Season of Gratitude

Season of Gratitude, Marin Magazine

NOVEMBER IS TRADITIONALLY the time to plan for the holidays. It is the opener to a season filled with celebrations and gratitude. Here at Marin Magazine we have an exciting reason to celebrate.

After a few months of discussing a potential sale of the magazine, we welcomed the news of being acquired by the Make It Better Media Group. And in a move we consider to be the dollop of Straus fresh whipped cream on the proverbial pumpkin pie, Make It Better founder Susan Noyes has promised to keep the magazine on the same track. Publisher Nikki Wood will continue to run the magazine and all staff will remain in place. Our focus, as always, will continue to be squarely on all things Marin.

The Make It Better Media Group is a social impact multiplatform media company based in Chicago. And as the name implies, the mission is to improve life, in the local community and beyond. During the courting period, I was able to travel to Chicago to attend one of MIB’s signature philanthropic award ceremonies where, with 300 people in attendance, the company honored deserving charities that received recognition for their efforts. On that trip, we visitors from Marin also got a tour of Chicago’s North Shore and witnessed the similarities between our two communities.

We loved learning that Susan is a diehard Cubs fan with season tickets, which gave us the opportunity to stop by Wrigley Field to catch a couple of innings (thankfully not against the Giants) and a beer and hot dog on our way to the airport. I was impressed by her endless energy and enthusiasm for her company’s purpose and the fact that she also likes onions and mustard on her hot dogs.

Susan was familiar with Marin and Marin Magazine because her husband, Nick Noyes, has deep family roots here.

What can readers expect from this new era? We will take the MIB approach to highlighting heroes within our community and in the magazine by adding a Marin Matters/Make It Better page as a new regular department. In this month’s edition we talk to Jonathan Leidy, a founding member of 100MARIN. Stay tuned for more ways to make it better in print, online and in community workshops.

Also in the issue this month we examine the act of tipping — a popular act of gratitude — and shed light on the convoluted rules around it. In 2010, our department editor Somer Flaherty wrote an article asking experts in various industries what tip amounts they suggest. This year we brought back some of those experts and consulted a few others. Gratuity, it turns out, can be a complex decision.

A quick Google search unearths general facts about the practice, notably that these sums subsidize worker’s salaries. I get in trouble with friends who own small businesses when I suggest we get rid of tips altogether and just include acknowledgment of service in the price. Why would I not want the opportunity to show my appreciation for a job well done? Mostly because I’m bothered by having to do math, but also I don’t like giving the customer (me) that financial power. If my tip makes or breaks the waiter’s ability to pay for his kids’ textbooks, this system seems wrong. Making the amount part of the tab could solve the problem.

We hope you appreciate our primer on tipping and, as always, we would love to hear your thoughts. For our part, we are happy to celebrate our new partnership with the Make It Better Media Group.

Mimi Towle

Mimi Towle has been the editor of Marin Magazine for over a decade. She lived with her family in Sycamore Park and Strawberry and thoroughly enjoyed raising two daughters in the mayhem of Marin’s youth sports; soccer, swim, volleyball, ballet, hip hop, gymnastics and many many hours spent at Miwok Stables. Her community involvements include volunteering at her daughter’s schools, coaching soccer and volleyball (glorified snack mom), being on the board of both Richardson Bay Audubon Center. Currently residing on a floating home in Sausalito, she enjoys all water activity, including learning how to steer a 6-person canoe for the Tamalpais Outrigger Canoe Club. Born and raised in Hawaii, her fondness for the islands has on occasion made its way into the pages of the magazine.