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Maria Rodale (born January 24, 1962) was formerly the CEO and Chairman of Rodale, Inc., a publisher of health, wellness, and environmental content. She is the third generation of the Rodale family to lead the company, which was founded by her grandfather J. I. Rodale in 1930 and later led by both her father, Robert Rodale, and mother, Ardath Rodale.
A lifelong advocate on behalf of organic farming and gardening, Maria is also the author of five books, including most recently Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe (2011, Rodale Books). She blogs regularly about news and information related to healthy living at Maria's Farm Country Kitchen.
Early life and education
Maria was born in Allentown, PA in 1962 to Robert David “Bob” Rodale and Ardath Harter Rodale, where she grew up on the family’s farm along with two sisters and two brothers. She went on to attend Muhlenberg College, also in Allentown, where she double majored in Communications and Art and earned her bachelor's degree in 1985.
Maria joined the family business, Rodale Inc., in 1987, first working in circulation and direct marketing and eventually leading Rodale's in-house direct marketing agency. In 1998, she served as director of strategy, where she led the strategic review, planning processes, and management changes that refocused the company on publishing information on healthy, active lifestyles. She also led the company's Organic Living division, Rodale's first integrated brand division, where she was the Editor-in-Chief of Organic Gardening magazine and oversaw all of Rodale's gardening books. She joined the Rodale board in 1991 and was elected Chairman in 2007.
She serves as a member of the board of directors for several organizations, including Bette Midler's New York Restoration Project and the Lehigh Valley Health Network. She also serves on the board of directors for the Association of Magazine Media (MPA), and is the co-chair of the Rodale Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 1947 and dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach.
Maria Rodale has written or co-authored five books, including:
- Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe (2011, Rodale Books) ISBN 978-1-60961-136-1
- It's My Pleasure: A Revolutionary Plan to Free Yourself from Guilt and Create the Life You Want (2005, Free Press) with Maya Rodale. ISBN 0-7432-7081-9
- Betty's Book of Laundry Secrets (2001, Rodale Books) with Betty Faust. ISBN 0-87596-933-X
- Maria Rodale's Organic Gardening Companion (2000, Rodale Books) ISBN 0-87596-835-X
- Maria Rodale's Organic Gardening (Your Seasonal Companion to Creating a Beautiful and Delicious Organic Garden) (1998, Rodale Press) ISBN 0-87596-799-X
Maria Rodale has been honored with several awards, including the National Audubon Society's "Rachel Carson Award" in 2004[not in citation given] and the United Nations Population Fund's "Award for the Health and Dignity of Women" in 2007.[permanent dead link] In 2009, she was named to Pennsylvania's "Best 50 Women in Business" List.
- Rodale Inc. online newsroom
- Lehigh Valley Health Network official site Archived 2011-06-01 at the Wayback Machine
- Association of Magazine Media Board of Directors Archived 2011-06-20 at the Wayback Machine
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-07. Retrieved 2011-06-28.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Kaplan, D (2009). “Industry Moves: Maria Rodale To Move Into CEO Role,” PaidContent.org, http://paidcontent.org/article/419-industry-moves-rodales-head-murphy-resigns-maria-rodale-to-move-into-ce/
- Blumenau, K (2007). “Third generation taking the helm at Rodale", Allentown Morning Call, June 17, 2007. http://articles.mcall.com/2007-06-17/news/3725576_1_maria-rodale-ardath-rodale-men-s-health
- Vaccariello, L (2009). “Growing Up Organic: An exclusive interview with organic advocate Maria Rodale", Prevention magazine, https://web.archive.org/web/20110121043214/http://online.prevention.com/mariarodale/index.html
- Rodale, M (2010). "State of the Organic Union", The Atlantic, October 21, 2010. https://www.theatlantic.com/life/archive/2010/10/state-of-the-organic-union/64896/
- Our Roots Grow Deep: The Story of Rodale, Rodale Books, 2009.http://www.ourrootsgrowdeep.com/uof/ourrootsgrowdeep/
- EPBJ Staff (March 16, 2009). "Pa. Names Top 50 Women in Business", Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journalhttps://web.archive.org/web/20111007105316/http://www.epbj.com/node/413