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Behind the Business with MaryAnn Fleming

by | Oct 18, 2022

MaryAnn Fleming, owner of FOCUS on Scugog, along with a dedicated small staff, keeps the publication growing with fresh content and years of experience.

Local Loves Local  

FOCUS on Scugog is that magazine found sitting on local kitchen and coffee tables. MaryAnn’s passion for finding stories and getting it to the people is what has made this publication a huge success. But before MaryAnn, local author and historian Peter Hvidsten owned the business. Upon Peter’s retirement, MaryAnn purchased the business and continued to bring Scugog residents the information they enjoy (we hope).

Since its inception, one of the pillars of the magazine has been the community of Port Perry and surrounding Scugog. This town has inherent magic, and the locals go out of their way to help others. It’s no secret that the economy in smaller places is a little more challenging, but the community does what it can to help even in the toughest times.

Before taking over in 2015, MaryAnn worked for FOCUS managing the sales department. Today she oversees the publishing and management of FOCUS from the ground up, with a lot of help from the staff that work alongside her.

MaryAnn credits the success and popularity of FOCUS on Scugog to the community. Not only the people who read it every month but also the advertisers you see on each page. It’s thanks to them that FOCUS still lands in mailboxes every month.

 Traditional Vs. Digital

During COVID the magazine was forced to shift to online newsletters for three issues. This was the first time in 15 years that there wasn’t a printed copy of FOCUS distributed across Scugog. Like any other small business owner, this was a scary time for MaryAnn. But she took this and made it what she could. MaryAnn was also one of a handful of local women that shopped for seniors’ groceries (at Vos Independent) in the early days of the pandemic.

Unsurprisingly, Scugog has given MaryAnn an audience still consuming traditional media. Even with the ability to access the latest news at our fingertips at any given time, there are still a lot of people that enjoy the feeling of real paper and being able to turn an actual page.

No matter the media, there is stress and there are deadlines, but when an issue is sent to print it’s an extremely satisfying moment for the FOCUS on Scugog team. And then they move on to the next month.

Scugog Proud

MaryAnn is someone who loves what she does, which is what led her to take over this business when she did. This passion has also allowed MaryAnn to continue to grow the business into something that the entire community loves as much as she does.

Today MaryAnn has a team of two part-time salespeople, along with freelance graphic designers, writers, and photographers. This team has pushed FOCUS on Scugog to become the most influential magazine in the Scugog area.

MaryAnn takes community pride to the pages of FOCUS with consistent, relevant information that includes pages dedicated to non-profits each month. It’s no secret that MaryAnn is Scugog proud, which is an advantage to everyone in the community.

Business Focus

Before owning FOCUS, MaryAnn worked for almost ten years in a bank. Not only did this make her appreciate a fast-paced work environment, but it also gave her a wealth of tools that she uses in her business today. From there she moved into the distribution side of community newspapers and eventually became a sales rep where she worked for years.

Today MaryAnn spends her days on a computer, and though she does not consider herself tech-savvy you will also see MaryAnn at community events with a camera in hand. That said, MaryAnn prefers to keep screentime to work.

Fun Fact: MaryAnn is an avid golfer and would be out every day if possible, but not when the temperature dips below 67 degrees!

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