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Southeast Kansas Living is a quarterly magazine that has been celebrating the people, places and spirit of Southeast Kansas for more than 20 years. In each issue, find stories about Southeast Kansas’ people, events, outdoors, history, homes and gardens, businesses, restaurants, attractions and more! 

Joanne Smith serves as the magazine’s publisher and editor. She grew up in Elk City, Kansas, and graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and an emphasis in magazine production. After working in the journalism industry for a few years, including as the assistant editor at daily newspaper, Joanne gravitated to public relations, and spent a 22-year career managing marketing, community relations and fund-raising for Mercy Hospital in Independence, Kansas, before the hospital was closed in 2015.

From that significant turn, Joanne’s true calling as an entrepreneur emerged, and she created FAB Creative Services, a comprehensive marketing company providing support to a wide range of individuals, small businesses and non-profit organizations throughout southeast Kansas and beyond. Her second home is Fab Lab ICC, a maker space and entrepreneurship center on the campus of Independence Community College, where she fabricates custom marketing and gift products for customers and from which she has received incredible support as an entrepreneur. An active civic supporter, Joanne has served with many community boards, committees and civic clubs, including the Independence Chamber of Commerce, Independence Optimist Club, Soroptimist of Independence and the Kansas Children’s Service League Healthy Families Program Community Development Leadership Council. In 2018, she was named one of the “50 Kansans You Should Know” by Ingram’s magazine, and she is the host of the “She Power Adventures in Entrepreneurship” podcast featuring the stories of fellow women entrepreneurs.


Joanne and her husband, Michael, reside in Independence and together have four adult children, Madeline, Jacey, Cortlan and Trace, and one sassy and fierce teenager left at home, Claire.

Southeast Kansas Living is published four times a year in March, June, September and December. A fifth tourism issue is printed in even-numbered years. For more information about the magazine, contact Joanne via one of the methods here.

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