Maria Rodale: She's Gone Organic

February 22 - On The Dot
FIRST THOUGHT: Living Life in the Moment

I have a little challenge for you. Today, count how many times you think or say, “I can’t wait for ____,” like, I can’t wait for Friday, I can’t wait to be done with this class or I can’t wait to find my soul mate.

The problem with clinging to the next exciting thing in your life is that it usually is based on the idea that then you’ll be happier. You’ll be happier when you get that promotion or buy that house. This kind of thinking can keep us from embracing the things that make us happy now. Don’t wish your life away. Instead, take some time to be mindful of every wonderful moment.


Here at On The Dot, we often discuss gender disparity in executive positions in a variety of career fields. And today’s highlighted industry, while attracting many female workers, still leaves much to be desired when it comes to women at the top.

Much has changed in the publishing industry in the past century, but women are still struggling to climb that corporate ladder. According to a recent survey of American publishing companies, women make up 78 percent of publishing staff. However, at the executive or board level of U.S. publishing companies, at least 40 percent of those employees are men.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Maria Rodale, CEO and Chairwoman of Rodale Inc.

Maria Rodale is one of those women at the top in the publishing industry, and she employs her position of power to relay an important mission: to heal people and the planet. And if you’ve ever flipped through a copy of Women’s Health or Prevention magazines, you’ve gotten a glimpse of her dedication to this mission.

Maria is no stranger to publishing. In fact, in 1930, her grandfather founded Rodale Inc., the family-owned and -run publishing company behind Women’s Health, Prevention, Organic Gardening and Organic Life, among other health-focused publications. Maria is the third generation of Rodales to run the company, which, through its various magazine brands, books and online content, reaches more than 100 million people worldwide.

Rodale Inc. provides well-regarded materials focused on health and well-being, and in addition to its own periodicals, also publishes a variety of wellness-based books, such as Jessica Alba's The Honest Life.

A self-described "sleeves-rolled-up leader," Maria practices what she preaches, and is an expert in organic farming and gardening, having written several books of her own. That makes sense, considering Maria grew up on the first official organic farm in America. Maria's latest book, Scratch: Home Cooking for Everyone Made Simple, Fun and Totally Delicious, is chock-full of her own tried-and-true family recipes featuring organic, seasonal ingredients, and is a must-have for any foodie.

In addition to running one of the biggest publishing companies on the planet, Maria is a board co-chair of the Rodale Institute, a nonprofit focused on organic-farming research and outreach. Website visitors can improve their knowledge of organic farming by enrolling in a variety of agricultural-focused courses, like the 15-hour Organic Transition Course, a program that helps farmers make the conversion to completely growing organic crops.

Maria’s lifetime commitment to wellness hasn’t gone unnoticed, and she has been recognized by many environmental and health-focused organizations for her dedication. Of particular note, in 2007, she received the Award for the Health and Dignity of Women from the United Nations Population Fund.

Through her longstanding family business, Maria is doing more than simply advancing the benefits of an organic lifestyle; she is diligently working to heal people and the planet, not just through food or exercise, not just by losing weight or living longer, but through living a life of meaning, with the intention of leaving this world a better place.


For Maria Rodale, a life of meaning equals a life well lived. Today’s quote comes from Maria herself. She said:

“You can’t change other people. You can only change yourself. ... And hopefully, by being our true, fulfilled selves, we make the world a better place just by being in it.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

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