PHOTO BY CARRIE ALLEN, LLC
BY ROCKY THOMPSON
The story behind LKN Magazine is one of serendipity, lifelong friendship, family, and a horse-sized dog who wouldn’t hurt a fly that landed on his nose.
“Retirement” at the Lake
The story starts with Keela Johnson who, like a lot of folks, looked forward to retiring at the lake. In 2020, she left the on-the-ground operation of a family of publications she’d founded in Winston-Salem in the capable hands of her daughter Brooke, and moved to the lake full time.
But anyone who spends five minutes with Keela knows she’s not a woman to sit still long.
While Brooke took Forsyth Woman magazine, Forsyth Family magazine, Forsyth Woman Engaged, and Forsyth Community magazines into the social media and podcasting era – Keela continued to help with their day-to-day operation from the lake. And while getting settled full-time at Lake Norman, she became better acquainted with the region.
“Lake Norman is an incredible community built up by so many businesses invested in the region,” Keela said. “I’m blessed that I’ve been able to build a career by producing magazines focused on positivity and bringing valuable content to our 70,000 readers while profiling and celebrating the business community. It’s worked well for over 16 years in Forsyth County, and there is so much to celebrate and recognize here.” After much discussion, Keela and Brooke took the step to expand their family of magazines beyond Forsyth County and launch LKN Magazine.
A Lifelong Friend Moves Home
About this time, also drawn to the pace of lake life, Keela’s lifelong friend Barbara Minor moved from Atlanta back near her hometown, settling in the Westport area of Denver. Keela and Barbara had gone to school together and spent the summers hanging out at Barbara’s aunt and uncle’s Mooresville A-Frame with friends, swimming in the lake, camping out, and learning to waterski. Barbara had followed Keela’s magazines with hometown pride as she ran administration and marketing campaigns along the East Coast. The two celebrated her return to the lake, picking up just where they left off, and Barbara was thrilled to join the team launching the magazine.
New Neighbors from the North
Meanwhile, next door to Keela, where one of the many homes popping up around the lake had been under construction, a family with New York plates pulled into the driveway to be greeted by the aforementioned horse-sized dog Carter, who happened to belong to Brooke. The family that got out of the car, Kasey Jamison and her writer husband Rocky Thompson (yours truly), along with their two boys that they seemingly haven’t stopped chasing since, met everyone all at once. Kasey, eager to settle into Lake Norman life and seeking harmony with her demanding career as a sales director, made her the perfect serendipitous piece of the LKN Magazine puzzle. Their shared vision for LKN Magazine is to be a service to the businesses and community.
Collaboration is Key
“I’m especially excited about the collaboration aspect,” Brooke said. “Our cover shoot is a perfect example of our vision. We’ve always been about positive encouragement. During our photo shoot, we had two incredible photographers working side-by-side, sharing equipment, and laughing. What could have felt like a competition turned into a collaboration – one that elevated the entire experience and turned it into a better-together kind of moment.”
“I agree,” said Keela. “Every page of our magazines, including LKN Magazine, is rooted in the common love we share for the community. We are not a news-oriented magazine – people can find out the news from other sources. We know from our years with Forsyth Magazines the power of shop small. We’ve seen the beauty that comes from celebrating the small business community, especially when competitors recognize one another’s successes and celebrate each other’s wins.”
A Tenacious Team of Family and Friends
The four of them, Keela, Brooke, Barbara, and Kasey, teamed up to bring LKN Magazine to the Forsyth Family of publications. Did they succeed? Well, the magazine in your hands is proof they did. Meet the four, and you’ll discover their excitement for the possibilities of the magazine are limitless.
LKN Magazine can be found in Harris Teeter & Food Lion stores from Statesville to north Charlotte as well as local restaurants, boutiques, gyms, salons and spas. You can find a full list of distribution points on our website! Digital editions of the magazine can be read online at Lkn-magazine.com. Call 888.892.3204 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about advertising opportunities. Be sure to like LKN Magazine on Facebook and follow us on Instagram @lknmagazine.
Meet the LKN Magazine Team!
KEELA JOHNSON – LKN Magazine, Publisher
“In Lake Norman, I’ve found a vibrant, active community of friendly people. I’m excited to engage with this dynamic group of folks and the members of my Lake Norman ‘neighborhood.’”
~In her spare time, Keela loves to paddle board, garden, babysit her fur-grandbabies, and spend time with her retired husband, Tim.
BROOKE EAGLE – LKN Magazine, Associate Editor
“Though I graduated from High Point University with a degree in elementary education, I chose to join the magazines full time after college because I love this community and wanted to continue Mom’s celebration of the small business community. My favorite part of my job is hosting the Forsyth Magazines podcast.”
~Brooke is an exercise enthusiast and in addition to her magazine duties, is busy starting her own gym in Winston-Salem – Washington Park CrossFit! She loves wake surfing, snowboarding, and being a dog mom to her Bernedoodle and German shepherd.
BARBARA MINOR – LKN Magazine, Sales and Marketing
“I grew up visiting Lake Norman and always dreamed of living here, so I’m thrilled to call the Westport/Denver area home. After a successful career in administration and marketing, I’m excited to join the LKN team and continue sharing all that Lake Norman has to offer.”
~When Barbara has downtime, she enjoys tennis, pickleball, reading, cooking, paddle boarding, and boating. She also loves it when her grown stepsons visit from Atlanta.
KASEY JAMISON – LKN Magazine, Chief Sales Officer
“After spending 17 years in New York City, building an advertising sales career with companies like The New York Times, Amazon, and Instacart, I’m excited to be a part of LKN Magazine. It perfectly blends my love for advertising and lake living.”
~Kasey and her husband, Rocky, are parents to two sons, and they love spending time outside, playing sports – especially tennis and swimming. They also love exploring new restaurants and shops in the area.