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Behind the Scenes: The Executives Behind On the Danforth

A few words from the ladies behind OTD’s Summer 2014 issue

On the Danforth is right around the corner! In anticipation for the magazine’s release, we spoke to the Associate Publisher, as well as the Editor-in-Chief and the Sales Director behind the summer issue about their roles in the magazine.

Kayla Calder, Associate Publisher 2014

As Associate Publisher of On the Danforth, I am lucky to have one of the most inspiring roles on the magazine. As an intermediary between the two issues, I get to sample every aspect of building the publication, just as one might sample spiced kebabs at Taste of the Danforth.

The most amazing aspect of working closely with the impeccably talented team at On the Danforth is being able to witness how everyone grows with the magazine. With every typed word, clicked mouse, and sold ad, I get to witness people creating their legacies as young professionals and members of this amazing community.

In the earlier days of the 2014 issues, Megan Drysdale, this year’s publisher of On the Danforth, told me there was a “method to the madness.” My job allows me not only to see this method emerge, but to track it as it leads to a mom’s-mantle-worthy final product created by an amazing (if sometimes mad) staff.

Alexandra Donaldson, Editor-in-Chief, Summer 2014 Issue

A magazine is a truly collaborative endeavor. It is one that needs great parts in order to be a successful whole, and our parts are comprised of pretty talented and creative folks. Having the initial idea of doing something a bit more creative and a bit more out-of-the-box than expected could have been daunting. But my team met me armed with enthusiastic ideas that have resulted not only in great content, but have made this adventure a lively and spirited process as well.

Whether debating in my living room or brainstorming on campus, the people who have contributed to the summer issue have been honest without being mean, and receptive without rolling over. This strong group has made for some differences of opinion, but has also been a fantastic learning experience culminating in a product that I am immensely proud of. My experience with On the Danforth has not been an individual journey: it’s been punctured with great debate and conversation, with thoughtful choices and collaborative creation.

It may just be worth the packed-to-the-hilt days, long proofreading nights, and constant awareness of ever-approaching deadlines. In fact, I know it has been worth it and I cannot wait for our readers to add their own two cents to our community of voices.

Leyla Top, Sales Director 2014

This year, we decided to do away with the division of sales teams between the two issues of the magazine and merge them together. This meant that I would be working with the spring issue’s Sales Director to hire a unified team and bring in one lump sum of earnings that we would divide up to fund the two separate magazines. As a team, we worked to develop a sales plan based on information about businesses that OTD has worked with before and where those ads were placed in previous editions of the magazine. This helped us build a list of contacts, and from here we could understand where new, potential clients might be. Working as one of the directors of the 2014 sales team has been both exciting and challenging. This role has taught me the importance of building and maintaining client relationships in and around the community. Most importantly, this role has helped me shape what I hope is the beginning of a long and successful career within the publishing industry.

Look out for part three of this series when we talk to the creative directors and production managers behind the spring and summer issues!

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