Rodale CEO Highlights Her ‘Biggest Challenge’

Maria Rodale's interviewer was surprised and so were we.

RodaleMapThere are currently about 250 employees at Rodale Inc.’s offices in New York and another 450 at the company’s main headquarters in Emmaus, Pa. But if CEO Maria Rodale had her way, the latter proportion would be higher.

During an interview with Allentown newspaper The Morning Call, Rodale, 54, revealed that many desirable candidates have a resistance to the quaintness of the Lehigh Valley:

“A lot of people who are passionate about digital or publishing, they either want to be in New York or Brooklyn. We have lot of people [from Rodale New York] go to Portland, Ore., for a lifestyle change. They want really good food, and not fancy food, and some craft beer, and affordable, nice housing.” …

“We’re committed to the Lehigh Valley. I love the Lehigh Valley. We’re not moving, and it would be great to feel like this was a friendly, thriving environment for digital publishing and all aspects of what we do. I was in Pittsburgh, and because of Carnegie Mellon and Google, it’s a thriving, digital place. People want to go there. And everything is thriving as a result of that, the restaurants, hotels and culture. The Lehigh Valley is a lot better than it was 10, 20 years ago, but I want to see it grow even further.”

Given Emmaus’ proximity to Philadelphia and New York, the resistance of candidates is surprising.

The company, whose magazine brands include Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Prevention and Organic Life, recently announced plans for a new children’s book imprint, Rodale Kids, launching in the fall of 2017. And speaking of books, CEO Rodale’s new cookbook Scratch comes out next week. Read the rest of Rodale’s conversation with Morning Call reporter Anthony Salamone here

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