The Hannah Grimes Center announces its 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year: Marcia Passos Duffy, founder and owner of Backporch Publishing LLC based in Keene. Marcia will accept this award at the Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship’s CONNECT2015 Event on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Alyson’s Orchard in Walpole.
For over 25 years, Marcia’s career included freelance writing for a variety of media outlets such as New York Times’ Lifewire, Yahoo Finance, Parenting Magazine, Smart Business Magazine and Fox Business News. She was also a business reporter for the Keene Sentinel for five years. During that time, she felt her passion drawing her, unknowingly, to entrepreneurship and the idea of turning that passion into a thriving business.
The seed of her passion emerged in college when Marcia launched an underground newspaper — to get the stories that were important to her out there. “It was thrilling,” she shared.
That passion resurfaced later in her life and became Backporch Publishing, her home-based business that publishes The Heart of New England, an online New England travel publication; the Small Business Journal, a business-to-business publication serving the Monadnock Region; and the soon-to-launch AtHOME Magazine, celebrating the everyday homes and gardens of the Monadnock Region and Southeastern Vermont. Marcia is also co-founder and editor of the Monadnock Table Magazine, highlighting local food and farms in our region, that is now published by the Keene Sentinel.
We think Backporch Publishing’s tagline — Rockin’ it With Local Down-to-Earth Publications — is the perfect way to describe Marcia and her pursuits. The phrase “rockin’ it” links a quintessential New England visual (that inviting outdoor rocking chair that let’s you admire the view) with the shake-it-up, can-do attitude of rock & roll (that empowers you to make a change). Marcia’s work does both.
“I feel I’m doing the work I need to do,” stated Marcia. “I want to be able to create beautiful publications that are accessible, that don’t talk down to people and are free.”
“The mission of Hannah Grimes is to help business and the community innovate, connect, thrive and give back,” said Mary Ann Kristiansen, Executive Director of the Hannah Grimes Center. “Marcia, to us, demonstrates all of those. She is very innovative and is on the leading edge of the Buy Local movement. She is a connector – I see her at every event. Her way of honing ideas is a publication and she does each one beautifully in a way that supports the world she wants to see: a world with more local food and farms, more small businesses and entrepreneurs, and more beautiful homes.”
“It feels like a work of art to me — like an artistic endeavor. I get to pick the pictures, pick the style, guide the photographers and guide the writers,” shared Marcia. “It just feels like it’s not just me, but I’m like a conductor — that I’m conducting all these creative energies. I pull it all together into something that people can read and enjoy.”
Marcia is also a proud graduate of the year-long Hannah Grimes Entrepreneurship Program.
This year’s CONNECT event includes an interactive session with six visionary community leaders speaking about the importance of the City of Keene Comprehensive Master Plan while focusing on six focus areas:
• A Quality Built Environment: Tedd Benson, Bensonwood Homes;
• A Unique Natural Environment: Ryan Owens, Monadnock Conservancy;
• A Vibrant Economy: Taylor Caswell, NH Community Development Finance Authority;
• A Strong Citizenship and Proactive Leadership: Jim Rousmaniere, author and former newspaper editor;
• A Creative, Learning Culture: Jeff Miller, board chair of Impact Monadnock and formerly President of Markem-Imaje;
• A Healthy Community: Rudy Fredrizzi MD, Cheshire Medical Center.
Everyone is welcome to attend this event. For more information and to register, please visit www.hannahgrimes.com. Tickets are $35 per person or $240 per table of 8.