinski, Photographer
David Lewisnki is a metro Detroit-based photographer who has studiously documented metro Detroit and its people over the last several years. In addition to that he has shot for Maxim, the Smithsonian, the New York Times, Cigar Aficianado, American Expedition Vehicles, Hour Detroit and many more. He is the Director of Photography for Metromode.
M-1 Studios provides video production and editing services for businesses and organizations in southeastern Michigan. They are a new creative partner for Prosper; their first video was on Ultimate Soccer.
Clare Pfieffer Ramsey, Regional Editor of Patch
Clare Ramsey was one of the key players in the launch of Prosper. At the time she was also the Editor of Model D. She is now a Regional Editor for Patch, a brand of web-based hyper-local publications owned by AOL.
“I’m proud to be part of the team that developed Prosper,” she says. “It has proven to be a highly valuable resource for innovators, entrepreneurs and doers in Oakland County. I love how it also serves as a way to broadcast to the wider world all the great things going on in our region. I am now regional editor with Patch.com in Michigan, and we cover many Oakland County communities. Prosper continues to be a great resource!”
Tom Hendrickson, Videographer
When asked about his memories of Prosper, Tom Hendrickson says, “The first thing that pops into my mind is Brooks because he is a seasoned pro who knows how to speak in sound bites. This makes editing a breeze. I knew I could ask him three pointed questions and have the complete story. Plus he gives those sound bites with enthusiasm, clarity and brevity. The only other people I have interviewed that are as skilled with the sound bite are Gov. Granholm and Sen. Carl Levin.
‘The next thought that comes to mind is great people doing great things. John Hanna at the Fifth Luxury Condominiums, James at Ronin Sushi, April at Epiphany Studios, Kelly at Naka, Chris at The Emory/WAB, the owners of Blossoms, the folks at Cranbrook and L. Brooks … these are all kind and positive people who make southeastern Michigan great. These people make my job fun, easy and interesting.”
Terry Parris, Community Manager of Ustream.tv
Since leaving his position as the Project Editor of Prosper, Terry Parris has gone on to be the Editor of Ferndale Patch which earned high acclaim as one of the most engaging and compelling Patch publications in metro Detroit. He then moved out to California where he continued as the local editor of two different Patch publications, and is now the Community Manager of Ustream.tv in San Francisco.
“Prosper was really the first project I felt I owned, in the sense I could influence editorial direction and content. I edited writers and helped them shape stories, I worked with the County (namely Kristie and Steve) to shape the message and vibe of Prosper, and I had to work with myself to manage my deadlines, my calendar, and my time. In the nearly two years I edited Prosper, starting with issue No. 1, I learned a lot about my own abilities in managing and curating content, about editing writers, and, of course, tons about Oakland County. It was definitely a large part of my professional development and am happy to have been a part of it.”
Sarah Cox, Editorial Director of Curbed
When Sarah Cox came on board with Prosper as Project Editor, she was a recent transplant from New York who has just earned her Masters in Fine Arts at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Her Master’s thesis was about Detroit, and she became so interested in the city that she felt compelled to move here. A go-getter in the absolute sense, Sarah convinced the nationally-known Curbed Network to launch Curbed Detroit and let her run it. She caused quite a few stirs in her year as the editor of Curbed Detroit; so much so that they recently promoted her to Editorial Director overseeing all Curbed publications.
Ashley Catherine Woods, Editor of Huffington Post Detroit
Ashley Woods has been on quite an upward career trajectory since her time as Prosper’s Project Editor. Before coming on board with Prosper, Ashley was the Assistant Editor at Real Detroit Weekly. She moved on from there take on some custom work for Issue Media Group (which included Prosper). She left IMG to become the Entertainment Producer of MLive Detroit, and is now the Editor of Huffington Post Detroit.
Marvin Shaouni, Photographer
Marvin Shaouni is a Detroit-based photographer whose work has appeared in Food Network Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, L.A. Weekly, the Atlantic, Inc. Magazine, Hour Detroit, D Business, and many more. He is one of the primary photographers for Issue Media Group and the Managing Photographer for Model D.