#MediaMonday – Rebecca L. Rhoades

Today’s #MediaMonday comes to us from Rebecca L. Rhoades, senior editor at AZ Big Media with a particular focus on AZRE Magazine. She joined the outlet after several years with Phoenix Home & Garden and is actively seeking pitches on all things commercial real estate across Arizona.

She’s also the editorial coordinator for both Gilbert and Ahwatukee Lifestyles magazines, and is on the lookout for pitches about anything and everything related to both locations.

So, Rebecca, time to share!

Tell us how you got your start in writing? Tell us your story!

I never set out to be a writer/editor — I wasn’t one of those kids who was always writing or telling stories. In fact, I started college (Michigan State University) with the dream to become a veterinarian. But then I got to calculus and bio-chem and my brain said, “Oh, no!” I had taken all of my high school math by the time I was in 9th grade, so when I hit college, it was gone. During my sophomore year, I ended up transferring back to my hometown school, Michigan Technological University, which is an engineering school. At the time, the only degree it offered that didn’t require me to take advanced math and science courses was Scientific & Technical Communication – basically learning how to write manuals and tech documents. After a summer internship in Indiana where I worked on manuals for power amplifiers and MRI gradient subsystems, I knew being a tech writer wasn’t for me. I ended up getting another internship in New York City, working for a publishing company that produced NASA’s official tech magazine, and at the end of the summer, they told me I had a job waiting when I graduated. My entire career has been in magazine publishing, ranging from B2B, animal welfare, medical and travel.

Tell us how you came to start working in the Valley media scene?

I moved to Phoenix almost eight years ago. The first year I was here, I was freelancing. I happened to see a job posting for an editorial position at Phoenix Home & Garden, so I applied and got it. I was there for almost six years.

And how did you come to this outlet?
I was laid off from PHG in December 2020 as part of a mass COVID-related layoff. Oh well — it wasn’t a surprise. I didn’t hold out much hope for finding another job in media in the Valley, but then I saw a posting for my current position. AZRE is a quality publication, and a lot of what I learned working with residential architecture and design translates into the commercial real estate world. As a side gig, I recently began working with the Lifestyle publications. The lighter editorial content — food & beverage, personality profiles, human interest — are a nice alternative to construction, business and policy that dominates AZRE.

Tell us about the outlet and types of story pitches you want?

For AZRE, I’m looking for anything related to commercial real estate in Arizona — from new buildings being developed to land deals to information about utilities or infrastructure. I’m also interested in research and study data about the industry. Basically, if it doesn’t pertain to residential homes, then it’s probably something I’d want to take a look at.
For the Lifestyle pubs, I’m looking for anything and everything related to Gilbert or Ahwatukee: people and businesses to profile, events, activities, destinations and features that make each area special. If there’s a tie-in to either location, send me your information!

Where did you grow up?

I spent most of my childhood in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, having moved there when I was 10. But I was born in Alaska, then moved to Albuquerque, N.M., and then lived in a number of spots in and around Lansing, Mich., before my parents settled in the U.P. After college, I moved to New York City, where I lived for 12 years. Then I was in Philly for seven years before moving to Phoenix.

Favorite type of music?

I was raised on classic country, which I still love, but I’m a child of the ’80s, so I also love my ’80s techno-pop and hair metal. But I listen to just about anything, depending on my mood.

Favorite color?

To wear – black; to have in my home – white and yellow; in general – orange (hence my orange Mustangs, 2016 and ’66)

Favorite local restaurants or other haunts?

Due to the pandemic, my husband and I haven’t been eating out as much as we’d like. We tend to get a lot of take-out. Some of our go-to places include Krua Thai (at 16th  Street and Bell), Los Taquitos (16th Street and Glendale), Otro Cafe (7th Street north of Bethany Home), and Carolina’s (Cave Creek and Cactus). Recently, I found a new little hole-in-the-wall taco joint called El Super Taco on Cave Creek Road. Their quesabirria is tender and delicious, and whenever I’m in Chandler, I can’t pass up stopping by Elmer’s Tacos for some red chile burritos – the best in the Valley. Can you tell I like Mexican food? My husband and I (and our dog, Waylon) also enjoy hanging out at the O.H.S.O on the corner of Tatum and Shea — even though I no longer drink beer.

Whenever we have guests from out of town, we like to take them to Barrio Café for Silvana’s great cuisine. On the non-food front, some must-see places include Taliesin West, Cosanti and Arcosanti, Desert Botanical Garden and Old Town Scottsdale. I love ArtWalks and being able to support local artists. Horseback riding in Cave Creek or Tucson is a fun way to enjoy the desert scenery, as is hiking the Superstition Mountains. And when we go to Tucson, I love visiting San Xavier del Bac, and I can never come home without stopping off at Barrio Bread. Don makes the best bread in the state.

Contact Email:  rebecca.rhoades@azbigmedia.com (for anything related to commercial real estate) and rebecca.rhoades@lifestylepubs.com (for Gilbert- and Ahwatukee-focused content)

Photo provided by Rebecca Rhoades

Written by
at Oct 25, 2021

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